Friday :: October 07, 2016

Matthew's "Eyewall" Approaching Cape Canaveral

The 4 am update from the National Hurricane Center:


During the past hour, a sustained wind of 46 mph (74 km/h) and a gust of 70 mph (113 km/h) were reported at Melbourne, Florida, while a gust of 45 mph (73 km/h) was reported at Orlando, Florida.

Miami missed the brunt of Matthew, which has been downgraded to a Category 3 Storm. Even so, the danger from the storm is still very real and serious. [More...]

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Thursday :: October 06, 2016

President Obama Commutes 102 More Prison Sentences

President Obama today commuted the sentences of 102 inmates, bringing the number of commutations this year to 590 and 774 in total during his presidency. Here are their names and a brief description of their original sentences.

President Obama granted clemency to 102 inmates on Thursday, as he continues to release federal inmates serving long prison terms for nonviolent drug offenses. Obama has now commuted the sentences of 774 federal inmates, more than the previous 11 presidents combined.

With 590 commutations this year, the president has commuted more individuals’ sentences in one year than in any single year in U.S. history, White House officials said.

Obama's approval ratings are at the highest level of his second term. [More...]

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Wednesday :: October 05, 2016

Florida Mandatory Evacuations: Matthew Expected to Be Huge

Update: Big Tent Democrat is staying put in the Palm Beach area because his parents won't leave. Follow him on Twitter here -- good photos.

Palm Beach is under a mandatory evacuation order. Hurricane Matthew is expected to be a Category 4 storm before touching down in Florida Thursday night. Right now it's over the Bahamas. (Warning: Auto-play video, it's unavoidable everywhere.) Matthew may also loop back and hit Florida a second time, after heading to the Carolinas. Miami and Broward are in the direct path. Even central Florida (Orlando and Tampa) aren't safe.

The latest update (#32) from the National Hurricane Center: [More...]

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NY Times: Trump is Plunging

The New York Times reports:

Donald J. Trump’s support has plunged across the swing-state map over the last 10 days, wiping out his political recovery from September and threatening to undo weeks of Republican gains in the battle for control of Congress.

...Mr. Trump has already slipped perceptibly in public polls, trailing widely this week in Pennsylvania and by smaller margins in Florida and North Carolina — three states he cannot afford to lose. But private polling by both parties shows an even more precipitous drop, especially among independent voters, moderate Republicans and women, according to a dozen strategists from both parties who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the data was confidential.

A new Monmouth poll has Hillary up in Ohio -- but just slightly. However, when it comes to temperment: [More...]

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There Has to Be Another Phone Choice

The new iPhone update really sucks. I hate it so much I want a different phone. Mashable has 7 reasons not to update. Too bad I hadn't read it before absently clicking on the update button.

After the update, I spent over an hour turning off every app, messaging app, calendar app and location feature I could find and it still opens with messages on the home screen and then goes to a dark screen that says "Wednesday October 5" and under that the whole screen is dark blue except for a button that says "edit."

When I click on "edit" a screen comes up asking me to add widgets. Did Apple become Wordpress overnight? I don't want fricking widgets, I want my phone back. [More...]

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Tuesday :: October 04, 2016

Tuesday Open Thread

Busy work day.

Hillary widens her lead in Pennsylvania

The Right wing in Colombia refused to approve the peace deal with FARC. The mis-guided public listened to the right wing rhetoric of former President Alvaro Uribe.

Hurricane Matthew slams Haiti, heads to Florida.

Anyone watching the Veep debate tonight? I'll pass.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Monday :: October 03, 2016

Kim Kardashian Tied Up, Robbed in Paris Apartment

Kim Kardashian was robbed inside her Paris luxury apartment-hotel residence at 2:30 am. Apparently, the concierge, at gunpoint, let the robbers into Kardashian's unit.

Hours later the French Interior Ministry said five men threatened a concierge with a weapon, handcuffed him and forced him to open the door to Kim's apartment.


