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Friday :: March 03, 2017

GW Bush is Welcomed Back

When GW Bush left office, it was "Good Riddance." We might as well have kicked him to the curb and tossed him his clothes through his White House bedroom window.

Who would have believed he's now making the rounds, with humor, and being embraced by Democrats and late night talk show hosts alike? The answer? Anyone with the prescience to know that 2016 would usher in Donald Trump, a man deemed so horrible in all his orange unsplendor by so many, Bush now evokes, if not quite nostalgia, something close. (To be clear, no one's embracing Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld, just GW.)

GW Bush does seem more upbeat and less of a threat these days, but that may be because he seemed more like a puppet doing the bidding of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Libby and on and on. He was considered incompetent, but not to the extent of Trump. (The only thing I can envision that would be worse than a Trump Presidency would be a Trump-Cheney or Trump-Giuliani Presidency.)

As for Bush, I'm glad to see him happy and painting. I would have been happier if he had picked painting for a career in 2000, when his term as Governor of Texas was up, but at least I can watch him now without reaching for the remote to change the channel, which I doubt I'll ever be able to say about Cheetolini.

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AG Sessions Most Un-Excellent Day

Like a punching bag, Attorney General Jeff Sessions took hit after hit yesterday, ultimately holding a press conference to announce he would recuse himself from any FBI investigation into Russia's alleged attempts to influence the election. Several Democrats are not satisfied with that. Here's who is calling for AG Jeff Sessions to resign:

The ACLU is calling for a perjury investigation.

Last night, Sessions seemed to change his tune a bit. [More...]

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Wednesday :: March 01, 2017

Wednesday Night Open Thread: Season of the Witch

The travails of the most unimportant person in the White House continue. You can violate ethics rules but be excused by White House Counsel. You can show utter disrespect for White House furniture, your boss and the group of people being honored in the room, and it's just brushed off.

Trump and Conway:

Two rabbits running in a ditch
Must be the Season of the Witch

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Trump Panders Some More to the Xenophobic

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump is once again promoting the politics of fear and prejudice.

Now he wants to spend our dollars on a new office to help American victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. He wants to call it the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office.

Once again, Donald Trump works off of false facts. His demagoguery encourages fear, prejudice and bigotry. In his attempt to be viewed as tough on the undocumented, he fosters inaccurate stereotypes.

Immigration does not breed crime. Our prisons are not overflowing because of crimes by the undocumented. They are overflowing because of our failed criminal justice policies and over reliance on incarceration versus treatment and rehabilitation with respect to our nonviolent homegrown offenders.

[More....]

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The UnSpeech

Update: If, like me, you intentionally skipped Trump's speech, here's a worthwhile recap.

Trump launched his campaign with lies—slandering Mexicans as rapists and criminals—and has continued to lie ever since. The only variation is the degree of cruelty with which he delivers his propaganda.

...Every autocrat flirts with benevolence, promoting themselves as the sole protector against threats, the strongman who remembers “the forgotten people.” Trump is actually worse at this game than most authoritarian leaders due to his erratic temperament, leak-prone staff, and combative relationship with the US press.

...But there is only one winner in an autocratic state: the autocrat and his lackeys. Citizens function as pawns and props, conned into complicity until their regret carries no weight. The US currently has an authoritarian-leaning government but is not yet an authoritarian regime, due in large part to the constant vigilance and pushback of citizens. If you seek to stop the slide into authoritarianism, do not let yourself get played.

[More...]

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Monday :: February 27, 2017

Monday Open Thread

It's a court day for me, which means an open thread for you.

All topics welcome.

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Sunday :: February 26, 2017

Oscars Time: "This is Not a Joke"

Update: Steve Harvey must be delighted he's not the only one to blow the announcement of a winner at an awards show. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway just joined the club. They announced the wrong winner for Best Picture. How did it happen? According to a 2016 LA Times interview:

"In an undisclosed location, the partners tabulate votes and stuff two sets of winning envelopes, partly as another security measure and also to aid the show's flow. Stationed with their signature briefcases on opposite sides of the stage, either [PricewaterhouseCoopers partners, Brian] Cullinan or [Martha] Ruiz can dispense envelopes to presenters. At the end of the evening, each accountant will have given out about half of the envelopes.

