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Thursday :: July 20, 2017

Thursday Open Thread

Sorry about the lack of open threads the past few days. Here's a new one, all topics welcome.

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OJ Simpson Granted Parole

Update: the vote was unanimous for parole among the four board/commission members. Each spoke individually. They said their vote was fair and consistent.

Update: Looks like OJ will get parole. They have a Florida parole officer explaining the procedures for transfer from Nevada to Florida.

OJ told his version of the robbery he was convicted of during the hearing. It's live on CNN and other channels now.

My view: OJ should get and will get parole. [More...]

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Second Circuit Voids Former London Trader Convictions

The Second Circuit has voided the convictions of two former London traders.

Allen and Conti, who worked for Dutch-headquartered Rabobank [RABO.UL], were convicted in November 2015 of fraud and conspiracy for trying to rig U.S. dollar and Japanese yen Libor.

They were sentenced to two years and one year in prison, respectively, but remained free during the appeal.

The case is United States v. Allen and the opinion is here.[More...]

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Wednesday :: July 19, 2017

Ride Sally Ride, Continued

I'm more into riding my Peloton and watching the new season of Senor de los Cielos than I am reading about Donald Trump and Russia. (Warning: auto-play video on SDLOC link.)

I've had the bike for two weeks now and have taken 26 rides. Some were only 5 minute instructional classes, but some were 20 and 45 minute full-length classes with difficulty ratings of 7 and 8 (out of 10). I promised a review when it first came, and here it is: In a nutshell, I absolutely love it. [More...]

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As the Worms Squirm: People Mag. Turns on Trump

[Note: Turn off your computer speakers before reading further, there's auto-play video on the links below-- no avoiding them.)

Is the media turning on Donald Trump and his family ? Check out the new issue of People Magazine. The cover is a photo of Donald Trump, Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Jared. (No Eric or Tiffany or Melania.) The Cover reads, "The Trump Family Secrets and Lies." It adds:

Donald Trump taught his children to fight dirty and win, no matter the cost. How the ruthless family culture has shaped Don Jr., his siblings, and the Presidency

The headline to one article on Donald, Jr., reads, "‘Stay Away from Donnie Trump’: Inside Don Jr.’s Drinking, Womanizing and Frat Guy Antics'". It cites and links to a 2004 New York Magazine article in which the author interviewed Trump, Jr. and his college classmates.

[More...]

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Supreme Court Upholds Grandparent Exemption to Travel Ban

The Supreme Court has dispensed with Trump's appeal of the Hawaii court order on his travel ban in a very short Order, available here.

The Court upheld the 'Grandparent' Exemption To Trump Travel Ban'. It also stayed the Hawaii Court's exemption of refugees, pending resolution by the full 9th Circuit.

The justices, in a brief order, rejected the administration’s request that it clarify the scope of their decision last month temporarily reinstating the ban but allowing people with “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” to enter the country. The court said the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, should address the question.

And no surprise here: The judges who would have blocked implementation of the Hawaii Court's order, even on grandparents, as the case winds through the 9th Circuit Appeals Court: Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch.

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Monday :: July 17, 2017

Eagles Reunion Concert

Speaking of music, a reconstituted Eagles performed this weekend in Los Angeles at the Dodgers Stadium. Joining remaining members Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt, were Deacon Frey (son of Glenn Frey, photo above) and Vince Gill. Also appearing as a special guest for a song was Bob Seger.

Forbes has a good recap of the concert but I'm not linking due to flashing ads and auto play video --Forbes is one of the worst offenders. [More....]

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Trump's New Theme Party: "Made In America"

Made in America week is already backfiring, with the attention on Trump clothes and products made in China, Peru and elsewhere.

Some better songs (than Toby Keith):

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Sunday :: July 16, 2017

The Trumps and Russia: Too Many Coincidences, Too Many Lawyers

[Note: This is a very, very long post. I wrote it over the weekend, finished it last night and have not yet thoroughly proofed it for typos, grammar, out of order paragraphs or repetitions, and I probably won't until tonight since today is a work day. I'll erase this note when I've done all that.]

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There are now so many Trump camp lawyers in the Russia investigations,they seem to be stepping on themselves as they try to control the damage to their individual client, without overtly sinking another family member. Sure, there are those who wonder whether one or more of the lawyers are intentionally trying to shift blame to another lawyer's client, but I'm not a conspiracy theorist and while I can't speak to Trump's lawyers, never having heard of them before, I don't think the criminal defense lawyers involved for Kushner or Donald, Jr. play that way. Nor do I think there's a conspiracy by disgruntled FBI agents to leak information obtained from Kushner's team to get back at Trump for firing James Comey. That's just too convoluted for me to buy into.

What I find significant: [More...]

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Trump's Poll Numbers Continue to Fall

Donald Trump's approval ratings continue to fall. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll says he is down to 36%, the lowest since Gerald Ford.

Approaching six months in office, Trump’s overall approval rating has dropped to 36 percent from 42 percent in April. His disapproval rating has risen five points to 58 percent. Overall, 48 percent say they “disapprove strongly” of Trump’s performance in office, a level never reached by former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and reached only in the second term of George W. Bush in Post-ABC polling.

The actual poll results are here. [More...]

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Saturday :: July 15, 2017

Media Rakes Don Jr. Over the Coals

This is Time Magazine's cover this week featuring Donald Trump, Jr. Check out the larger version and the white writing on it.

Here's a funny article from the UK Independent comparing him to "Fredo" Corleone.

Shepard Smith has long been one of the few news anchors/talk show hosts I enjoy watching (and listening to in the car.) This rant against the Trump Camp for its "lies after lies" and his take on Donald Trump, Jr.'s evolving explanations of the Russian meeting is making the rounds. It's one of his best. Media Matters has the transcript.
[More...]

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Saturday Open Thread: An Unexpected Gift for Blogging

I got an unexpected gift yesterday, and it's a huge one that frees me from the mainstream media's online news sites with their auto play video, intrusive ads, and poorly scaled websites. From a blogging perspective, I feel like I won the lottery. Thank you Lexis Nexis!

For those of you who don't practice law, Lexis is the legal research stuff and Nexis is the news stuff. [More...]

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Thursday :: July 13, 2017

Senate Republicans Introduce New Health Care Bill

Here is the new version of the Senate Republicans Health care bill. The Atlantic has some details.

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DOJ Announces Nationwide Bust of Opiate Prescribers

The Department of Justice announced a nationwide take-down of pain pill prescribers.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, M.D., announced today the largest ever health care fraud enforcement action by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, involving 412 charged defendants across 41 federal districts, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes involving approximately $1.3 billion in false billings. Of those charged, over 120 defendants, including doctors, were charged for their roles in prescribing and distributing opioids and other dangerous narcotics. Thirty state Medicaid Fraud Control Units also participated in today’s arrests. In addition, HHS has initiated suspension actions against 295 providers, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

The press release contains a link for more information, but as of now, the link is a dead one.

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Wednesday :: July 12, 2017

Trump Sr., Trump Jr., Jared and the Russians

So Donald Jr. released his emails. He has now added page 4:

One of the early emails shows it's the Russian Crown Prosecutor he's going to meet with who according to Goldstone, is working on behalf of the Russian government to help Trump win. Why would anyone believe the prosecutor's current denial was crafted by her rather than the Russian Government? Is there even a "Crown Prosecutor" in Russia? (Turns out there is no such thing and she's a lawyer, but not for the Government.)

On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:36 AM, Rob Goldstone wrote: Good morning. Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting. The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump- helped along by Aras and Emin.

The Trump son responds: [More...]

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