Thursday :: January 21, 2016

Rudy Giuliani? Spare Us

Rudy Giuliani joined a new law firm, along with former AUSA Mark Mukasey (son of former AG Michael Mukasey.) They are going to head up a new cyber-security section of the firm. They are leaving a law firm in Texas to do so.

Miami-founded global law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP announced Tuesday that Giuliani and Mukasey were joining the firm as global chair of the firm’s Cybersecurity and Crisis Management Practice and senior advisor to the firm’s executive chairman, and global co-chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense Practice, respectively.

Their remarks in this interview are flat-out laughable, from those about El Chapo to South Florida to Rudy's travel schedule. Some quotes: [More...]

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Wednesday :: January 20, 2016

Tributes and Open Thread

Other than work, the only thing I've thought about today is Glenn Frey's untimely passing. Keith Urban posted this really heartfelt tribute on his Facebook page. Love the piano. It's already been viewed 12 million times. And Bruce Springsteen played a live tribute to him in Chicago. The audience sings along, and check out all the lights in the audience starting around the 3'15" mark.

The comment I see repeated the most, at so many sites, "The Eagles wrote the soundtrack to my life." They certainly wrote mine in the 70's.

RIP, Glenn Frey. I think this is the only time in the 13 year history of TalkLeft I've written two RIP posts for one person. I won't be surprised if I write a third tomorrow, I'm just so, so shocked by his death and feel terrible he suffered so much pain for so many years.[More...]

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Tuesday :: January 19, 2016

ISIS Eulogizes Jihadi John, Says Joined al-Nusra Before ISIS

The new issue of Dabiq Magazine (#13) released today contains tributes to several fallen ISIS members, including "Jihadi John." I'm not linking to Dabiq so here's a link to a news article about it. But I am interested in some details as to his background the eulogy clears up so I will quote it.

First, the article refers to him as "Abū Muhārib al-Muhājir" rather than Mohammed Emwazi. In the bio portion, it says his early life was spent in the "northeast of the Arabian Peninsula" but he moved to London with his family at a young age. His mother was originally from Yemen. [More....]

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ISIS vs. the Taliban

ISIS accuses the Taliban of heroin trafficking in Issue 15 of Dabiq Magazine, released today. The following quote is from an interview with Shaykh Hāfidh Sa’īd Khān (hafidhahullāh), ISIS' Wali (governor) of the Wilayat (Wilāyah) Khurāsān:

Dābiq: Does the nationalist Taliban movement continue to allow farmers to sell opium? How is the Wilāyah dealing with this serious phenomenon?

The Wālī: There’s no doubt that the nationalist Taliban movement has permitted farmers and merchants to grow and sell opium. Rather, the matter has reached the point that the movement itself harvests opium, and even worse than that is that the Taliban themselves transport opium and heroin in their personal vehicles, charging a fee to the sellers and the addicts! They also take a 10% cut as well as taxes from them. Akhtar Mansour himself is considered as being from the major dealers of these narcotics



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Monday :: January 18, 2016

R.I.P. Glenn Frey

R.I.P. Glenn Frey. I read this hours ago and I am still shocked and so very sad. He was 67. I'm also upset to think that despite his access to the best medical care, medicine couldn't save him. He suffered for for a long time.

He and the Eagles were such a huge part of my early adult life -- as they were to millions of other Americans coming of age in the 70's. I've been writing this all night and keep adding more. At some point I need to stop and publish, and this is probably as good a place as any. Here is the announcement on the Eagles' website: [More...]

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The State of the Democratic Race: You Be the Media

Everybody has an opinion on the Democratic race for President, particularly those in the media. Outside of statistical polling, how does the media measure the public's subjective impression of the candidates? They don't and can't. They shouldn't even try. But it's futile to try and stop them. Or even to get the media to distinguish between presenting rank opinion and fact. The two have essentially merged.

Example today, from Slate, which I only came across because it was at the top of my Google News list. The article emphatically reports that Hillary won the debate last night. I may subjectively agree, but I have to question whether that is a fact or some writer's opinion. And if it's opinion, why is it leading the Google news section? [More...]

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Monday Open Thread


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Sunday :: January 17, 2016

Democrats Debate

Last Democratic debate tonight before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

Here's a place for your thoughts. Mine are expressed by the photo.

