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Friday :: March 20, 2015

ISIS Claims Credit for Yemen Bomb Blasts at Shi'ite Mosques

At least 137 people died in suicide bombing attacks at Houthi mosques in Sanaa, Yemen today. ISIS has released an official statement through its Wilayat Sanaa claiming credit.

Yemen is torn by a power struggle between the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in the north and Hadi, who has set up a rival power base in the south backed by Sunni-led Gulf Arab states.

The mosques in Sanaa are known to be used mainly by supporters of the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi group, which controls most of northern Yemen, including Sanaa.

According to Reuters, the ISIS statement (available here in Arabic, but loosely translatable with Bing or Google translator) said: [More...]

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March Madness Day 2

My ATS picks for Day 2 (outright winners in BOLD):

Duke -22 over Robert Morris, Providence -3 over Dayton, Iowa -2 over Davidson, Cal Irvine +8 over Louisville, Maryland -4 over Valparaiso, Wyoming +6 over Northern Iowa, North Dakota State +20 over Gonzaga, Belmont +17 over Virginia, Georgia +6 over Michigan State, Oklahoma -13 over Albany NY, Wichita State -5 over Indiana, Wisconsin -20 over Coastal Carolina, West Virginia -4 over Buffalo, San Diego State -4 over St John's, Oregon -2 over Oklahoma State, Kansas -10 over New Mexico State.

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$2 Million Bond Set for CO Woman in Womb Cutting Case

Who does something like this?

According to the arrest warrant, Dynel Lane, the mother of two teenagers, told her family she was pregnant. In December, 4 months ago, she showed them ultrasound photos. She once worked as some kind of nurse. She put an ad on Craig's list to sell baby clothes. An expectant mother, 7 months pregnant responded. When she arrives at Lane's home, Lane beats her and then performs a caesarian section on her with a three inch knife, taking out the baby. Lane puts the baby in the bathtub upstairs, leaving the expectant mother bleeding the bed in the basement.

Lane's husband comes home early from work, around 2:15 pm to take her to a pre-natal appointment. (Apparently he never noticed his wife wasn't pregnant.) When he got there, he starts to go down to the basement when suddenly Dynel Lane "turns a corner" and appears. She has blood on her. She tells him she had a miscarriage and the baby was upstairs in the tub. He runs upstairs and finds the baby in the tub. He said the baby gave a gasp. They leave to take the baby to the hospital. [More...]

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Thursday :: March 19, 2015

March Madness Day 1 Open Thread

Brackets are fun. I have a couple. But here are provided my individual game picks ATS for today with outright winners of each game in BOLD:

Northeastern +13˝ over Notre Dame; UAB +14 over Iowa State; Baylor -9 over Georgia State; Mississippi +2 over Xavier; Arizona -23 over Texas Southern; SMU -4 over UCLA; Texas -2 over Butler; Va Commonwealth +4 over Ohio State; Stephen Austin +7 over Utah;Villanova -22 over Lafayette; North Carolina -10 over Harvard; Cincinnati -1 over Purdue; Kentucky -34˝ over Hampton; Arkansas -7 over Wofford; LSU +2 over North Carolina State; Eastern Washington +8 over Georgetown.

Enjoy your brackets!

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Wednesday :: March 18, 2015

Wednesday Open Thread

Very busy at work today. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Tunisia Attack: Message From ISIS?

There was an attack today on the Bardo Museum in Tunisia. At least 11 people were killed, mostly foreign tourists. Other sources say the numbers are higher: (15 tourists, 1 Tunisian citizen, 1 museum employee, 2 policemen and two militant attackers.)

A few days ago, messages to Tunisia began appearing on ISIS Twitter accounts. Example: "Urgent. The Land of the Caliphate will soon sent you a message which will please you, God willing."

McClatchy says 7,000 Tunisian ISIS fighters have joined ISIS.

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Trump

The art of the clown:

Donald Trump will launch a presidential exploratory committee Wednesday, the eve of the business mogul’s return to New Hampshire. [. . .] According to Lewandowski, “Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett personally called Trump to offer another season of the “Apprentice” but Trump turned him down. “Nobody in the history of television has turned down a renewal,” Lewandowski said in a phone interview with the Union Leader. “But Mr. Trump can do that.” [My emphasis]
It's HUUUUUGE!!! It's history. The Art of the Clown.