Another version is here. That would mean the blame would lay with PriceWaterhouse, who dispense the envelopes and bring duplicates on purpose. Here's what I saw, watching it live and re-watching once: [More...]

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Friday :: February 24, 2017

Friday Open Thread

RIP Alan Colmes, who has died after a short illness. He really was a gentleman, who never needed to shout to get his views across. It was always a pleasure to appear on Hannity & Colmes back in the days when Fox at least wanted to appear to be fair and balanced.

I'll be back to blogging this weekend, in the meantime, here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: February 22, 2017

Trump Issues Two Immigration Implementation Orders

Trump remains intent on pushing everyone's buttons and causing rampant fear in our communities. Yesterday he issued two new implementation orders on immigration to effectuate his prior executive orders, which are already under attack in the courts.

The orders are here and here.

His orders lack teeth and he knows it. The first order, authorizing the hiring of 5,000 more Border agents and 500 Air & Marine Agents/Officers" states such hiring is "subject to the availability of resources." [More...]

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Haiti Holds Mass Funerals for Inmates Who Died From Prison Conditions

This is the most horrible story I've read this year, although it's only February. It's inconceivable that such disgusting prison conditions could exist anywhere in the world.

Relatives wailed in grief or stared stoically as flowers were placed on 20 caskets at a mass funeral Tuesday for the latest group of inmates who died miserably in Haiti's largest prison, most without ever having been convicted of any crime.

The BBC has photos of the disgusting squalid cells. [More...]

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Tuesday :: February 21, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread

I'm in court all day (and then again on Thursday and Friday on another case.) I hope Trump doesn't blow up the world this week. Since I'm not reading much news these days except about the supposed cartel infighting in and killings all over Sinaloa this two past weeks, it feels like a load has been lifted.

I'm sure it will change when my schedule gets lighter.

This is an open thread, all topics welome,

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"Not My President's Day" Protests

This is the first year since 2003 TalkLeft did not have a President's Day Post. Why? I don't have a President. Donald Trump doesn't deserve the title. I have yet to call him "President" and I never will. He's the man who somehow got into the oval office. In my opinion, he's nothing but a source source of embarrassment and shame. And I don't believe a word he or his staffers say.

There were protests all over America today, but the number of people protesting were nowhere near the number the numbers that protested his inauguration.

But that's America, where so many have tuned him out. I no longer watch the news or listen to cable networks in the car. I don't want to hear his name or his voice or see his orange face or absurd hairdo. It was different in London today. [More...]

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Milo Y. Loses Book Deal, Gets Canned from Conservative Conference

I don't know who Milo Y. is, but apparently he is with Breitbart News (which I never read.) Some old video of his that has popped up and is recirculating is apparently bad enough that Simon and Schuster has canceled his book deal and CPAC has canceled his speaking invitation.

What did he do in the video?

[He]criticiz[ed] age-of-consent laws and joking about a teenage sexual encounter he had with a Catholic priest.

I'm not sure why anyone cares about this guy, but apparently those who do think he endorsed ped*philia. He denies it (on his Facebook page which I haven't looked at). The Post repeats his comments:[More...]

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Monday :: February 20, 2017

Former CIA Analyst: Trump Is Too Demoralizing

Former CIA analyst and NSC spokesman Edward Price has an op-ed in the Washington Post on why he left the CIA after Donald Trump took the oval office:

Trump’s actions in office have been even more disturbing. His visit to CIA headquarters on his first full day in office, an overture designed to repair relations, was undone by his ego and bluster. Standing in front of a memorial to the CIA’s fallen officers, he seemed to be addressing the cameras and reporters in the room, rather than the agency personnel in front of them, bragging about his inauguration crowd the previous day. Whether delusional or deceitful, these were not the remarks many of my former colleagues and I wanted to hear from our new commander in chief.

The final straw for him was: [More....]

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Sunday :: February 19, 2017

Report Trump May Use National Guard to Round-Up Undocmented

Donald Trump just keeps coming up with bad ideas. This one's a non-starter unless he wants violence in the streets.

The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

If this idea originated with his advisers, they are morons. But we knew that already.

I suspect Trump is trying to stay in the news and making sh*t up to draw big headlines. Otherwise, no one would care enough to write or read about him.

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