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Sunday :: November 17, 2019

Sunday Night Open Thread

Donald Trump had an unscheduled doctor's visit today.

Barack Obama warns the Democrats against going too far left in their choice of nominee for President.

What's new in your world? This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Friday :: November 15, 2019

Impeachment Hearings Continue

The impeachment hearings continued today. The witness on today is former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch.

It is really inappropriate that Donald Trump is tweeting insults to her during her live testimony. How is this not witness intimidation -- as to her and future witnesses? It's absurd that he gets away with this kind of disrespect.

She just finished her testimony and Rep. Nunes, a Trump puppet, called it a show trial and mocked the hearing. Instead of rebuking him, the Democrats just ignore him.

America is upside down and turned around. Donald Trump is not just a global embarrassment, he is a charlatan that has to go. Maybe when Rudy gets charged and turns on Trump, saying everything he did was directed by Trump, Trump, like Nixon, will take his final walk, head down, across the White House lawn. One can hope.

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Roger Stone Convicted of All Counts

Roger Stone has been convicted of all counts against him.

Prosecutors asked that he be detained pending sentencing, but the Judge continued his bond. Sentencing is set for February.

Mr. Stone, 67, was charged with lying to the House Intelligence Committee, trying to block the testimony of another potential witness and concealing reams of evidence from investigators. Prosecutors claimed he tried to thwart the committee’s work because the truth would have “looked terrible” for both the president and his campaign. He was found guilty of all seven counts he was charged with.

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Sunday :: November 10, 2019

Sunday Open Thread

Things to read today: Hunter S. Thompson’s Letters to His Enemies in the Atlantic.

Question: Will anyone tell Michael Bloomberg the truth -- that the last thing America wants is another billionaire from New York in the White House? Wasn't he always a Republican or Independent? If he had any guts, he'd challenge Trump for the Republican nomination, not try and buy the Democratic nomination.

Time for a new open thread. All topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: November 06, 2019

Hillary and Chelsea on James Corden's Late Late Show

James Corden is all dressed up tonight with a three piece dark suit, blue shirt and red tie -- I think it's for Hillary and Chelsea who are his guests.

James was doing his monologue and got to a part about Trump tweeting out support for Sean Spicer on DWTS, and how politicians shouldn't do entertainment shows, when the curtains open behind him and out walk Hillary and Chelsea. Hillary had a great outfit on and she looked really, really good. Anyway, she told James that if anyone was going to do jokes about Trump, it should be her. So he turned over the stage to Hillary and Chelsea and they did stand up jokes about Trump that were funnier than I thought they'd be.

The segments will be on the Late Late Show's You Tube Channel by morning, so be sure to watch.

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Monday :: November 04, 2019

OK Commutes and Frees More Than 400 Inmates

In the largest one-day commutation of sentences in U.S. history, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt commuted the sentences of 500 plus inmates, more than 400 of whom were released today.

The commutations were the result of Oklahoma's passage of H.B. 1269, which made retroactive a 2016 law SQ70, reducing drug felonies to misdemeanors.

Here is a photo of some of the 55 women freed today leaving prison with smiles. And another photo, both courtesy of the OK Department of Corrections. The women were greeted by the Governor and his wife as they left the prison.

We need more stories like this.

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Second Circuit Rules Against Trump OnTax Returns

Another loss for Donald Trump. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the subpoena for 8 years of tax returns to Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance is enforceable and he is not entitled to a prelimary injunction. You can read the decision here. The Court emphasized the "narrowness" of its ruling:

We emphasize again the narrowness of the issue before us. This appeal does not require usto consider whether the President is immune from
indictment and prosecution while in office, nor to consider whether the President may lawfully be ordered to producedocuments for use in a state criminal proceeding. We accordingly do not address those issues. The only question before us is whether a state may lawfully demand production by a third party of the President' s personal financial record sfor use in a grand jury investigation while the President is in office.

With the benefit of the district court's well
articulated opinion, we hold that any preside ntial immunity from state criminal process does not bar the enforcement of such a subpoena.

