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Monday :: June 20, 2016

Supreme Court Weakens Protection Against Illegal Searches

All hail the mighty police. Thanks to the Supreme Court today, your protection against a warrantless search following an illegal stop by police just diminished.

In a 5-3 ruling, the justices relaxed the so-called exclusionary rule and upheld the use of drug evidence found on a Utah man who was stopped illegally by a police officer in Salt Lake City.

The court, in an opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas, said that because the man had an outstanding arrest warrant for a traffic violation, the illegal stop could be ignored.

The opinion is here. The three female justices dissented. Justice Sotomoyor's words are powerful: [More...]

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Trump Fires Campaign Manager

Donald Trump has fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. It's not clear why and Lewandowski says he doesn't have an answer.

Will he get a new campaign manager? Does he need one? Maybe not. Reports are that campaign chairman Paul Manafort is in charge. According to Slate, Trump doesn't really have a campaign to manage.

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Sunday :: June 19, 2016

ISIS Releases Video Praising Orlando Attacks

ISIS has released a multi-national video on the Orlando killings through its Media Office of Wilayat Furat. (Link is to news article, not video.) The video is called "You Are Not Held Responsible Except for Yourself." It features multiple fighters as speakers, including an American, a Frenchman, an Uzbeki and an Indonesian. The American, Abu Ism'ail al-Amriki says ISIS will take revenge for every brother and sister killed by the Crusaders. There is a photo of Omar Mateen, video of the aftermath of his rampage, and praise for his actions.

“Do you think you’re at war with a small group of Mujahedeen in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other places? You are sadly mistaken. And do you think you can defeat us by bombarding our homes with the help of your drones and F-16s [and government groups]? Then again, you have sadly made a great mistake,” Al-Amriki says. “Oh America, indeed you are at war with all the true and sincere Muslims around the world.”

The French speaker appears to highlight this killer of a French police officer.

Not surprisingly, ISIS is milking Mateen, glorifying him even though it's most unlikely he had any connection to ISIS before his killing spree. The point being that the media should be more careful when reporting on lone wolf terror acts to avoid handing ISIS a windfall. [More..]

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Saturday :: June 18, 2016

Saturday Open Thread

I'm on the eternal laptop search. I can't keep putting a 7 pound beast on my lap to blog. And this time I refuse to buy a laptop without having held it , typed on it and viewed the screen first -- no more laptop buying sight unseen. Wish me luck.

Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Thursday :: June 16, 2016

Another O.J. Simpson Series

I really didn't intend to watch the ESPN series on O.J. Simpson (OJ: Made in America.) I happened upon Episode 3 while channel-clicking and there was the Bronco chase.

So far I much prefer this documentary to the American Crime Story version. It's reality. It's pretty much how I remember the case as it happened. I just wish the series relied less on commentary by cops, the D.A. and reporters (except for Jeffrey Toobin.) The cops are a real turn-off, the prosecutors are typically biased and the reporters (other than Toobin) add absolutely nothing. [More...]

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Tuesday :: June 14, 2016

Obama and Hillary Give Trump a One-Two Punch

President Obama and Hillary Clinton unleashed powerful attacks on Donald Trump today. Maybe together they will knock him out.

Speaking 250 miles apart Tuesday, but as if reading from the same hymnal, President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton delivered simultaneous withering critiques of Donald Trump's response to the Orlando terror attack.

The seemingly coordinated salvo from the Democratic Party's two biggest heavyweights is a preview of the months to come, when Clinton will have at her disposal at least two popular presidents, the vice president, her Democratic primary opponent, and a slew of other high-profile Democrats.

As for Trump, he's on his own. His party's heavy-weights seem content to have him dangle in the wind.[More...]

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Hillary Wins D.C. Primary

Hillary Clinton trounced Bernie Sanders in the Washington, D.C. primary.

The Associated Press said with 83 percent of the precincts reporting, Clinton has 67,156 votes, compared to 17,983 for Sanders.

Hey, Bernie, are you done now? It's not clear. Hillary and Bernie met tonight. So far, both are being mum. As for his demands that the platform accommodate his issues, they aren't "his" issues. Democrats have always been the party fighting for economic and social equality. Bernie just got the issues more attention. He gets props for that, but not the issues themselves or positions he's advocating. He didn't come up with them -- especially his views on criminal justice. Many of his positions are taken from years of advocacy by others, like criminal defense lawyers. Where was Bernie's voice in 1994? I never heard it.

It's Hillary vs. Trump. Bernie Sanders needs to step aside or be labeled part of the problem.

