Saturday :: October 08, 2016

War in Afghanistan Turns 15 Years Old

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of the War in Afghanistan. It began on October 7, 2001, four weeks after the 9/11 attacks, when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. It supposedly ended in 2014.

It sounds like it just changed names from Operation Enduring Freedom to Operation Freedom Sentinel. In 2015, more than 10,000 U.S. troops were active in Operation Freedom Sentinel. Today, U.S. Army General John Nicholson, the Commander of Resolute Support forces and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, visited Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand, the largest Afghan province and met with elder tribe leaders. He told them the U.S. would not let the Taliban win. [More...]

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More Lewd Trump Recordings Surface

You knew this was coming. CNN has now published more lewd recordings of Donald Trump from the Howard Stern radio show:
Trumpís years of interviews with Howard Stern, in which he commented on his daughterís physique, having sex with women during menstruation, interracial sex and getting out of relationships with women over the age of 35.
I'm not linking to the CNN article about the recordings due to auto-play video.

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Saturday Open Thread: Non-Trump Edition

The Rolling Stones played at Coachella in the Desert yesterday. They opened with Start Me Up. The full version, including their entrance is below:

Mick Jagger may be the most unique, inimitable performer on the planet. He's an international treasure.

The Stones just released their first new studio album in a decade. It's a blues album. They played Ride 'Em On Down at the Desert show. Here's a clip of the audio of another song on the new album, Just Your Fool.

More from their Desert performance: Gimme Shelter (with Voice alumna Sasha Allen, who joined the Stones' "touring lineup" this year); You Can't Always Get What You Want and Sympathy for the Devil.

Here's a terrific video featuring Keith Richards and You've Got the Silver from Santiago Chile this March.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome, except Donald Trump. There are several Thump threads open for commenting.

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De Niro Sounds Off On Trump

Actor Robert De Niro on Trump: 56 seconds that will make your day. De Niro calls Trump “a dog,” “a pig,” “a con,” “a bulls—t artist … who doesn’t know what he’s talking about” and “an idiot.”

Transcript below:[More...]

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Friday :: October 07, 2016

Trump's Lewd Recording

You can watch Donald Trump's lewd recording at at the Washington Post here.

He is beginning to creep me out. We shouldn't elect a President who makes you feel like taking a shower every time you hear him speak. I don't think he's changed a bit.

Seriously, exactly what kind of change does he offer? He's just a carnival barker. If he loses, which I have no doubt he will, his "Trump" brand will be inexorably tainted. Who would be a big enough chump to buy something that says "Trump" on it? I won't be surprised if NBC changes the name of Celebrity Apprentice before Arnold Schwarzenegger takes over hosting duties in January.

The only place for Trump after this election is the media -- as in his own media company. He'll probably try to become a media mogul and buy or start a new right wing cable news channel and online news outfit. There's a sucker born every minute who will want to watch his show -- even if just to revel in how far he's fallen. [More...]

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Matthew's "Eyewall" Approaching Cape Canaveral

The 4 am update from the National Hurricane Center:


During the past hour, a sustained wind of 46 mph (74 km/h) and a gust of 70 mph (113 km/h) were reported at Melbourne, Florida, while a gust of 45 mph (73 km/h) was reported at Orlando, Florida.

Miami missed the brunt of Matthew, which has been downgraded to a Category 3 Storm. Even so, the danger from the storm is still very real and serious. [More...]

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Thursday :: October 06, 2016

President Obama Commutes 102 More Prison Sentences

President Obama today commuted the sentences of 102 inmates, bringing the number of commutations this year to 590 and 774 in total during his presidency. Here are their names and a brief description of their original sentences.

President Obama granted clemency to 102 inmates on Thursday, as he continues to release federal inmates serving long prison terms for nonviolent drug offenses. Obama has now commuted the sentences of 774 federal inmates, more than the previous 11 presidents combined.

With 590 commutations this year, the president has commuted more individuals’ sentences in one year than in any single year in U.S. history, White House officials said.

Obama's approval ratings are at the highest level of his second term. [More...]

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Wednesday :: October 05, 2016

Florida Mandatory Evacuations: Matthew Expected to Be Huge

Update: Big Tent Democrat is staying put in the Palm Beach area because his parents won't leave. Follow him on Twitter here -- good photos.

