Friday :: November 24, 2023

13 Hamas Captives Released

24 Hamas hostages were released today. They include 13 Israelis, 10 Thais and one Filipino.

The Israeli hostages were all seized at the Nir Oz kibbutz on October 7. They are : Margalit Moses, Adina Moshe, Danielle Aloni and her daughter Emilia, Doron Asher and her daughters Raz and Aviv, Hanna Katzir, Keren Munder and her son Ohad, Ruti Munder, Yaffa Adar, and Hannah Perry.

200 trucks carrying humanitarian aid proceeded through the Rafah, Egypt crossing,where they transferring food, medicine, supplies and fuel to international organizations.

Israel's Prime Minister and the IDF spokespeople today said Israel remains committed not only to the release of all hostages, but to continuing its military battle to destroy Hamas forever when the humanitarian pause ends.

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Israeli Hostage Release Set for 9:00 am ET

4:00 am MT (6 am ET): I've been glued to the news all evening about the Qatari-brokered deal between Israel and Hamas for a four day pause in fighting during which 50 women and child hostages seized by Hamas in Israel on October 7th will be exchanged for 150 women and teenage prisoners held in Israeli jails, and an Israeli promise to allow around 400 trucks of aid, including fuel, to enter Gaza from Egypt.

The terms of the deal have been reported over and over again. I guess once more won't hurt: [More...]

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Monday :: November 20, 2023

R.I.P. Rosalynn Carter and Open Thread

Rosalynn Carter has died at age 96, two days after she entered home hospice.

She and former President Jimmy Carter were married for 77 years. Here is the statement he issued today.

Our condolences to former President Carter and the entire Carter family.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Tuesday :: November 07, 2023

Donald Trump Testifies, Ivanka's Next

Donald Trump has finished his testimony. Ivanka is next, and last.

I suspect Ivanka either will claim a lack of knowledge or inability to recall to questions as to property values. Shorter version: Ivanka, like Don Jr., will claim "It's not my job". But Ivanka was involved in sales. There's the Ocean Club in Panama City.. There's Trump Soho.

Her own lawyer said, when Trump was first elected:

“She has the conflicts that derive from the ownership of this brand. We’re trying to minimize those to the extent possible."

Donald said Ivanka was going to be his "eyes and ears".

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Election Day in America 2023

We get the Government we elect.

Please don't forget to vote.

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Tuesday :: October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween and Open Thread

Happy Halloween to all of you who just love, love, love this holiday. If you costumed up as a real person or character, please let us know who you chose.

For any of you who went trick or treating, let us know if you got your favorite candy and what it is. And if you put a "no candy here" sign on your front door, let us know that, too.

I think it's good to put a little merriment in the air for one night -- we could all use a night's relief from the horrible suffering, cruelty and death we're watching and reading about 24/7 in the Middle East. May the war be over soon.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: October 25, 2023

Trump Former Legal Advisor Jenna Ellis Pleads to Felony in GA Case

Former Trump legal advisor Jenna Ellis pleaded guilty in Georgia yesterday to a felony count of aiding and abetting false writings or statements. The RICO charge against her will be dismissed. She was sentenced, by agreement, to five years of probation. The Associated Press described Ellis' role in Trump's 2020 election campaign:

Ellis was a leading voice in the Trump campaign’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, appearing frequently on television and conservative media to tell lies about widespread fraud that did not occur and spread misinformation and conspiracy theories.

More about the Georgia plea below. But first, Ellis also holds a Colorado law license. In March, 2023, she was publicly ensured by the Colorado Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel for promoting falsehoods about the validity of the 2020 election results. [More...]

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Tuesday :: October 24, 2023

Michael Cohen Testifies in Trump's NY Civil Fraud Trial

Michael Cohen testified against Donald Trump today in the state AG civil fraud case. The complaint in the case is here.

As expected, Cohen testified Trump purposefully and arbitrarily inflated the worth of his assets. It reminds me of a "paint by numbers" art set, with Trump Org. assets as the painted objects.

“I was tasked by Mr. Trump to increase the total assets based upon a number that he arbitrarily elected,” Mr. Cohen testified, saying that it was his responsibility to “increase those assets in order to achieve the number.”


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Wednesday :: October 11, 2023

Republicans Nominate Steve Scalise for House Speaker

CNN reports that Republicans have nominated LA Congressman Steve Scalise to replace McCarthy as Speaker of the House. His success is not guaranteed as a majority of the House will need to vote for him.

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Saturday :: October 07, 2023

Hamas Attacks Israel, Israel Says It Is At War

Hamas today launched the biggest strike against Israel since the 1973 Yom Kippur war -- and maybe since 1948. Israel has responded, saying "We are at War."

Some guests on CNN said this is a massive failure of intelligence by Israel. Others said because the Palestinians don't use cell phones and have gone off the electronic grid to avoid being tracked, Israel has never been able to conduct surveillance inside Gaza. That sounds like a weak explanation to me. What value is their intelligence if it can't detect imminent danger from its enemies?

Hamas must have been planning this strike for months, or even longer. It clearly wasn't a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of attack. [More...]

Hamas sent 150 rockets just to Tel Aviv. CNN said 200 Israelis were killed in the Hamas strike.

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Friday :: September 29, 2023

Friday Open Thread

It's time for a new open thread. In non-Trump news:

  • Sen. Diane Feinstein has died at age 91.
  • El Chapo's youngest son, Ovidio Guzman, has been extradited to Chicago, charged with many crimes, related to cocaine and meth. It's the same 2009 case that began with Vicente Zambada-Niebla, the son of El Mayo, Ismael Zambada-Garcia, who along with El Chapo, led the Sinaloa cartel for many years. Ovidio is charged in the 12th Superseding Indictment in the case. He's pleaded not guilty and is represented by Jeffrey Lichtman, the New York lawyer who was the lead lawyer for El Chapo at his trial, and who then represented El Chapo's wife Emma, who is already done with her prison sentence and back in Mexico with her daughters.
  • The Washington Post reports Yiddish is making a comeback. I only know a few words, since no one in my household spoke it, but here's a phrase I never heard before: "zolst vaksn tzibbeles im pipik" which translates to: "You should grow onions in your belly button".
    It would make a great ending to any post about Donald Trump and his supporters.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Thursday :: September 28, 2023

The Trumps' New York Fraud Case: Trial on Monday?

A state appeals court in New York denied a request by the Trumps to continue the civil fraud trial set to begin Monday. The allegations include that Trump and Trump International and at least two of his children fraudulently lied to lenders and insurers by overvaluing their assets by billions of dollars. The original Complaint is here.

Trump has likely lost the case already, given the Court's grant of summary judgment on several counts last week. The judge also imposed monetary sanctions on his lawyers, for repeatedly making arguments it and higher courts had ruled frivolous. [More...]

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