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Sunday :: February 12, 2017

Grammys Tonight with James Corden Hosting

The Grammys' red carpet starts here in 30 minutes. I'm sure it's already streaming online, but as usual, the online websites are so disorganized, cluttered and slow, I'm not bothering. I'll wait to watch the condensed version on live TV.

The Grammy Awards website says there are 59 reasons to watch. I can think of one (besides the musical performances): James Corden is hosting.

Esquire has a new feature profile on James in its March issue, which you can read now here.

This thread is for the Grammys (not an open thread.) [More...]

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Sunday Night Open Thread

I have a separate thread up for the Grammys.

Here's an open thread for everything else.

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Snowden: A Gift or a Trade, or Just Fake News?

First, I don't believe the NBC News story that Russia intends to gift Edward Snowden to the U.S. The whole story seems to emanate from a suggestion former CIA deputy director Mike Morrell made last month:

What better way for President Putin to cement the personal tie than to give the President-Elect a high-profile gift -- Snowden. At the same time, what better way for President Putin to poke his finger in the eye of his adversary Barack Obama than to put Snowden on a plane at the very moment Mr. Obama is no longer president?

The New York Times reported on Morrell's suggestion and mentioned that Russia recently extended Snowden's residency for a few years. According to the New York Times, Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, addressed Morrell directly on Facebook:

“You spoke, Mr. Morrell, and now it’s clear to everybody that in your office, it’s normal to bring gifts in the form of people, and to hand over those who seek defense.”

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Saturday :: February 11, 2017

Dominican Newspaper Posts Photo of Baldwin as Trump

Too funny. El Nacional, a newspaper in the Dominican Republic carried an article on Donald Trump and Israel. But it mistakenly posted a photo of Alec Baldwin as Trump, next to a correct photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The paper has now issued a correction.

So will Trump add the Dominican Republic to his ban? Probably not, since Eric Trump just visited there last week, and may plan to relaunch a long ago stalled business project there called Cap Cana (that ended in lawsuits.)

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Sears and K-Mart Remove Ivanka Trump Merchandise

Ivanka Trump merchandise will no longer be available to purchase online by Sears and KMart, due to lagging sales.

“As part of the company’s initiative to optimize its online product assortment, we constantly refine that assortment to focus on our most profitable items … Amid that streamlining effort, 31 Trump Home items were among the items removed online this week,” spokesperson Brian Hanover announced.

Thank you Sears and KMart. (They don't carry Trump branded items in their stores.)

The WSJ reports that sales of Ivanka Trump merchandise started slumping big time weeks before the election. Nordstrom's denies giving its sales data to the WSJ. [More...]

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Massive Raids By ICE

Shades of 2011 in 2017, 2006, and earlier. ICE is on the warpath once again.

What we need is a path to legalization, respect for family re-unification, and an ICE meltdown.[More...]

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Friday :: February 10, 2017

Trump Channels ACLU Donation Request

Typical Trumpicide -- quote a phrase successfully used against you by your opponents and get ridiculed. Donald Trump has responded to the 9th Circuit decision by tweeting "See You In Court."

What a moronic thing to say, considering that's where he has been and he's been losing. Does he even realize he's channeling the ACLU? The ACLU has been using this graphic for three months . When the ACLU first posted it along with a request for donations in November, it had its biggest fundraising day ever -- more than $15 million. (That's now been surpassed by $24 million in donations received just during the weekend he tried to enforce his Muslim ban.)

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More Incompetence: Spicer Confuses Orlando and Atlanta

The last terrorist attack in Atlanta was in 1996 -- it was committed by homegrown terrorist Eric Rudolph. But don't tell Sean Spicer, who mentioned Atlanta attacks three times in two press statements in two days. Now he says he obviously meant Orlando when he said Atlanta.

Loose lips sink ships. The Trump Administration is filled with dangerous neophytes, from the occupant of the Oval office on down, who don't know their as* from their elbow (as my grandmother used to say).

I'm purposely ignoring his counselor who got counseled yesterday because in my view, she is now officially the most unimportant person in America and I refuse to expend keystrokes on her.

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Thursday :: February 09, 2017

Trump Loses in 9th Circuit: No Stay of Lower Court Immigration Order

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Donald Trump's request for an emergency stay of a lower court order blocking implementation of his Executive Order denying visas to persons from seven countries for 90 days as unconstitutional:

{W]e hold that the Government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury, and we therefore deny its emergency motion for a stay.

You can read the 9th Circuit's ruling here. [More...]

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Pres. Pena Nieto Meets With Returning Deportees, Offers Help

President Peña Nieto went to the airport Tuesday to meet with a bunch of people being deported from the U.S. He met with them in a private room for around an hour, an assured them they would be provided jobs and assistance to rebuild their lives.

...They are not alone, do not feel abandoned, the doors of this house will always be open," Peña Nieto told the group of deportees, according to the press release sent by the Mexican Presidency.

Wish we had a man in charge who felt that way.

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Wednesday :: February 08, 2017

Wednesday Night Open Thread: Trumpicide

With every step, Donald Trump comes closer to self-annihilating. An op-ed in The Guardian today, When a president fights the law, there's only ever one winner, calls it Trumpicide:

Donald Trump’s fury at a federal judge who overturned his immigration order betrays his deep – and dangerous – ignorance of the constitution

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Senate Confirms Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

The Senate just confirmed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Vote talley here.

One Dem, Joe Manchin of W Va voted for him.
No Republican voted against him.
Two independents joined with Dems and voted no.

Final vote: 52 to 47. (Sessions didn't vote.)

The clapping sounded like a toilet flushing (I only have audio here.)

How demoralizing, to quote Neil Gorsuch, about Trump's comments on the 9th Circuit judges.

Tom Price, who reportedly wants to gut Medicare, is up for a Cloture vote now.

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Trump's Plan to Bolster Guantanamo With ISIS

Trump now wants to put any future ISIS detainees at Gitmo.

Here is the draft of his proposed executive order.

Sec. 2. Continuing State of Armed Conflict With Terrorist Groups. The United States remains engaged in an armed conflict with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces, including individuals and networks associated with the Islamic State.

Sec.3. Military Detention of Aliens at Naval Station Guøntanamo Bay. (a) Subject to further direction from the President and consistent with the requirements of law, the Secretary of Defense shall maintain and continue to use the detention facilities at the U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, for the detention of enemy combatants captured in the armed conflict described in section 2 of this order, including such individuals captured after the effective date of this order.

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Ivanka Trump Brand Boycott Grows

#GrabYourWallet is working. After Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, TJ Maxx has decided to disassociate from the Ivanka Trump brand. Her father's tweet against Nordstrom didn't hurt Nordstrom, it's stock is slightly up today.

So where can you now find Ivanka's merchandise? According to AV Club, on EBay and in bargain bins.

Trump's actions are taking a toll on the Trump brand.

For more, go to GrabYourWallet. The companies on the left column (in green) are safe to shop at.

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Tuesday :: February 07, 2017

9th Circuit to Live Stream Trump Immigration Argument

Bump and Update:

Hearing begins in two hours (3 pm PT)

From the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals:

The oral argument scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. PST will be available for live streaming through the court’s public website.

Here is the direct link to the live-stream.

Here is the reply brief arguing against Trump's request for an emergency stay of the lower court order. Lots of amicus briefs have been filed on both sides. Former government officials, including John Kerry, Madeline Albright and more, have filed a statement opposing Trump's request for a stay of the lower court order. They explain in detail why Trump's order endangers the United States. [More...]

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