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Wednesday :: March 14, 2018

Wednesday Open Thread

Physicist Stephen Hawkings has died. He was 76.

A former sheriff's deputy named Michael Hari who put in a bid to build Trump's border wall has been arrested on arson and illegal possession of firearms charges in relation to in a mosque bombing of in MN and an attempted bombing of a women's health clinic that provided abortions in Illinois.

The FBI alleges in the affidavit to the Complaint:

[Informants told the FBI] Hari said he would pay McWhorter and Morris $18,000 for their participation in the mosque bombing, according to the FBI affidavit. All three men allegedly drove up to Minnesota in a rented truck for the attack.

As to the mosque: m[More...]

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Tuesday :: March 13, 2018

Rex Tillerson Fired

Donald Trump has fired Rex Tillerson. CIA Chief Pompeo will replace him.

Gina Haspel will be in charge of the CIA.

She reportedly ran a secret prison in Thailand in 2002 where terrorism suspects were waterboarded and subjected to other so-called enhanced interrogations.

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Saturday :: March 10, 2018

Saturday Open Thread

Trump is considering the death penalty for drug dealers. Newt Gingrich once tried that.

Our last open thread is full, here is a new one.
All topics welcome.

(210 comments) Permalink :: Comments

Tuesday :: March 06, 2018

Sam Nunberg's Late Night Rant to NY Magazine

Sam Nunberg wasn't done when he got off TV Monday night. At 11:30 pm, he called New York Magazine. Here's a transcript.

He thinks Jared stole money from the pile that Brad Parscale got from the campaign for his digital marketing work. He admits he has no evidence of this.

He claims he and Roger Stone were responsible for Trump's win. He hates Lewandowski and Hope Hicks (who he basically said rode Lewandowski's coattails to inch her way up.)

Here's the list of people whose communications he says were sought by Mueller. I wonder why Jared and Parscale weren't on it.

Nunberg has been stewing in resentment for a long time. I read a similar interview with him days before his meltdown. (Haven't found it again yet, I'll update if I do.)

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Monday :: March 05, 2018

Trump Says He May Visit Jerusalem for Opening of US Embassy

Netanyahu is in Washington to speak at the AIPAC conference. He's in trouble at home in a few corruption cases. He and his wife were questioned this weekend in a bribery plot. At least one close member of his staff flipped and said he was in on a plot to bribe media outlets. The principal advisor accusing him is Netanyahu’s "longtime confidant, journalist turned media adviser."

Hefetz was the mover, shaker, planner and executor of their darkest desires. He can testify to all four of the “major” investigations in which Netanyahu is involved or implicated, as well as to his own pivotal role in an alleged attempt to bribe a judge with an appointment as attorney general, in exchange for a pledge not to prosecute Sara Netanyahu.

Donald Trump met with Netanyahu today at the White House. Trump said he may visit Jerusalem in May for the opening of the new U.S. embassy.

The Embassy opening pertains to a retrofit of an old building. The actual embassy that is planned is years away from being built.

Will Jared go too? Or are peace talks DOA since the Palestineans won't agree to them.

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Turkey Arrests 4 Suspected ISIS Members in U.S. Embassy Plot

This weekend, the U.S. embassy in Turkey was closed due to unspecified threats.

Yesterday, Turkey arrested four suspected ISIS members who were plotting an attack on the embassy. The four are Iraqi.

Turkey says it got the information from U.S sources.

“Upon intelligence coming to our units from U.S. sources that terrorist actions could be undertaken targeting the U.S. Embassy and where U.S. citizens are staying, security measures have been reviewed and extra measures have been taken,” the Governor’s Office said.

Elswhere in Turkey, another 12 foreign suspected ISIeS members have been arrested, and Turkish police are searching for another 8.

Those who have been detained are being "accused of trying to recruit members for ISIL and were 'in contact with people in conflict zones.' ”

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Sunday :: March 04, 2018

Oscars Open Thread

I'm a little late posting this, and I missed the red carpet (but I'll catch up), so here is a running update by CBS, including a recap of Jimmy Kimmel's opening.

This is an open thread for all things Oscar related.

(54 comments) Permalink :: Comments

Sunday Open Thread

Italy is holding elections today. I wonder who is paying for Steve Bannon to be there?

Donald Trump is running for President again in 2020. Jared made a big announcement that Brad Parscale, the former website builder turned digital strategist and Facebook ad expert who unearthed Trump's underinformed, margainalized rural voters, will chair the re-election committee. The Trump campaign's digital marketing effort is still being investigated by Mueller and congressional committees. Parscale was tapped by Kushner for his role in the 2016 campaign. Now, he's brought Lara Trump on board for the 2020 campaign.

