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Thursday :: June 18, 2015

Man Who Shot at Zimmerman Charged With Attempted Murder

Matthew Apperson has been charged with attempted murder in Florida for shooting at George Zimmerman while Zimmerman was driving.

Today, the State Attorney's Office in Sanford filed three charges against Apperson: attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

Apperson was in a mental hospital weeks before the shooting. He was fixated on Zimmerman, according to police. Zimmerman sustained minor injuries from flying glass and debris.

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Feds Charge 200 With Health Care Fraud

New Attorney General Loretta Lynch today announced a major bust: 200 people nationwide have been charged with fraudulently billing medicare and other related crimes.

The total amount of alleged fraud exceeds $700 million. 46 of those charged are doctors and health care professionals. Lynch says it's the largest health care fraud case in DOJ history.

The suspects are accused of scams ranging from identity theft to money laundering and conspiracy to commit health-care fraud. Dozens of those arrested were charged with defrauding the Medicare prescription-drug program, officials said.

James Comey said the FBI has 2,700 pending health care fraud investigations.

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Tuesday :: June 16, 2015

ISIS Child Recruits Train in Raqqa

ISIS yesterday released a new video of kids in Raqqa training to be fighters and snipers. In it, they talk about the Crusaders, defeating opposing forces and threaten to kill President Obama. The physical training is almost the same as in the adult training videos.

What's unusual is that some of these kids these do not appear to be children of ISIS sympathizers, but Syrian kids who were traumatized by the Bashar regime. [More...]

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TalkLeft Turns 13

TalkLeft is officially 13 years old. Here is our first post, from June 15, 2002. On our first "blogiversary" we had 1 million page views. We've now past 100 million page views.

Thanks to every one who has taken the time to read a page, posted a comment, given us a news tip, linked to TalkLeft, donated dollars and befriended us. [More...]

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Tuesday Open Thread

Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Donald Trump Announces Presidential Bid

Move over Jeb Bush. Your 15 minutes are up. Donald Trump has announced his candidacy for President.

In a rambling 40 minute speech, he said he'll be the greatest president ever with respect for to the economy. He said our country is now run by losers. He said he has a net worth of $8.7 billion.

“The American dream is dead,” Trump said at the end of his speech. “But if I win, I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before.”

Trump is good for one thing: entertainment.

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Colo Supreme Court: No Protection for Workers Who Use Marijuana

The Colorado Supreme Court yesterday ruled employers can fire workers who use marijuana outside of the workplace. The opinion in Coats v. Dish Network is here.

The supreme court holds that under the plain language of section 24-34-402.5, 13 C.R.S. (2014), Colorado’s “lawful activities statute,” the term “lawful” refers only to those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law. Therefore, employees who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law 16 but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute. We therefore affirm the court of appeals’ opinion.

Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic and medical marijuana user who was fired from his job as a telephone operator at Dish Network for using marijuana in his off-job hours. [More...]

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Sunday :: June 14, 2015

Jeb Bush to Formally Launch Campaign Monday

Here comes Jeb Bush, with a new exclamation point next to his name. Here's his launch video. He looks tired.

Also considering jumping into the race: John Kasich.

If Twitter is any gauge of popularity: Hillary has 3.6 million followers on Twitter. Jeb has 196,000.

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U.S. Targets and Kills Algerian AQ Terrorist in Libya

The U.S. conducted an airstrike inside Libya today, killing Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the Algerian former al Qaida terrorist who left al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)to form the al Mulathameen Brigade, which joined with Al Murabitoon. Via the New York Times:

In a significant escalation of American counterterrorism operations, the United States carried out an airstrike against a midlevel operative of Al Qaeda in Libya early Sunday, American officials said.

It was the first time the American military has carried out any kind of airstrike in Libya since the NATO operation there in 2011 helped oust Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

[More...]

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Saturday :: June 13, 2015

Saturday Open Thread

Our last open thread is full. Here's a new one, all topics welcome.

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Friday :: June 12, 2015

What Will U.S. Do With Umm Sayyaf?

Daily Beast has an update on U.S. captive Umm Sayyaf, widow of the Abu Sayyaf, killed in the U.S. raid. Apparently, she may be held for months without charges. The U.S. still hasn't decided what to do with her.

What happens if the U.S. captures numerous ISIS fighters in Iraq or elsewhere? Will a new detention center have to be built? Is their long-term detention authorized under the old AUMF? There are a lot of unknowns.

I'd still like to know the real name of Abu Sayyaf and his role in ISIS. The various pseudonyms and descriptions so far are unconvincing. Can't we at least have a photo?

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn Acquitted in France

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was acquitted of aggravated procurement charges today in France.

Although using prostitutes is not illegal in France, assisting in supplying them is illegal and regarded as procuring. Mr Strauss-Kahn had been accused of playing a pivotal role in facilitating the orgies.

The verdict brings to a close four years of legal proceedings against Mr Strauss-Kahn, including charges of attempted rape which were later dropped in 2012.

It's the correct decision legally. [more..]

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Thursday :: June 11, 2015

Thursday Night Open Thread

We've got torrential downpours happening. It's a good night to stay in. Tomato soup and a tuna sandwich sounds about right.

I don't watch basketball, but I see the NBA finals are on.

On June 29, Jon bon Jovi and his wife will host a fundraiser in New Jersey for Hillary Clinton. He'll also perform. Tickets are $1,000 and $2,700. [More...]

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Wednesday :: June 10, 2015

Obama and the 450 Military Trainers for Iraqi Forces

President Obama has ordered 450 military trainers to deploy to Iraq to train Iraqi forces in the Anbar region. The new training facility would be at Taqaddum, which is near Ramadi in the eastern part of the province.

Obama decided on the new troop deployment in response to a request from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the White House said. The two leaders met on the margins of the G7 summit in Germany earlier this week.

The White House press release is here. [More...]

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Tuesday :: June 09, 2015

Netflix Increases Latin Programming, Including Novelas

I just re-signed up with Netflix. It has announced new deals with Telemundo, Unimas and Univision and will expand it's latin programming.

I just finished watching 48 episodes of El Cartel 2: La Guerra Total (sequel to Cartel de Los Sapos.) I bought the DVD's, since it wasn't available with workable subtitles anywhere else.

Unimas has been airing Cartel de Los Sapos for a few months, and the finale is tomorrow night. Telemundo is in the midst of Senor de Los Cielos 3. Both have English captions, even on Xfinity. [More...]

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