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Sunday :: October 02, 2016

Another Conservative Endorsement for Clinton as Trump Flails

The San Diego Union Tribune endorses Hillary Clinton. It's the paper's first endorsement of a Democrat in 168 years. The editorial is the least interesting one so far. I'm not linking due to auto-play video.

Shorter version: Trump is "vengeful, dishonest and impulsive" and Hillary is a safe choice.

In other Trump news, his latest campaign rally started really late (supposedly due to fog), he sounds like a crazy person, and (best news yet) people left early.

Two papers today say if Donald Trump loses North Carolina, he can't win -- and the state's not looking good for him.

As he swings more and more into desperation mode, I wonder at what point he just implodes.

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Saturday :: October 01, 2016

Saturday Night Trump Mocking and Open Thread

The New York Times publishes some of Donald Trump's tax records and says he may have avoided paying taxes for 18 years based on his loss amount for 1995.

Alec Baldwin plays the Thumper tonight on Saturday Night Live. [More...]

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Who Killed the Mexican Military in Badiraguato/Culiacan?

Through El Chapo's lawyer, his sons have denied the allegation they had anything to do with the attack on the military. The Mexican defense department says the man in the ambulance with the false name was indeed El Chapo's brother, Guano.

The Mexican media is rushing to judgment and claiming the sons of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman are responsible for killing a convoy of military persons who were taking a wounded man to the hospital following a shooting.

At a press conference, officials said :

The commander [Alfonso Duarte] said that the first attack was in the .....the municipality of Badiraguato, where monitoring the surveillance and combating drug trafficking, the military found a wounded man, identified as Julio Oscar Ortiz Vega, whom the military personnel led to the municipal head later to be moved to the square of Culiacan for health care.


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Friday :: September 30, 2016

Friday Night Open Thread

Is anyone not sick of hearing about Donald Trump?

There's a new report by the Inspector General finding the DEA misused money for informants. It paid informants $237 million between 2011 and 2015.

We found that the DEA did not adequately oversee payments to its sources, which exposes the DEA to an unacceptably increased potential for fraud, waste and abuse, particularly given the frequency with which DEA offices utilize and pay confidential sources,” the inspector general’s office wrote

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Thursday :: September 29, 2016

USA Today: Trump Unfit to Be President

USA today made its first presidential endorsement in its 34 year history. It declares Donald Trump unfit to be President:

We haven't made a voting recommendation in 34 years. For this election, we made an exception

..This year, the choice isn’t between two capable major party nominees who happen to have significant ideological differences. This year, one of the candidates — Republican nominee Donald Trump — is, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, unfit for the presidency.

While this and other mainstream media opposition may not matter to his under-informed fans, that's besides the point if they don't show up to vote. Trump doesn't have a cohesive get out the vote effort. Hillary has been working on hers for 8 years. He doesn't even seem to have much of a campaign. [More...]

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Wednesday :: September 28, 2016

Happy Birthday and Open Thread

It's never my birthday until I see a chocolate cupcake with icing and a cherry on top!

I'm grateful to be younger than the candidates running for President.

Birthday wishes (and donations for a birthday drink, paypal here) are welcome.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Rudy and Donald Sitting in A Tree: The Former "Comb-over Twins"

Rudy Giuliani, the most contemptible Republican ever (ok, maybe along with Dick Cheney), wants Trump to bring up Monica Lewinsky in the next debate. Seriously? Rudy, whose alleged extra-marital dalliance with his ex communications director Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas was cited by his wife Donna Hanover as a principal reason for their divorce?

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Tuesday :: September 27, 2016

Trump Debate Performance: Fat-Shaming, Sniffling, and Outright False Statements

Devastating to Trump. On Twitter last night, Alicia Machado thanked Hillary for the shout-out during the debate. Here's Alicia telling her story in May, 2016:

Another interview the same month is here. [More....]

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