Homeowners at a Trump-managed hotel/condo in Panama City are fighting to get him out, claiming the Trump Org. has mismanaged the property and driven down occupancy rates and the value of their units.

I still like this article on the buyers who got nothing from a planned Trump Org. hotel in Baja, that never got built. People bought in because they believed he was developing the project. Ivanka Trump refuted that Trump Org. claimed to develop the property as opposed to just licensing its name, and said the Trump Org. was also a victim. I think the buyer's quoted in the article are more convincing.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome. Vent at your own pace. I'll put up another one in a few hours for the Oscars.

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The Many Travails of Jared Kushner

According to many media reports, Jared Kushner's role in setting White House policy may be ending. Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election is broadening, and according to media sources and some who have been questioned by Mueller, the interest in Kushner's finances and whether there have been conflicts of interest is growing.

Vox has a good article summing up all Jared's travails, with source links. The New York Times added another yesterday.

There have been reports even Trump wants Jared and Ivanka to return to NY.

Mueller seems to be questioning everyone. I wonder where it will end for Jared: will he be cleared? Will he take a pre-indictment plea to some lesser charge and agree to cooperate against other Mueller targets, or will he hold on, and fight?

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Thursday :: March 01, 2018

Hope Hicks Resigns

Hope Hicks has resigned as Donald Trump's communications director.

Hicks is reportedly the closest of anyone to Donald Trump. The New York Times says Trump is Losing a Limb.

Describing their relationship, Michael Wolff, in Fire and Fury (p. 260) says: [More...]

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Tuesday :: February 27, 2018

Report: Kushner Loses Security Access to Daily Briefings

Reuters is reporting Jared Kushner has lost his interim security clearance that allows him access to Trump's daily briefings.

A third official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recently passed new information to White House Counsel Don McGahn that led to the slowing or stopping of Kushner’s pending clearance application. The nature of that information was not clear.

It also is unclear if and when Kushner’s access to the briefing, known as the PDB, which requires clearance higher than the Top Secret level, would be reinstated.

Reuters reports this is unconfirmed, and it's not clear if or why he was refused permanent clearance but sources say has to do with his financial dealings.

This may mean nothing since Reuters also reports that Trump is authorized personally to grant him a top secret clearance. But there is more....[More...]

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Open Thread: Back from the Other Side

Yes, I know that I have been absent from blogging for a week, with no open threads. I have no excuse besides work -- I was so inundated that I felt like if I even took a minute out to check on TalkLeft, it would turn into hours (as it so often does) and I'd fall hopelessly behind.

The deluge of deadlines ended today. That doesn't mean I'm in the clear, and can return to hours of reading news every night. But it does mean I won't be gone for days at a time.

For those of you that are still reading, I hope that's good news. I have caught up with events on all things Russia-related, and I did finally dump my new Android phone and switch back to an iPhone (I got the iphone X and and feel like I'm in back in control of my life, I will never understand why anyone chooses anything other than an iPhone )so all is good.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Trump's History in Moments of Danger

Trump says he would have rushed into a high school under attack by a shooter without a weapon. How laughable is the claim? The Washington Post reviews his history when it comes to situations that could put him in danger.

Remember during the campaign when he said he could walk down Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and get away with it?

Can anyone spell delusional?

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Friday :: February 16, 2018

Another Day, Another Marital Affair Allegation Against Trump

The New Yorker reports on an affair Donald Trump had with a Playboy Model while he was married to Melania, just months after Barron was born.

This story, which had been purchased from McDougal before the election but never publicly released, is considered significant by the New Yorker in part because it shows how Trump had a pattern and method of concealing his actions and finances.

I thought it was interesting because it describes how she attended events that Trump attended with his family and met his children.

On the other hand, it's written by Ronan Farrow, who seems to me to be a personal crusade, first with his father Woody Allen, then with Harvey Weinstein, and now with Trump. I wish the article had been written by someone more neutral on the case.

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4th Cir. Appeals Court Rejects Trump's Muslim Ban

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia voted 8 to 4 against Donald Trump's third version of a travel ban on Muslims from specific countries.

Trump signed the third ban in September. Unlike the first two versions, which were temporary, this one permanently bans people from six Muslim-majority countries. It also bans people from North Korea, which sends almost no one to the United States, and a handful of government officials from Venezuela.

The 285 page opinion is here. The Court used Trump's own words to support its ruling. The Court said his words demonstrated that the policy was grounded in bias.

The court pointed to “undisputed evidence that the President of the United States has openly and often expressed his desire to ban those of Islamic faith from entering the United States.”

[More...]

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