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Tuesday Night Open Thread

I've been busy with work. But I am following a few things, mostly the transfer of Hector Luis "El Guero" Palma-Salazar (former compatriot of El Chapo) to Mexico upon completion of his U.S. sentence, but also, the murder of a 20 year old who worked as security at the prison Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is being held, reports about the Orlando killer, and the ISIS-inspired attack on a French policeman and his companion in France. (The killer live-streamed his allegiance to ISIS with a child in the video (reports are he spared the child.)

Check out James Corden's latest carpool karaoke with the Red Hot Chile Peppers. It's really fun. Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda were on his Late Late Show again last night. Lily said she's not keen on imitating heterosexuals (she's now married to her partner of 45 years.) Jane talked about whether she and Robert Redford ever got it on. Her story seemed very out of school -- a total kiss and tell.

I keep trying to write a post about Palma-Salazar since there is a lot of sloppy and erroneous reporting out there, but it's such a long story with so many different aspects (from his years at Supermax to the murder of his wife, whose head was sent to him in a box after she was killed by the Venezuelan trafficker who had run off with her, got her to withdraw millions of dollars from his accounts and then killed her in San Francisco, before taking El Guero's two small kids to Venezuela where he threw them off a bridge and killed them, filming the incident, to the 1995 plane crash in Mexico that resulted in his arrest) I never quite finish.

While I try again, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Sunday :: June 12, 2016

Orlando: Another Lone or Looney American Wolf

I have no patience with the moronic comments of Donald Trump.

The Orlando attacker, Omar Mateen, was born in New York -- he's an American. Nonetheless, Donald Trump used today's tragedy as an occasion to renew his idiotic call for a ban on Muslims.

Orlando police say 50 people died. An official list of victims is here. The police chief sent out an email referring to the "lone terrorist."

The weapons used by Mateen were lawfully acquired. He had a security guard's license and worked for the same company since 2007. [More...]

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The Tony Awards

James Corden nails the Tony's. What a great opening. He brings such energy, positivity and glee to everything he does. I think he's so great.

This is a Tony's thread, I'll put up an open thread soon.

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Saturday :: June 11, 2016

DEA Wants Easier Access to Your Medical Records

I've always thought the state prescription monitoring databases are a huge abuse of patient privacy in the name of the futile war on drugs. The Daily Beast reports on DEA's fight for access to your medical records without a warrant or court order.

The DEA has claimed for years that under federal law it has the authority to access the state’s Prescription Drug Monitor Program database using only an “administrative subpoena.” These are unilaterally issued orders that do not require a showing of probable cause before a court, like what’s required to obtain a warrant.

Thankfully, a judge in Oregon balked (but read on) [More...]:

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Thursday :: June 09, 2016

Obama Endorses Hillary, Sanders Marches to His Own Drum

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Bernie Sanders didn't quite get the reaction he wanted by his Washington trip. He got eclipsed in the name of Democratic party unity.

Bernie Sanders remains insistent on competing in the D.C. primary. He says after that, he'll work to defeat Trump. Bernie Sanders is tone-deaf. His view of his self-importance is very inflated. He is not the story any longer. The story is Hillary vs Trump. [More...]

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Thursday Open Thread

Still a very busy week here. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: June 08, 2016

Sanders' Speech: "The Struggle Continues"

Update: 12:00 am: Unbelievable. He's going to fight for every vote in Washington DC's primary next week and keep fighting until Philadelphia. He was not even gracious enough to acknowledge Hillary has won the delegate votes necessary for the nomination. When he did mention that she called him tonight to congratulate him on how well he's done, his supporters booed at the mention of her name. He didn't stop them.

Update 11:43 pm. Here's Bernie finally, fist raised. Smiling. The rally music is Power to the People and Talking About a Revolution. He tells everyone they are part of the political revolution. He's recapping his campaign accomplishments- touting his 10 million votes and the support of "young people." He's optimistic about the future of the country. There he goes -- acting like he invented social justice, economic justice, environmental justice. His young fans love it.

He says we will not allow right wing Republicans like Donald Trump dictate our future. The American people will never support a candidate whose major theme is bigotry. Who insults Mexicans, Muslims and African Americans. We will not allow Donald Trump to become President of the United States. But wait, here it comes: "Our mission is more than defeating Trump, it is transforming our country." [More...]

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Tuesday :: June 07, 2016

Hillary Clinton Is The Democratic Nominee For President

Great speech. Great moment.

Oh BTW, I predicted this moment in November 2008.

Just sayin.

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