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eGhazi Effect: Clinton Leads Bush, Walker by 55-40

This CNN poll has to be confounding for the Media:

The two candidates who currently top the GOP field, Bush and Walker, match up equally against Clinton, with each carrying 40% to her 55%. Huckabee gets 41% to Clinton's 55% and Carson has 40% to Clinton's 56%.

[Clinton's] prospects in 2016 appear largely unchanged compared to polls conducted before news broke about her use of a personal email address and home-based server while serving as secretary of state.

In the primaries, Bush leads the GOP pack with 16% to Walker's 13%. Not that that matters much as national polls don't tell you anything about Iowa and New Hampshire, where the stage is set. On the Dem side, Clinton holds a 50 point lead over Biden and Warren.

10 months to Iowa.

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Monday :: March 16, 2015

eGhazi: Dan Metcalfe appears to be ill informed

So Dan Metcalfe is back at it again. The former FOIA person for the Justice Department, with an assist from Politico, continues to spout uniformed nonsense on eGhazi. Some examples:

We now have former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton being revealed as someone who took the unprecedented step of arranging to use her personal email account for all of her official email communications.

But didn't Colin Powell do the same thing? I'm sure I read it somewhere. Why yes, here it is in, um, Politico:

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Monday Open Thread

I've got a busy day and the dentist. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Javier Espinosa: ISIS Hostage #43

Yesterday, released ISIS hostage Javier Espinosa, a journalist with El Mundo, provided his first account of his kidnapping and detention by ISIS, including his description of "Jihadi John", believed to be Mohammed Emwazi. It was in the Sunday Times (UK) which is subscription only, and only descriptions by other media outlets were available.

Fortunately, El Mundo, has published it for free in two installments. Each one is about 4,000 words. It is riveting to say the least. Espinosa was held with James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Alan Henning, Peter Kassig and the other Western journalists and hostages, and he discusses all of them.

Google Translate actually does a pretty good job with it. You can read the full first installment here and the second installment here. [More...]

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Sunday :: March 15, 2015

Ferguson Suspect in Police Shootings Charged

20 year old Jeffrey Williams has been arrested and charged with the Ferguson police shootings. Police say he may not have intended to shoot the officers. They say that's his story, they don't know if they "fully buy it."

“I’m not sure we completely buy that part of it,” the prosecutor said. “I wouldn't say he wasn't targeting police. I’m saying right now the evidence we have supports filing the charge that he may have been shooting at someone other than police and struck the police.”

He's not charged with attempted murder. The complaint is here. Protest organizers say they aren't familiar with Williams.

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Saturday :: March 14, 2015

The Plot Thins: State Dept regs require employees to decide what e-mails are preserved

Media Matters points us to State Dept Reg. 5 FAM 443.2:

E-mail message creators and recipients must decide whether a particular message is appropriate for preservation In making these decisions, all personnel should exercise the same judgment they use when determining whether to retain and file paper records.

We already know there was no prohibition until 2014 regarding the use of private e-mail accounts. We now know that, as a formal matter, even e-mails sent or received on State Department email account were not automatically preserved. Instead only those e-mails designated for preservation, by the determination of the individual holding the e-mail, would be preserved.

Hillary Clinton should have made these determinations in a timely manner. When she did not, after the effective date (in 2010) of the 2009 NARA regulation, she failed to comply in my opinion. (I do not accept her argument that she could rely on the determination of the recipient or sender from a .gov account.)

But in terms of laws and regulations, this has become "The Incredible Shrinking Scandal."

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Saturday Open Thread

Your turn. All topics welcome.

Update: I just sent out my thank you emails to those of you who responded to my latest "TalkLeft Appreciation Days" request. I really appreciate the help. It's also very gratifying to realize, given the vast array of sites to follow, that so many of you have been reading for so many years.

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Friday :: March 13, 2015

Oscar Pistorius: Eligible for Release Within Months

Oscar Pistorius may be eligible for release from prison by August. He would finish his sentence on home detention. The timing is significant because it is unlikely the appeals court will have heard the state's appeal by then.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Friday said it would only submit its transcripts to the High Court at the end of May; and a date for the appeal would only be set after both the State and defence file their heads of argument.

This will most likely take around two months, which means it would be heard once Pistorius becomes eligible for early release.

[More...]

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