Tuesday :: September 05, 2017

Hurricane Irma Nears Antigua and Barbuda

Sending good thoughts to those in the Caribbean, who are about to experience the force of Hurricane Irma.

Category 5 Hurricane Irma has become one of the strongest storms recorded in the Atlantic, and is threatening to slam into Caribbean islands including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with "potentially catastrophic" force on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Antigua and Barbuda are less than 100 miles from the path of the storm.[More...]

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Trump Ends DREAMER's Program

This is so sad. Donald Trump announced the DREAMER's program created by President Obama through executive action will end.

Senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security said the agency would no longer accept new applications for DACA other than those submitted before Tuesday. Immigrants enrolled in the program will be permitted to continue until their two-year work permits expire. And those whose permits expire through March 5, 2018, are allowed to seek renewals provided they do so by Oct. 5, officials said.

Here is the actual announcement.

Obama took to his Facebook page today to call Trump's action cruel and an affront to basic decency. [More...]

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Friday :: September 01, 2017

Labor Day Weekend Open Thread

The Rolling Stones and Guns 'N Roses singing "Salt of the Earth." My favorite song for Labor Day.

Here's one of my favorite statue/sculptures, in downtown Omaha, at the Lewis & Clark landing, along Omaha's Missouri River Walkway. If you're ever there, it's well worth a visit. It's the second-largest labor monument in the U.S. Two-hundred-fifty tons of cement and 39,000 pounds of steel were used in its construction. It's by Matthew Placzek.

Larger version here.

I haven't checked the news in about a week. I missed Hurricane Harvey, and the sham border wall talk. Best of all, I haven't heard anyone mention Donald Trump's name. I'm trying to figure out how to ask the jury whether they agree with his position on the border wall without using the P. word. I've never referred to him that way on TalkLeft, and I can't imagine saying it out loud without choking.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: August 30, 2017

Federal Judge Blocks TX New Anti-Immigration Law

U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia has issued a 94 page opinion (available here) blocking the implementation the most significant provisions of Texas S.B. 4, which had been scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1. The case is City of El Cenizo v State of Texas.

The ACLU says:

The law, recently signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, strips localities and local law enforcement in the state of the authority to determine how to best use their limited resources to ensure the safety of their communities. The law also turns Texas into a “show me your papers” state. Law enforcement

Thank you, ACLU.

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Sunday :: August 27, 2017

Sunday Open Thread: Hiatus

I am in trial prep mode and will not be blogging before the end of next week, after our Final Trial Preparation conference. I have not read the news since Wednesday. I am inundated by jury instructions, witness lists, exhibit lists, motions in limines, etc. Since I don't write about my own cases, that is all I will have to say about it, other than to say the trial is expected to last a month.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: August 23, 2017

Wednesday Open Thread

Hillary calls Trump a "creep" in her new book. She describes the second debate, the one where he stalked her all over the stage:

“This is not okay, I thought,” Clinton said, reading from her book. “It was the second presidential debate and Donald Trump was looming behind me. Two days before, the world heard him brag about groping women. Now we were on a small stage and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces.

“It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled. It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching, ‘Well, what would you do?’ Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly, ‘Back up, you creep. Get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me, so back up.’”

Jared Kushner is in Cairo. His meeting with the foreign minister was cancelled because the day before, Rex Tillerson told Egypt the U.S. was canceling $95 million in foreign aid due to Egypt's poor record on human rights violations. Does Trump's right foot know what his left foot is doing? Why is Jared wasting our money?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Monday :: August 21, 2017

Back to Afghanistan

Update: I doubt I will watch Trump. I'd rather take a spin class on my Peloton. Please use this thread to comment on his speech.

From the Washington Post: Derek Chollet, an assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration, says:

“This is Trump’s war now,” Chollet said. “Putting 50 percent more troops in Afghanistan — that’s ownership. And it’s not something he can blame on his predecessor.”

Donald Trump will interrupt our TV schedules tonight to give a speech to the American public about his decision on how the U.S. should move forward on Afghanistan and South Asia.He's going to announce an increase in U.S. troops in this unwinnable war. [More...]

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Secret Service to Run Out of Money to Protect Trump

Donald Trump and his family's travel and vacation expenses will result in 1,100 Secret Service agents working overtime this year, and the Secret Service today said it will run out of money November 30.

