Friday :: July 22, 2016

Munich: Lone Shooter, Native German, Killed Himself

Update: Not ISIS, not any terror group. 18 year old David Ali Sonboly was just another loony teenage wolf acting on his own. He was obsessed with shooting rampages. He had undergone psychiatric treatment. He was depressed. He had been bullied at school. He lived with his family. His parents are Shiite Muslims (the enemy of ISIS which is Sunni) who migrated to Germany. He was a child of migrants, not a migrant hater. His target was kids. He didn't use a long rifle but a handgun, which had been stolen, not acquired lawfully.

So this had no connection to ISIS or Islam and was not motivated by right wing racism or Germany's migrant policy. The media sure got this one wrong.

Bump and Update: Munich police held a press conference on the shootings. There was one shooter and he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. Police say he acted alone. He has been identified him as an 18 year old native born German of Iranian descent. He had been in Munich for at least 2 years and was not known to law enforcement. Police say they doubt he was not affiliated with any terrorist group. [More...]

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WaPo Editorial: Trump "Uniquely Unqualfied" to be President

The Washington Post published this incredibly harsh editorial today trashing Donald Trump.

The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions.

... A Trump presidency would be dangerous for the nation and the world.


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Estate of George Harrison Complains About RNC Unauthorized Use of Music

Via the Associated Press:

[George] Harrison's family tweeted Friday that the use of the song "Here Comes the Sun" during the introduction of candidate Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka was not authorized, and was "offensive and against the wishes of the George Harrison estate."


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Hillary to Name VP Choice Today

The AP reports Hillary Clinton has signaled she will announce her running mate today.

In a tweet Friday morning, her campaign urged supporters to text the campaign to get first word. Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine had emerged as the leading contender, according to Democrats familiar with Clinton's search.

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Thursday :: July 21, 2016

Trump's Dark and Stormy Speech

Bump and Update: Call the plagiarism cops -- I think Dick Wolf wrote Donald Trump's speech. Funniest lines so far: "How great are the police? How great is Cleveland?" and "I am your law and order candidate."

The AP fact-checks Trump's speech.

He's dreaming if he thinks Bernie Sanders' supporters will vote for him in droves. There aren't that many angry, marginalized, bigoted police-lovers among those eligible to vote.

Ivanka looked great and gave a true Daddy's girl speech. Since it was all about Trump, there's no reason to think it was a copy cat speech. Melania looked miserable as she spoke. Young Baron couldn't stop fidgeting. Ivanka didn't endorse a single one of his political views. (She said she's an Independent.) She made a lot of claims about Trump's business prowess and his laudable treatment of mothers in the workplace. (That sounds more like her issue than his)[More...]

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DNC Announces Additional Speakers

Hillary Clinton is doing a good job of keeping people guessing as to her Vice Presidential choice.

The DNC today announced this list of additional speakers for the Convention. The previously released list of headliner speakers for the convention is here (and includes Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders, Obama and Biden and DREAMer Astrid Silva. Today's announcement says more speakers will be named in the coming days. [More...]

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Thursday Open Thread

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Reading Too Much Into ISIS Losses, Too Little Into Turkey

There's a tendency by many to assume because ISIS is losing ground in Syria and Iraq, and its number of fighters has declined, that ISIS is a problem that will soon self-destruct.

Respected researcher and analyst Scott Atran (whose insightful articles I've quoted before) has a new article in the New York Review of Books, ISIS: The Durability of Chaos, which focuses on what to expect after these recent ISIS losses. I highly recommend reading it.

Another still relevant article co-written by Atran: Paris: The War ISIS Wants [More...]

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Trump: The Art of Laziness

Incirlik Air Base in Turkey houses NATO's largest storage of nuclear weapons.

According to Hans M. Kristensen, the director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, underground vaults at Incirlik hold about fifty B-61 hydrogen bombs—more than twenty-five per cent of the nuclear weapons in the nato stockpile. The nuclear yield of the B-61 can be adjusted to suit a particular mission. The bomb that destroyed Hiroshima had an explosive force equivalent to about fifteen kilotons of TNT. In comparison, the “dial-a-yield” of the B-61 bombs at Incirlik can be adjusted from 0.3 kilotons to as many as a hundred and seventy kilotons.

In the face of current world problems, the prospect of a Trump presidency becomes almost a nightmare scenario. The New York Times has published the transcript of its interview with Trump on Turkey and NATO. Matt Yglesias at Vox explains why he's so dangerous, starting with his laziness. [More...]

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Michelle Obama Rocks it Out With James Corden

Here's the full version of Carpool Karaoke with First Lady Michelle Obama and James Corden, with Missy Elliott along for part of the ride.

Michelle Obama had all the moves and perfect timing. Not to mention incredibly toned arms. She really rocked it out. And James Corden...I just don't know where he gets all that talent from, his adorable parents notwithstanding. Even the opening scene where he gets ordered around by the White House Guard was funny. He sings, dances, tell jokes, has perfect delivery and timing, his monologues are funny, and he is just so happy while he's doing all this. I'm still a huge fan.

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Wednesday :: July 20, 2016

The Unwatchable RNC

I made it through the last 10 minutes of Eric Trump's speech. I actually thought he did a credible job (I only cringed once, when he followed up a reference to undocumented residents as being illegal.) While waiting for the next speaker, I learned from the CBS crew that Ted Cruz didn't endorse Trump when he spoke and got booed, and that the convention's video monitor system failed so there is no watching the speakers on a big screen if you are in the convention hall tonight.

Earlier I read the Trump campaign released a statement from a campaign worker who admitted being responsible for Melania's copycat speech. She said she offered to resign but Trump said no -- people make mistakes.

Apparently, Marco Rubio addressed the convention by video and didn't endorse Trump. [More..]

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Tuesday :: July 19, 2016

Tuesday Night Open Thread: RNC Alternative TV Watching

Donald Trump is the official nominee of the Republican Party.

More interesting: Last's night 3 hour finale for Senor de Los Cielos. Here is the last hour of the finale with the wedding and huge shootout (instigated by the Mexican marines and police):

Or, you can watch a preview of Michelle Obama who will appear tomorrow night on the Late Late Show with James Corden doing carpool karaoke.


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Trump: Carnival Barkers But no Champions

Queen is complaining that he continues to use "We are the Champions" after being asked not to.

Even musicians supporting Republicans are missing from the appearance list at the convention.

Maybe Republicans don't think they need music when they have Rudy Giuliani to scream like a hyena who didn't get his morning meds.

The New York Times in an editorial trashes Donald Trump and Republicans on the issues.

And Donald Trump's ghostwriter for "The Art of the Deal" tells the New York he's sorry now he put lipstick on the pig to make Trump look good in the book.

“I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

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Melania Trump Channels Michelle Obama

The speeches speak for themselves:

Melania told Matt Lauer she wrote the speech herself, with as little help as possible.

Republicans say it was no big deal. Really? It was when Joe Biden did it: [More...]

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Monday :: July 18, 2016

The Alternate Universe Launches in Prime Time

The Republican convention is here. It's like watching an alternate universe. Who are these people and where did they come from? Who do they think they represent? Certainly not Americans or American values.

Melania Trump makes her debut tonight. The whole thing should be called the Trump family hour. It feels like an episode of the Apprentice except for the annoying pundits and news anchors with nothing to say. Tomorrow night, Trump's daughter with 2nd wife Marla Maples gets to speak. Who could possibly care what she has to say? And of course, we'll hear from Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. Why not let the nannies who raised them speak too? How about George from the Appentice? Maybe Ivana Trump has something to say. [More...]

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