Bump and Update: Since when did "gun control" become "gun safety legislation?". That's what O'Malley called it. [More...]

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Sunday Night TV and Open Thread

This is an open thread, all topics (TV-related or not) welcome.

How much TV can I watch in one night? There's the Democratic debate and Sean Penn on 60 Minutes. There's the Good Wife, Downton Abbey, Shameless and the Royals. I even like Guys' Grocery's Games (I don't like Worst Cook in America.)

Two shows I tried to like and really didn't, so I won't be watching any more: Ruta 35 on Unimas and the most awful, gratuitously violent novela I've ever seen that just started last week on Telemundo. Called La Querida del Centauro, it seems to be a thinly veiled take on the prison romance between El Chapo and Zulema Hernandez. Sony generally does not make good novelas. The only passable one was En la Boca Del Lobo. I think novela-land will be barren until the return of Senor de los Cielos (season 4) in April. (La Viuda Negra Part 2 may start before then, but it's just okay.) The best, if you speak Spanish is El Capo (Seasons 1 and 2. Season 3 has English subtitles but isn't as good as the first two seasons.) Ranking up there with El Capo: El Cartel (Seasons I and II, not the movie); La Reina del Sur; Pablo Escobar Patron de Mal; and En La Boca del Lobo. [More...]

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Sean Penn on "60 Minutes"

Sean Penn's interview with Charlie Rose airs on "60 Minutes" tonight. Here's a recap from Variety.

Penn believes he failed to accomplish his goals, which was to talk about the U.S. government’s was on drugs. “We all want this drug problem to stop. And if you are in the moral right, or on the far left, just as many of your children are doing these drugs, just as many of your brothers and sisters, your mothers and fathers, the teachers at school, are doing these drugs. Just as many,:” he said. “And how much time have they spent in the last week since this article come (SIC) out, talking about that? 1– 1%? I think that’d be generous.”

Even so, Penn said he has no regrets about his actions, and was simply trying to offer readers a look at a hard-to-reach figure in order to illuminate discussion around a heated issue. “I’m really sad about the state of journalism in our country,” he told Rose. “It has been an incredible hypocrisy and an incredible– lesson in just how much they don’t know and how disserved we are.”


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Is Bernie Sanders Surging? So What if He is?

There's another Democratic debate tonight, the last before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. In what reads more like an op-ed than a news article, reporters at the Washington Post say Bernie Sanders seems to be picking up steam and Hillary could be in trouble.

She arrives here in the middle of a rocky stretch, all of a sudden on the wrong side of a new narrative that suggests Sanders is surging and she is weakening, facing possible defeat in the first two contests of the year.

The Vermont senator continues to lead the polls in New Hampshire, and now he has closed the gap in Iowa, the state where Clinton’s campaign fell off the tracks eight years ago. For Clinton, it wasn’t supposed to be this way against a septuagenarian, self-identified democratic socialist who began his campaign with no national profile and no financial network.

How is the following news rather than opinion?

[Heads up: This will not be a popular post with Sanders supporters, so if he's your idea of the best choice for President, you may want to stop reading now. Nor will Trump supporters like it, but I don't much care about them.] [More...]

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Saturday :: January 16, 2016

Saturday Open Thread


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Friday :: January 15, 2016

Friday Open Thread


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Thursday :: January 14, 2016

Thursday Afternoon Open Thread


Update [Jeralyn]: I have no interest in watching the Republican debate, but if you're watching, you can put your thoughts here.

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El Chapo's Crush

I'm busy with other things today and tomorrow, so will just make a short post on El Chapo. I'll also fill in the missing source links in this post tonight.

On El Chapo, I wondered as soon as the Sean Penn connection was revealed whether El Chapo was motivated by a crush on Kate del Castillo. Penn intimated as such in his Rolling Stone article.

... maybe he watched her on TV and developed a crush on her. (Penn seems to intimate infatuation may have been the cause.)

The text messages between El Chapo and Kate published by Milennio also suggest he was infatuated with her. But another piece has now been disclosed in Mexican papers: During the search of the room he occupied at the raided house (the one with the secret switch that opened the way to the tunnel), police found 4 videos of various episodes of La Reina del Sur.


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