ISIS' Ban on Fighters Using Social Media

Last month, ISIS banned its fighters from using social media. It had done so before, but not so forcefully. Now it threatens those who disobey with punishment. Here's a good article, THE ISLAMIC STATE’S INTERNAL RIFTS AND SOCIAL MEDIA BAN, on why ISIS is going this route, from the Combatting Terrorism Centre at West Point.

ISIS has been gone from Twitter for ages. (Al Qaida-affiliated groups are still around, as are the Syrian "rebel" groups and the Taliban.) Telegram channels for ISIS official news (Nashir/Nasher) seems to change every few hours.

ISIS will be defeated militarily in Iraq and Syria for now, but it's not going anywhere except underground. It will return when it's ready. It's already spreading in countries in Africa and Asia. [More...]

(1 comment, 429 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Supreme Court Approves Part of Trump's Travel Ban

I knew I should have stayed away from the news entirely today. I just saw this: Supreme Court Okays Part of Trump's Travel Ban:

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to allow a limited version of President Trump’s ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect and will consider in the fall the president’s broad powers in immigration matters in a case that raises fundamental issues of national security and religious discrimination.

The court made an important exception: It said the ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”


(3 comments, 170 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Friday and Monday Open Thread

Bump and Update: This is now a Friday and Monday open thread. I'm really busy at work but hope to be free to read news and blog tonight.

Sonny Franzese, the oldest prisoner in the federal system has been released at age 100. He was a Colombo family underboss who was sentenced to 50 years (was paroled a few times and sent back in for new offenses.)

Here's what he looked liked then.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

(68 comments) Permalink :: Comments

The Senate Republicans' Health Care Bill

The Senate Republicans' health care bill is apparently even worse than that of their House counterparts. The New York Times says even some Republicans are bad-mouthing it.

One of the obstacles: The money for drug treatment, opioids in particular. [More...]

(48 comments, 308 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Trump Says There Are No Comey Tapes

Donald Trump today said there are no tapes of him and James Comey. Why couldn't he have said that initially?

Just more confirmation he just throws things out there as part of his stream of consciousness that have no basis in fact. Either that, or he is unable to distinguish between truth and falsehood, or still has a child-like need to make stuff up to boost his position.

(51 comments) Permalink :: Comments

James Corden Schools Trump on HIV/AIDS

  • 1.1 million people live with HIV in the U.S.
    60% of whom can't afford medication
  • 36.7 million people world-wide have HIV/AIDS, including more than 2 million children under the age of 15.

Maybe Donald Trump doesn't care because he has never seen the movie "Philadelphia." Seeing that movie is what made James start caring.

Yesterday, Corden and The Late Late Show sent 297 copies (as many as they could buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc., many on Blue-ray) to Trump at Mar-a-lago (The White House was very uncooperative when James called so he didn't send them there.)[More...]

(17 comments, 144 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Tuesday TV and Open Thread

Even the New York Times is writing about the Bachelor in Paradise fiasco and The Bachelorette series (with its racial tensions and imminently expected racial blow-up between two male contestants.) If you haven't been following, WB canceled the filming of Bachelor in Paradise (the most raunchy of the series' productions) amid allegations of a possible sexual assault,and sent all the contestants home. Today WB announced the investigation was complete and nothing untoward happened, so it will resume filming. (TMZ has the sleazy details and they are sleazy.)

The Times also covers the current Bachelorette season and its latest episode here. In the previews for next week, contestant Kenny and contestant Lee, go at it and apparently Kenny gets cut with a knife near his eye. It's pretty predictable that the show would exploit any racial tensions this season, but it's curious that so far Rachel has been giving Lee the benefit of the doubt. I suspect that's due to prodding by the producers.

On Viceland, Hailey Gates is back for Season 2 of States of Undress. [More...]

(104 comments, 777 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Otto Warmbier Dies Days After Return from N. Korea

Otto Warmbier has died. His parents released this statement:

It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20pm.

...Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today. When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable — almost anguished. Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed — he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that.

I believe (and hope) he could sense it too. This is such a sad story and such an unnecessary death. [More...]

(19 comments, 319 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Sunday Open Thread

Happy Father's Day to everyone.

How times change: Check out this ad from the 1970's with the happy, smiling dad who just got a good night's sleep -- using Quaaludes.

