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Wednesday :: August 05, 2015

DEA Launches Tipline for Info on El Chapo

The Drug Enforcement Administration today announced via Twitter it has launched a tipline for information on the whereabouts of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman-Loera. It provided an email address and phone number. The email address includes the description "Chapotips." The tips will be processed by the DEA San Diego office. There is a $5 million reward.

Acting DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg said today he believes El Chapo is still in Mexico, probably in Sinaloa. He said that while there is information sharing with Mexico, it doesn't encompass the whole of Mexico's Government. [More...]

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Tuesday :: August 04, 2015

Tuesday Open Thread

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

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1991 and the Racial Justice Act

Continuing from the last post on the battle between Joe Biden and Pres. H.W. Bush, with each claiming to be tougher on Crime: There was one voice of reason at the hearing: Sen. Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio. Here's what he said about why the Racial Justice Bill should not be dropped from the new bill that would implement 30 to 50 new death penalty offenses: (Cite is 137 Cong Rec S 8263

Mr. METZENBAUM. Mr. President, I rise to oppose any effort to remove the Racial Justice Act amendments from the death penalty provisions of the crime bill. If a crime bill with numerous death penalty provisions is to pass this body, it is critical that we deal with the obvious discriminatory nature of death penalty sentences.

The Racial Justice Act has nothing to do with whether you are for or against the death penalty. It is about racial discrimination.[more...]

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Joe Biden 's One Man Crime Band

Joe Biden, the "Band of One" needs watching. Last night I was reading a speech he gave on the Senate Floor in 1991, in which he claimed Pres. Bush wasn't tough enough on crime and his crime bill was tougher than Bush's. The cite is 137 Cong Rec S 8263.

Leopards don't lose their spots. If he gets elected we'll live in a police state. His major priority is throwing more money at police, DEA, Homeland Security and anyone else with a badge.

Here's some quotes from his speech pushing for his 1991 crime bill over then President Bush's bill. He thought Bush was soft on crime. [More...]

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Sunday :: August 02, 2015

Joe Biden's Plans Have Long Roots

The latest news about Joe Biden considering a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination is hardly a surprise. Joe Biden has always considered running for President in 2016. A year and a half ago, in February, 2014, he told ABC he couldn't think of any reason not to run. He said then he would decide by the end of the summer in 2015.

Joe Biden has always been there laying in the weeds, waiting for something to happen that might derail Hillary. Apparently, he thinks the time is now. [More....]

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Friday :: July 31, 2015

El Chapo's Lawyers Obtain Suspension of Arrest Order for Extradition

A court in Mexico has granted a request filed by El Chapo's lawyers to suspend the order of detention for purposes of extradition entered Wednesday. (Use google translate). The request for a writ of amparo against the detention order was filed Wednesday in the Fifth District court handling Amparo matters, the same day the judge in the Third District Court handling criminal matters granted the request for the detention order.

I think this means he can still be arrested, but he can't be extradited until he has an opportunity to present his defenses against extradition. [More...]

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Friday Morning Open Thread.

All persons welcome here.

Open Thread.

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Hillary Clinton Letter to New York Times

The Clinton campaign writes letters:

I feel obliged to put into context just how egregious an error this story was. The New York Times is arguably the most important news outlet in the world and it rushed to put an erroneous story on the front page charging that a major candidate for President of the United States was the target of a criminal referral to federal law enforcement. Literally hundreds of outlets followed your story, creating a firestorm that had a deep impact that cannot be unwound. This problem was compounded by the fact that the Times took an inexplicable, let alone indefensible, delay in correcting the story and removing "criminal" from the headline and text of the story.

Discuss.

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Thursday :: July 30, 2015

Mexician Court Approves Detention Order for El Chapo's Extradition

The Mexican Attorney General's office (PGR), issued a statement today (available here in Spanish) saying that a federal judge has approved an order of detention for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman-Loera for the purposes of extradition to the U.S.

The statement says the Judge reviewed the U.S. request for extradition submitted in late June, 2015, and found it meets the treaty requirements.

Of course, first he must be recaptured alive, and second, he gets to challenge his extradition in court, which could take a year or more. [More...]

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Death of Mullah Muhammed Omar Confirmed

Taliban leader Mullah Muhammed Omar is dead. According to Afghanistan, he died two years ago in a Pakistani hospital.

As the supreme religious figure in Afghanistan, he commanded allegiance from all Taliban and foreign fighters, including Osama bin Laden, the founder of Al Qaeda.

He had not been seen in public since 2001 and it was long rumored he was dead.

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Wednesday :: July 29, 2015

Thursday Open Thread

Another day yesterday spent on computer issues. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome, while I catch up.

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Windows 10 Upgrade Fever

I do not like upgrades, but there were so many positive things being said about the new Windows 10, and my 6 month old desktop was having so many problems and freezing so often, I decided to see if it would work.

Last night, it didn't work. It said "still working" but never went anywhere. 7 hours later, same thing. I asked Microsoft to call me, and they did, and were very nice, but they couldn't figure it out and "escalated my request" saying someone would call again tomorrow.

Finally, I found a possible solution, and I'm shocked, it worked. Not only that, it's is really a step up from Windows 7 in every way. With none of the bad features of Windows 8.

The Edge browser is really nice. Much faster and less cluttered than Chrome and Firefox. More later, I'm going to play around with it some.

Have any of you tried upgrading? Was it a success or are you stuck in failed update or error mode?

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Tuesday :: July 28, 2015

White House Rejects Pardon for Edward Snowden

The White House today released an official statement rejecting a "We the People" online pardon petition for Edward Snowden. The petition had 167,000 signatures.

Dan Froomkin at the Intercept has more.

The White House response was written by Lisa Monaco. She includes this:

“He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers.”

How can he be judged by a jury without an opportunity to explain his defense? According to Glenn Grennwald:

He’s barred under the Espionage Act even from arguing that his leaks were justified; he wouldn’t be permitted to utter a word about that.

[More...]

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Media Goes Off-Message on Donald Trump

Donald Trump has had an easy time of it in the media thus far. Yesterday, something he didn't expect popped up.

What actually happened is not up for discussion here. First, none of us were there, and more importantly, I have no interest in being sued by Donald Trump over readers' comments. (Be forewarned, comments opining on the substance of the allegation and personal attacks on either Trump or his ex-wife's character will be deleted as soon as I see them.)

What is of interest (at least at this site) is how he responds to this unexpected public relations mess, including his response to erroneous public comments by those who work for him. (His lawyer, who also serves as executive vice president at the Trump Organization) has acknowledged his erroneous statements about the law and apologized.

Many have said the test of leadership during a crisis is not the crisis itself, but one's behavior during it. How's Trump doing?

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John Oliver Takes on Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Great segment by John Oliver on mandatory minimum sentences.

Ridiculously long sentences are not a great deterrent to crime. Prison sentences are a lot like p*nises: if they're used correctly, even a short one can do the trick."

(Asterisk used to avoid inviting spam.) As he points out:

Everyone has agreed that mandatory minimum rules were a mistake, and we cannot have a system where people are continuing to pay for that mistake."

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