Tuesday :: July 12, 2016

New ISIS Video From Mosul With Hostage John Cantlie

Photo from Site Intel Group

A new ISIS video was released today featuring British cameraman and hostage John Cantlie. He criticizes the bombing of Mosul University by the U.S. which he says happened about 3 months ago. The video was released by Amaq News Agency which while not an official ISIS news agency like al Hayat, is ISIS affiliated. [More...]

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Bernie: What Took You So Long?

The Washington Post lists four reasons Bernie Sanders waited so long to endorse Hillary.

I don't know how others feel, but for me, his refusal to endorse Hillary and get out of the race when she became the presumptive nominee will always leave me with a negative feeling about him.

I think he let his ego get the best of him and he wanted to secure his seat in the front row of history. In other words, it was all about Bernie.

As we get closer to November, I hope he becomes more of a footnote than a lead player.

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Monday :: July 11, 2016

Monday Open Thread

I'm offline today. Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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Saturday :: July 09, 2016

Saturday Open Thread

El Chapo has not escaped from prison in Mexico. The Government posted a photo of him in jail to refute a rumor on Twitter that spread quickly.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Friday :: July 08, 2016

NYTimes Suggests Trump May Walk Away If He Wins

The New York Times has the most bizarre Trump speculation I've read to date. He may not want to be President, he may just want to win. And if he does, he may just decline to take the office, and go back to running his businesses, happy with all the media coverage he got, which he thinks would be good for business.

As I was reading it, the soundtrack to Walk Away Renee kept running through my head. [More...]

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Texas: Requiring Mandatory Burial of Aborted Fetuses

In the "you can't make this stuff up" department: By agency fiat (not even legislation)Texas plans on enacting requirements for mandatory cremation or burial of aborted fetuses.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state health officials to propose the changes, his office said Thursday, which were quietly put out for public comment this month.

...Texas, however, isn't waiting for lawmakers to pass a bill regarding fetal remains....State agencies in Texas are allowed to adopt some rules on its own without legislative approval.

..."Governor Abbott believes human and fetal remains should not be treated like medical waste, and the proposed rule changes affirms the value and dignity of all life," [Abbott spokeswoman] Matthews said.

How about Texas just secedes from the nation and takes its contradictory death penalty and right to life policies with it?

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Bernie Sanders to Endorse Hillary on Tuesday

Well Hell's bells, or in Steven Tyler's words (on another topic), “Sh*t fire and save matches, f*ck a duck and see what hatches.” Bernie Sanders is going to endorse Hillary on Tuesday.

Nap time. No profanity in comments please. Asterisks are okay.

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Thursday :: July 07, 2016

Thursday Open Thread

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

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ISIS Releases Video Outlining Its Structure

ISIS has released a 15 minute English video outlining the structure of the Kalifah, from al-Baghdadi at the top, on down. It explains the hierarchy. I was going to link to it but the last minute or so is very graphically violent (things like beheadings with blood spurting from necks) so I won't.

Analyst and collector of ISIS official documents Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi has this analysis.

This video tells the viewer ISIS as a governing state continues to exist and is expanding. There's a central committee under al Baghdadi. The central committee is in charge of the Wilayats (provinces.) There are presently 35 Wilayats, 19 in Iraq and Syria and 16 elsewhere. [More...]

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Wednesday :: July 06, 2016

Wednesday Open Thread

Here's a new open thread, all topics welcome. Keep it civil and free of potentially libelous comments please.

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Donald Audtions Veep Choices: Just Say No to Newt

Bob Corker has withdrawn his name from consideration as Donald Trump's running mate. Newt Gingrich is up next, appearing with Thump in Ohio today.

Newt: The man who wanted to put a contract on America as speaker of the House in 1995:

The Republican version of a crime bill in 1995 was even worse. It was called the "Take Back Our Streets Act" which was part of Newt Gingrich's Contract on America (he called it "Contract With America.")


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Oscar Pistorius Sentenced to 6 More Years

Oscar Pistorius is back in jail today, sentenced to 6 years following last month's re-sentencing hearing which was the result of the state winning an appeal over the judge's decision to toss the murder charge.

The judge said there were mitigating factors and rejected a prosecution request for a 15 year sentence. He will be eligible for parole in 3 years.

One mitigating factor:

Mr. Pistorius, the judge said, had shown genuine remorse in trying, repeatedly and unsuccessfully, to apologize in person to the victim’s parents.

There were others, and the Judge recognized that a long term of imprisonment would not be in the best interests of justice. [More...]

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Tuesday :: July 05, 2016

FBI Announces No Charges Against Hillary Over Use of Email Server

The FBI put an end to speculation that Hillary Clinton will face charges for her use of a private email server. Director James Comey said today at a press conference that no reasonable prosecutor would file charges. He said there was no evidence she intended to send or receive classified emails. The FBI press release is here.

Even Bernie Sanders knew the email issue wasn't worth the hype. But it's good that they made the announcement before the convention. [More....]

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Monday :: July 04, 2016

Monday Night (July 4th) Open Thread

Another 4th of July weekend comes to a close. Fireworks here are about to begin (it's not quite dark at 8:00 pm.)

Some thoughts on freedom:

For me, I keep seeing our freedom slip away. As in 2011, the holiday rings a little hollow to me this year.

In TV news, a new female character is introduced tonight on Senor de los Cielos (which has only two weeks left.) She is Emiliana Contreras, the daughter of one of Aurelio's rivals, Lencho Contreras, one of the "old guard" narcos who ended up in prison supposedly because of Aurelio. Her role is to get Aurelio to fall in love with her and then take him down. [More...]

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Sunday :: July 03, 2016

"Snatched" and the Story of Operation Princess

Snatched: From Drug Queen to Informer to Hostage--A Harrowing True Story

I have always been fascinated by the story of the Princess and the DEA. My computer is filled with thousands of pages I downloaded from PACER in her civil lawsuit against the DEA in the Federal Court of Claims: Case No. 97-cv-00579-MCW. In this overly long post about the DEA and money laundering stings, at the very end I wrote:

I hope the Princess gets $10 million or more from the Government for what the DEA did in her case. Her expert witness, former DEA Agent Michael Levine, filed an 861 page report (97-cv-00579-MCW, Document 196, Filed 05/31/11). I''m surprised there hasn't been a made for TV movie of the case yet. It's filled with tales of informant and agent-induced money laundering schemes,cops picking up money and sending it around the world, kidnappings, agents breaking rules and even stealing the traffickers' money, and corrupt foreign officials.

Now there's a book out about her case. It's called Snatched: How the DEA Got a Cartel Queen to Flip by Bruce Porter, the author of "Blow," which became a hit movie. The Daily Beast published an excerpt this week. The Daily News recaps the story here, along with photos of the Princess and some others. [More...]

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