Thursday :: April 21, 2016

R.I.P. Prince and Open Thread

Prince has died at his home in Minnesota at age 57. He cancelled a few concerts earlier in the week for medical reasons.

The singer – full name Prince Rogers Nelson – had a medical emergency on April 15th that forced his private jet to make an emergency landing in Illinois. But he appeared at a concert the next day to assure his fans he was okay. His people told TMZ he was battling the flu. Prior to his most recent appearance however, Prince had cancelled two shows due to health concerns.

His final days. R.I.P. Prince. Added: James Corden's heartfelt tribute to Prince.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: April 20, 2016

Mission Creep : 5,000 U.S. Troops in Iraq

Time Magazine reports on the slow but steady increase of U.S. troop presence in Iraq. Apparently, it's in preparation for the upcoming battle to retake Mosul from ISIS.

Unless you have a loved one in the U.S. military, you probably haven’t been aware of the slow-but-steady increase in American troops on the ground inside Iraq.... On Monday, Pentagon officials said the total U.S. troop presence in Iraq would grow by more than 200 troops—to a deployed force of 4,087—as Baghdad and Washington prepare to take Mosul back from ISIS.

Troops on temporary assignment in Iraq, those guarding diplomatic outposts—or those rotating in to replace troops who haven’t left yet—aren’t included under that 4,087 ceiling. When they are, Pentagon officials say, the total U.S. troops presence in Iraq is creeping toward 5,000.


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Tuesday :: April 19, 2016

Hillary's Victory Speech: The Home Stretch

Hillary is beaming, on stage with Bill and Chelsea.

"Thank You New York. Today you proved once again, there's no place like home."

..."New Yorkers, you've always had my back, and I've tried to have yours."

Hillary Clinton won big in New York -- 59.2% as of now to 40.8% for Bernie. She even won Brooklyn.

"To those who supported Sanders, I believe there is more that unites us than divides us"

She says the race is in the home stretch. "This campaign is the only one, Democrat or Republican, to win more than 10 million votes." [More...]

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New York Primary Thread

Early exit polls have trickled in and reading the tea leaves I think they're good for Clinton. Caveat - first wave notoriously unreliable.

I may add more here tonight - still 3 more hours of voting. In the meantime, I tweet - @armandodkos.

Hearing last wave of exits have it closer 8-10. I'm skeptical. But let's count the votes.

My source was right. Trump wins. Exits don;t show Clinton with big enough margin to call the race.

Hillary Wins!

Worst exit poll miss in history.

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Tuesday Open Thread

Lunch break between court and the jail is over. I'm not sure when I'll get back online, so here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Trump vs Cruz vs Kasich

Update: Trump won big, 60% of the vote so far, and 84 of 95 delegates. Kasich did pretty good for him.(25% of vote and 2 delegates.) Cruz bombed. Zero delegates. Here's a funny and short Washington Post video about Kasich eating his way through New York, he really looks like he's enjoying himself. Interesting exit poll number from Fox: 60% of NY Republicans are either concerned or scared about the prospect of a Ted Cruz presidency.

Original Post: All news seems to have auto-play video when it comes to Republicans. Here's a thread to talk about the Republican race for the nomination. Is Kasich picking up steam? I think it will either be Trump or Kasich. No one is going to nominate Ted Cruz. Republicans might as well nominate no one, since Cruz has zero chance of winning in November.

He looks more and more like an undertaker to me.

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New York Primary Day

New York Primary day is finally here. There are 291 delegates up for grabs. Hillary is expected to win, but the margin may be less than expected. Even so, the road ahead for Bernie gets rockier and rockier.

[T]he current state of the race means Sanders will have to win more than 56 percent of the delegates in New York, and every other state on the calendar, to overtake Clinton. Because of this, Sanders would need to do more than just outperform the polls to come out ahead: He needs to beat Clinton by several points to make a difference.

Run, Hillary, Run. If you're in New York, get out and vote.

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The Evolving Global Drug War

The U.N. holding its first special session on the global war on drugs in 20 years. Cracks are showing, but there's a long way to go.