Trump will appeal to the Supreme Court.

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Mueller Secret Memos Revealed

Buzzfeed has obtained secret Mueller probe memos through several FOIA lawsuit. Saturday it published the first installment, which touch on "revelations about the Ukraine conspiracy theory, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, and more."

The released documents are here.

The New York Times provides some analysis here.

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House Releases Some Impeachment Transcripts

The House released two transcripts of testimony in the impeachment probe. The witnesses were former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Michael McKinley. They testified in closed hearings before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees

You can read Yovanovitch's testimony here and Mike McKinley's testimony here.

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Monday :: October 28, 2019

Monday Open Thread

I'm out and about in the snow, which is already melting. Our last open thread is full, so here's a new one, all topics welcome.

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Pentagon Live Briefing on Baghdadi Kill Mission

There was a briefing at the Pentagon today (video here) on the al-Baghdadi capture or kill Mission.

  • The capture or kill mission was in the works for months. Used intelligence from the Pentagon and other agencies (did not credit intel from other countries) to locate him.
  • "Devastating blow" to members of ISIS who have been deprived of their spiritual leader.
  • Our mission is not to act as a police force in Syria.
  • We're going after the oil. We want the "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF) to reap oil funds which allows them to maintain prisons for ISIS members.
  • Throws shade at Turkey.
  • We're now in the "next phase of the campaign". We will hunt to the ends of the earth people who would harm the U.S.

[More...]

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Sunday :: October 27, 2019

Donald Trump's Predictably Self-Aggrandizing Speech:

I like this OpEd by Sean O'Grady in the UK's Independent on Donald Trump's bizarre speech on the death of al-Baghdadi.

I will just add: From the first line of the Trump's announcement, it was clear he lacks comprehension of even the most fundamental concept of "justice." Donald Trump believes justice is done by the U.S. exercising the full power of its military to bring a single individual who has done bad things to his knees and killing him.

Memo to Drama Queen Donsld Trump: Justice is done when a suspect is captured and brought before a neutral court for trial. As O'Grady writes:

If America and the west believe in universal human rights, as Isis did not, then we could have set a new example to the world, demonstrating our superior, civilised standards. Instead, now the armed jihadists have another martyr.

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U.S. Airstrike Reportedly Takes Out Baghdadi in Idlib

Donald Trump is very excited. He will hold a presser during Sunday morning news shows to tell everyone a U.S. airstrike he approved took out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.

There are multiple reports among Middle East sources claiming al-Baghdadi toggled his suicide vest and killed himself.

Iraqi TV says it will air the raid footage, and that Iraqi intelligence helped pinpoint Baghdadi's location.

Turkey too is claiming its share of credit, saying they knew Baghdadi was in Idlib two days ago and they got a warning about the imminent US raid.

A Syrian Human Rights group says 9 people were killed in the raid. I've seen pictures of two dead males laying on the ground but neither was Baghdadi. [More...]

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Monday :: October 21, 2019

Monday Open Thread

Another Monday. Another court afternoon for me. Another open thread for you.

What I'm reading: News from Sinaloa. Was Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar the one who mustered the troops (with help from Mayo Zambada) in Culiacan this weekend to win the release of his half brother Ovidio Guzman Lopez? So far, it seems that way to me. I also don't think the Government cared about the citizenry as much as it did the families of the military who were threatened. How involved was the DEA? The Government said the police and National Guard were going to arrest Ovidio based on an extradition order. Who was doing the surveillance on Ovidio's girlfriend? Mexico or the U.S. I'd bet the latter.

All topics welcome.

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Pete Buttigieg Surges in Latest Iowa Poll

Politico and USA Today have stories on the latest Iowa poll which has Pete Buttigieg now in third place:

A new Iowa survey of the 2020 Democratic presidential contest shows Pete Buttigieg surging in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, locked in a three-way race with frontrunners Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

The current standings:

  • Biden: 18%
  • Warren 17%
  • Buttigieg 13%

[More...]

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