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Thursday :: April 23, 2015

Thursday Open Thread

Busy day. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: April 22, 2015

Supreme Court Limits Use of Dog Sniffs During Traffic Stops

Good decision by the Supreme Court yesterday, holding police can't delay a traffic stop to bring on the dogs without reasonable suspicion.

Actual holding: Absent reasonable suspicion, police extension of a traffic stop to conduct a dog sniff violates the Constitution’s shield against unreasonable seizures.

The opinion is here. The 8th Circuit opinion is here.

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Barry Bonds' Conviction Overturned

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned Barry Bonds conviction for obstruction of justice during a grand jury appearance.

"During a grand jury proceeding, defendant gave a rambling, non-responsive answer to a simple question.

"Because there is insufficient evidence that (his statement) was material, defendant's conviction for obstruction of justice... is not supported by the record," it said, adding: "Defendant's conviction here must be reversed.

It's a sort ruling, just the above paragraphs and one more saying he can't be retried on the count because it would be double jeopardy. One judge dissented.

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Tsarnaev Cell Video : Where's the Anger?

Here's the 36 second video of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that was played to the jury. I don't see any anger, just boredom. Who wouldn't be bored sitting alone in a holding cell all day?

What a big to-do about nothing. The reporter who said his face showed huge anger should cover something other than criminal trials.

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DEA Chief Leonhart Resigns

Good news today. Michelle Leonhart is resigning from the DEA. (I'm sure she'd prefer the word retiring.)

Now if we could only retire the DEA.

In related news, a 19 month old baby who was maimed in his crib during a a botched drug raid will get $1 million. His nose and nipple were blown off.

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Wednesday Afternoon Open Thread

Billy Donovan is a top candidate for the OKC Thunder job. Very nervous bout this.

You can talk about actual things that actually matter here.

Open Thread.

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Tuesday :: April 21, 2015

Monday Night TV: Senor de los Cielos Returns

Update: This may be the best season yet. (I won't give the plot details about characters for a few days to give people a chance to watch it.) Some non-spoiler details: Season three begins 4 years after season 2 ended so everyone's lives have changed. There's a more valuable commodity than cocaine -- uranium in Venezuela. As with last season, there are Venezuelan generals working with FARC in the Colombian jungle at the cocaine labs (which produce coke for the Mexican drug lords.) What's new is that the Iranians have entered the picture and are making deals with all of them to get their hands on Venezuelan uranium. The uranium is to be transported to Mexico and then the U.S. The CIA now wants to take control of Aurelio from the DEA because now it's a matter of national security.[More...]

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Death Penalty Trial Begins for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

The Government gave its opening statement today in the death penalty trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Live updates are here. At the end of her opening, the prosecutor giving the opening displayed a screengrab of a security camera video of Tsarnaev in his cell raising his middle finger to the camera. It hasn't been admitted into evidence, so there isn't a copy, but the media reports it was taken a year ago and shows his face was scarred and he was very angry.

The defense deferred their opening until the start of their case. Several witnesses testified as to their injuries in graphic detail. Victim impact testimony in these cases is always horrific. Over defense objection, the judge admitted a video of one victim on the ground, with constant blood curdling screams. [More...]

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Tuesday Morning Open Thread

For those of you who do not like to read my posts, here is an Open Thread for your comments.

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The Politics of TPP

Hillary Clinton will be the Dem nominee for President. Now Martin O'Malley or Jim Webb may not agree, but, will, she is.

That said, if Webb or O'Malley want to make a splash, there is 1 issue that might work - opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP.) I'm not going to pretend I have a substantive opinion on it, have not seen the terms (I'm generally pro free trade), but I recognize the political potency.

Greg Sargent's interview with Labor Secretary Thomas Perez highlights the difficulty of arguing for trade agreements:

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Monday :: April 20, 2015

NYTimes takes stenography from GOP hit book

So now the NYTimes is openly in the business of doing steno for the GOP. Just awful:

The Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have exclusive agreements with the author to pursue the story lines found in the book ["Clinton Cash."

Who cares if the author writes for Breitbart and worked for George W Bush? It's hit piece on Hillary Clinton! Does anyone at these news organization care about ethics anymore?

And the awfulness is patent even in this prelude piece. Consider this:

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CNN Poll: Clinton leads all Republicans by Double Digits

CNN Poll:

Marco Rubio fares best against the former first lady, trailing Clinton by 14 points, 55% to 41%. Bush trails Clinton by 17 points, 56% to 39%. Christie and Paul fall 19 points behind Clinton, each putting up 39% to Clinton's 58%. Huckabee, Walker, Carson and Cruz each trail Clinton by more than 20 points.

eGhazi!!!

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Sunday :: April 19, 2015

ISIS Kills More Coptic Christians in Libya

In a fairly confusing 29 minute video (I'm not providing the link), ISIS militants in Libya executed several Ethiopian Coptic Christians. Here's Reuter's article on the killings.

Why is it confusing? There appear to be two sets of killings, one at a beach and one in an un-scenic field. The beach killings are similar to those a few months ago of Egyptian Coptic Christians. At first I thought it was a flashback, but the killers are wearing different clothes, and the victims are different. There's no indication of when the men in the field or the second beach group were killed.

The White House has issued this statement.

The leader in this video is the same American sounding English speaker in the Egyptian Coptic video. [More...]

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CNN Premieres "High Profits" About Marijuana Industry

Welcome to Colorado. CNN's new series High Profits airs its first episode tonight. It's about the burgeoning marijuana industry, and tonight's episode is in Colorado.

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OKC Bombing: 20 Years Later

Today is the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, for which Timothy McVeigh was executed in June, 2001.

On April 19, 1995, President Clinton said during his first national address [More...]

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