The spending limits are supposed to last through December, but the cost of protecting the president and members of the extended first family, who have traveled extensively for business and vacations, has strained the Secret Service, local governments and at least one other federal agency, the Coast Guard.

Presidential travel for Trump and the first lady — who fly to their oceanfront Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., and to their golf club in Bedminster, N.J., on many weekends — has added costs for taxpayers and complications for the government. The Secret Service also must provide protection for Trump’s four adult children.

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Total Eclipse of the Sun Today

NASA's eclipse site is here.

The eclipse in Denver will begin at 10:23 a.m. and finish at 1:14 p.m. Colorado is only getting a 75% partial view. Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas are among the states that will experience the totality. Wyoming, which has a population of 600,000, is expecting another 600,000 people toll converge on the state to witness the event.

According to CDOT (Colorado Dept. of Transportation) all our highways, north and south, east and west, will be filled with people headed to and from Wyoming and Nebraska from Colorado and New Mexico (for whom we are likely to be a pass-through state.) CDOT says this may be the most significant traffic event of the year. The worst will be after the eclipse on Monday, when everyone leaves to go home, wherever that may be:

Imagine 6 Denver Broncos games all getting out at the same time on the same highway to go home.


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Friday :: August 18, 2017

Memo to Trump: Don't Forget to Turn Off the Lights On Your Way Out

There is a hugely scathing (and in my view, pretty accurate) op-ed in today's New York Times by Frank Bruni, The Week When ... Trump Resigned.

Bruni opines that Trump voluntarily abdicated the Oval Office on Tuesday: [More...]

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White House Confirms Steve Bannon is Out

Sarah Huckabee Sanders today at the press briefing:

“White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”

Am I the only one who sees Jared's and Ivanka's hand in this?

The Washington Post must have been in a hurry to get this news out. It's rare to seem them print a typo like this:[More...]

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Friday Open Thread

Update: I'm really excited -- My friend M. is at the Peloton store in Denver right now -- after hearing me rave on and on about it -- and she just texted me she bought it. I was on the phone with her 3 hours ago and we were both stuck in traffic -- she was on her way to an appointment. I thought she was going to go to Peloton over the weekend. That might be a record -- 2 hours to test it out and say "I'm in." She's in really good shape and about a decade younger than me so I knew she would love it, but 2 hours is really something. It took me 3 separate visits and hours of research to commit. I just got done riding with my 46th ride.

Original Post

It's a jail day for me, which means an open thread day for you.

All topics welcome, but please be civil.

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Donald Trump is No "Teflon Don"

Donald Trump may already be a lame-duck. He is so embattled that none of his plans are going through and Congress is practically at a stand-still.

The White House announced yesterday he was ending two advisory commissions: one on manufacturing and one on infrastructure.

"[Donald Trump] has announced the end of the Manufacturing Council and the Strategy & Policy Forum. In addition, the President's Advisory Council on Infrastructure, which was still being formed, will not move forward," a White House official said Thursday.

The Teflon Don he is not. Republicans are so concerned about his effect on their re-election, they are distancing themselves from his as much as possible. Democrats just want to scrape him off the bottom of their shoes. His chances of doing anything while occupying a desk in the Oval Office are zilch.

Will he resign? Don't count the chickens before they're hatched. The pressure must stay on and the media must do the job now they failed to do during his campaign. [More...]

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Thursday :: August 17, 2017

ISIS Claims Credit for Attack in Barcelona

ISIS' news agency A'maq has issued a release claiming responsibility for the attack in Barcelona that killed 13 and injured many more. The UK Sun has a set of about 50 graphic photos showing the horror in Barcelona. Police have two men in custody but neither was the driver of the van. This is a photo of Driss Oubar released by the police of Driss Oubar, who they say rented the van.

Spanish police confirm they foiled a second attack in Cambrils, a beachside area southwest of Barcelona, and killing 5 suspected terrorists. Here is the official twitter feed for MOSSOS, the police in Catalonia.

The State Department today designated two alleged ISIS leaders as terrorists. They are Ahmad Alkhald and Abu Yahya al-Iraqi, and the State Dept. says they are responsible attacks in Paris and Brussels in 2015. Alkhald is reportedly a bomb-maker.[More...]

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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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