Palm Beach is under a mandatory evacuation order. Hurricane Matthew is expected to be a Category 4 storm before touching down in Florida Thursday night. Right now it's over the Bahamas. (Warning: Auto-play video, it's unavoidable everywhere.) Matthew may also loop back and hit Florida a second time, after heading to the Carolinas. Miami and Broward are in the direct path. Even central Florida (Orlando and Tampa) aren't safe.

The latest update (#32) from the National Hurricane Center: [More...]

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NY Times: Trump is Plunging

The New York Times reports:

Donald J. Trump’s support has plunged across the swing-state map over the last 10 days, wiping out his political recovery from September and threatening to undo weeks of Republican gains in the battle for control of Congress.

...Mr. Trump has already slipped perceptibly in public polls, trailing widely this week in Pennsylvania and by smaller margins in Florida and North Carolina — three states he cannot afford to lose. But private polling by both parties shows an even more precipitous drop, especially among independent voters, moderate Republicans and women, according to a dozen strategists from both parties who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the data was confidential.

A new Monmouth poll has Hillary up in Ohio -- but just slightly. However, when it comes to temperment: [More...]

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There Has to Be Another Phone Choice

The new iPhone update really sucks. I hate it so much I want a different phone. Mashable has 7 reasons not to update. Too bad I hadn't read it before absently clicking on the update button.

After the update, I spent over an hour turning off every app, messaging app, calendar app and location feature I could find and it still opens with messages on the home screen and then goes to a dark screen that says "Wednesday October 5" and under that the whole screen is dark blue except for a button that says "edit."

When I click on "edit" a screen comes up asking me to add widgets. Did Apple become Wordpress overnight? I don't want fricking widgets, I want my phone back. [More...]

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Tuesday :: October 04, 2016

Tuesday Open Thread

Busy work day.

Hillary widens her lead in Pennsylvania

The Right wing in Colombia refused to approve the peace deal with FARC. The mis-guided public listened to the right wing rhetoric of former President Alvaro Uribe.

Hurricane Matthew slams Haiti, heads to Florida.

Anyone watching the Veep debate tonight? I'll pass.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Monday :: October 03, 2016

Kim Kardashian Tied Up, Robbed in Paris Apartment

Kim Kardashian was robbed inside her Paris luxury apartment-hotel residence at 2:30 am. Apparently, the concierge, at gunpoint, let the robbers into Kardashian's unit.

Hours later the French Interior Ministry said five men threatened a concierge with a weapon, handcuffed him and forced him to open the door to Kim's apartment.


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Sunday :: October 02, 2016

Another Conservative Endorsement for Clinton as Trump Flails

The San Diego Union Tribune endorses Hillary Clinton. It's the paper's first endorsement of a Democrat in 168 years. The editorial is the least interesting one so far. I'm not linking due to auto-play video.

Shorter version: Trump is "vengeful, dishonest and impulsive" and Hillary is a safe choice.

In other Trump news, his latest campaign rally started really late (supposedly due to fog), he sounds like a crazy person, and (best news yet) people left early.

Two papers today say if Donald Trump loses North Carolina, he can't win -- and the state's not looking good for him.

As he swings more and more into desperation mode, I wonder at what point he just implodes.

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Saturday :: October 01, 2016

Saturday Night Trump Mocking and Open Thread

The New York Times publishes some of Donald Trump's tax records and says he may have avoided paying taxes for 18 years based on his loss amount for 1995.

Alec Baldwin plays the Thumper tonight on Saturday Night Live. [More...]

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Who Killed the Mexican Military in Badiraguato/Culiacan?

Through El Chapo's lawyer, his sons have denied the allegation they had anything to do with the attack on the military. The Mexican defense department says the man in the ambulance with the false name was indeed El Chapo's brother, Guano.

The Mexican media is rushing to judgment and claiming the sons of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman are responsible for killing a convoy of military persons who were taking a wounded man to the hospital following a shooting.

At a press conference, officials said :

The commander [Alfonso Duarte] said that the first attack was in the .....the municipality of Badiraguato, where monitoring the surveillance and combating drug trafficking, the military found a wounded man, identified as Julio Oscar Ortiz Vega, whom the military personnel led to the municipal head later to be moved to the square of Culiacan for health care.


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