The countries clashed over the death penalty for drug traffickers. Indonesia is unrepentant.


The governments of Mexico and Central and South America seem more attuned to the problems:[More...]

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Sunday :: April 17, 2016

Clooney and Friends Raise Huge Amount for Hillary and Dems

Bernie Sanders is bent out of shape because George Cloony and other Hollywood stars and bigwigs raised millions for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party this weekend. He really just wishes Clooney had chosen him.

Clooney agreed the amount of money raised is obscene, but he's not apologizing. [More...]

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Thursday :: April 14, 2016

Thursday Night Open Thread

If you aren't into tonight's Democratic Debate or the Republican Gala, here's an open thread to discuss other topics. As for me, I'm pretty much focused on what I'm now calling "alternative TV watching" and ISIS news.

For alternative TV watching, Viceland is replaying six episodes of F*ck That's Delicious, with NY chef turned rapper, Action Bronson and crew. You can watch online or on cable. I think the episodes called Culinary Athleticism (filmed in New York) and "The Showdown in Lamb Alley" (filmed in Morocco, trailer below)are the best.


And while I wasn't crazy about the host of Viceland's series States of Undress in the first episode about Fashion Week in Pakistan , the most recent episode on Venezuelan beauty queens was very good. Host Haily Gates has grown on me. I actually like watching her now. [More...]

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Hillary and Bernie Debate in Brooklyn

We've been spared Democratic debates for a month. There's one beginning in a few minutes on CNN.
If anyone's watching (and I will watch some)here's a place for your thoughts on it.

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Republican Gala in NYC

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich are speaking tonight at a Republican gala at the Grand Hyatt hotel on 42nd St. in New York City.

Will Trump remind everyone he built the hotel at age 27, and 20 years later sold his interest for $140 million? It was his first big real estate deal. In 1976, the hotel was called The Commodore, and really run-down.

Here's a thread to discuss the Republican event tonight.

Update: Trump did indeed begin with his Hyatt hotel deal and he went on and on about it for far too long.

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Parole Board Recommends Parole for Leslie van Houten

Is the 20th time the charm for former Charles Manson follower Leslie van Houten, imprisoned since 1969 for the La Bianca murders? The parole board in California today agreed to recommend she be granted parole. Although she has been a minor inmate, her prior 19 requests were denied. The final decision will be up to Gov. Jerry Brown.

I've supported her parole here on TalkLeft since 2002. [More..]

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Dabiq 14, John Cantlie and Other ISIS News

The CBC has a new interview (you can read it without having to watch a video) with Belgian jihadist tracker Pieter Van Ostaeyen (who I've been reading and quoting for over a year a half.) From the new interview:

Few understand ISIS like Van Ostaeyen. And what he sees now is a mutation in the group, in the rhetoric and the recruiting. He points out that the language is less about Islamic fundamentalism and is increasingly focused on the notion of revenge.

"What they really want … is the clash of civilizations," he says. Revenge for what ISIS claims the West has done to Iraq and Syria. And the more ground ISIS loses there, the more the group lusts for bloodshed in Europe.

He says Western intelligence has failed for the simple reason they have no idea what they are looking for. What they should be looking for now: those with criminal backgrounds, not religious extremists. [More...]

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Wednesday :: April 13, 2016

DA to Announce No Prosecution of Trump Campaign Manager

According to Politico, Palm Beach County Attorney David Aronberg will announce tomorrow there will be no prosecution of Donald Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski for battery.

Aronberg would not comment, but in a POLITICO interview last week, he pointed out that Jupiter police had a low “probable cause” standard to cite Lewandowski for battery. But the responsibility for moving forward with a full-blown prosecution rested with Aronberg’s office, which had to consider whether a crime occurred and whether they believed a jury of Floridians would prosecute.

(I think the last word in that quote was meant to be "convict" not prosecute.) Lewandowski was cited by the Jupiter, FL police for allegedly grabbing the arm of ex-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields who wanted to ask Trump a question after a news conference.

Miami attorney David Marcus told Politico while Lewandowski's conduct might technically fit the battery statute, it's not a wise use of the state's resources. [More...]

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