On Melania's parents joining Melania and Barron for their move to DC and visit to Camp David: I expect them to be semi-permanent residents. (So far there's no indication they are moving in permanently.) They live at Trump Tower where they helped raise Barron (they are the reason Barron speaks Slovenian - I don't think they speak English.) Grandparents (not just nannies) are fixtures in raising Trump kids because their parents weren't around. With his oldest three kids, it was Ivana's parents, who moved in for six months a year, and the nannies who raised them.

The Trumps certainly would not have won any parenting awards when Don Jr. was a child. With Donald busy building his empire and Ivana helicoptering to Atlantic City six or seven days a week to run Trump Castle, there wasn’t a lot of time for helping with homework or taking weekend trips to the park. Ivana hired two Irish nannies, Dorothy and Bridget, to care for the children. But the most important early influence came from Ivana’s Czech parents, Milos and Maria Zelnicek, who lived with the family in Trump Tower for six months out of the year.


(83 comments, 619 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Cosby Mistrial: The Right Call

The Judge declared a mistrial in the Bill Cosby trial today. I think it was the right call, given the inconsistencies in the accuser's testimony:

The defense seized on inconsistencies in the version of events Ms. Constand gave when she went to the police the next year, and statements she made later on: She said the assault took place in March 2004, after dinner at a restaurant, then said it occurred earlier, unconnected to the restaurant outing; she said the incident had been the first time she had been alone with Mr. Cosby in his home, then said it was the third time, and that she had rebuffed his sexual advances the first two times; she said she had minimal communication with him after the incident, then acknowledged many contacts.


(25 comments, 1580 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

TalkLeft Turns 15 Today and Open Thread

Three weeks ago I wrote that Talkleft's 15th birthday is coming up and I was weighing whether to keep blogging. TalkLeft's official birthday is today: I launched this blog on June 15, 2002-- and have written on it almost every day since then.

Thanks to the many kind responses (and several donations) I received, I've decided to keep going. I think there is a lot to talk about, and that these are such scary times, we all need a place to vent.

I also want to thank every one who has taken the time to read a page, post a comment, given us a news tip, linked to TalkLeft, donated dollars and befriended us.

If you missed donating a few weeks ago, and appreciate Talkleft's longstanding and continued existence, and the effort that goes into my researching and writing, or just want to buy me a birthday drink, donations are very much appreciated. [More...]

(48 comments, 241 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Mueller Reportedly Investigating Donald Trump

While James Comey had not been investigating Donald Trump personally, according to the Washington Post, Trump is a subject of Robert Mueller's investigation -- which now includes the firing of James Comey.

Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers’s recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators as early as this week. The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy, and it is unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI.

The Washington Post does not say the FBI is the source of the information. It just says "Five people briefed on the interview requests, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly" provided the information."

Trump is now fielding questions to his personal lawyer, Mark Kasowitz, who in turn, refers them to his publicist/crisis manager, Mark Corallo. Where have we heard Corallo's name before? In the Valerie Plame investigation -- he was the spokesman for Karl Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin.[More...]

(23 comments, 383 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Bill Cosby Jury Says They Are Deadlocked

Bill Cosby's jury told the judge today they are deadlocked. He told them to keep deliberating, and gave the Allen (dynamite) charge.

I just heard a recap from CNN's reporter and I can certainly understand why the jury hung. From CNN (no link due to autoplay video):

The jury -- which has deliberated for about 31 hours in all -- is made up of four white women, six white men, one black woman and one black man. They were bused in from Allegheny County near Pittsburgh and have been sequestered in a hotel for the trial.

(43 comments) Permalink :: Comments

Jeff Sessions Testimony

Jeff Sessions will begin testifying soon. I'll be at the jail, but will try to listen on the car radio.
Here's a place to discuss it.

Rod Rosenstein testified this morning and stated only he can fire Mueller. And he would not do so without a good reason. I didn't believe the rumor to begin with-- considering the sources.

(42 comments) Permalink :: Comments

Monday Open Thread

Sorry about the lack of blogging this weekend. I just don't feel like writing when all the news is about Trump. And I had more important things to do. Like try and find this pair of sunglasses worn by actress Kate del Castillo. I spent hours online trying to match and find them and couldn't. I ended up going to my local optical shop and buying these, which while different, I really like. [More...]

(198 comments, 362 words in story) There's More :: Permalink :: Comments

Next 15 >>