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Sunday Night Open Thread

The Olympics are closing tonight. I liked the women's gymnastics but really didn't care for the constant and annoying chatter by the female anchors, or the hyperventilating male anchors (on swimming) on NBC, so I didn't watch much else on that channel. The British announcers on the alternative NBC channel were much better, at least as to the soccer games and cycling.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Trump's Many Failures

Vanity Fair reports on Trump's campaign, which has morphed from free-fall to the hospice phase:

As Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes summed up Bannon’s appointment: “Trump’s campaign has now entered the Hospice Phase. He knows he’s dying and wants to surround himself with his loved ones.”

The New York Times has a new report on Trump's finances: Trump’s Empire: A Maze of Debts and Opaque Ties. His companies are $650 million in debt and have shadowy backers.

The Chicago Sun-Times has this article on the Trump International Tower in Chicago, and how the commercial space in the 92 floor tower hasn't been leased since it was built in 2008. [More...]

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Mexican Media Report El Chapo's Son Freed, Back in Sinaloa

Riodoce reported this morning it has confirmed that Alfredo Guzman-Salazar, son of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman-Loera and the other five men kidnapped at La Leche Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta have been freed and are back in Sinaloa. Alfredo and his brother Ivan Archivaldo reportedly are both there. According to Sinaloa Press, all six were released unharmed and El Chapo has been informed.

Sin Embargo and now almost all Mexican media, and the AFP, are reporting the same. La Pared reports no additional details are being provided because of the pending extradition request from the U.S. for both sons:

Neither the Attorney General's Office or the Office of Jalisco have issued information regarding the release of the imprisoned son of Sinaloa cartel leader, but a source of the Sinaloa Attorney mentioned that there are indications that the release is correct.

"It is information that can not be confirmed because this person is a fugitive, there are only reports was released by his captors," said the source.

[More...]

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Friday Open Thread

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

Has anyone seen a Trump statue in person? G-rated comments only please, or use asterisks for anatomical parts.

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6 Bodies Found in Jalisco, None Believed to Be El Chapo's Son

6 bodies were found today in several locations in towns around Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco.

In the El Mirador, in Tonala, police authorities placed the bodies of three men between 25 and 30 years. The first two victims were found inside a vacant lot and another in a gap in the same area. The dead showed signs of torture and gunshot wound.

In Tlajomulco de Zuniga, in the La Teja ranch, the gap La Cajilota, were located the bodies of two people "you encobijadas", one of them apparently female. Another body of a "encobijado" was found in Dr. R. Michel Avenue and Stadium; near the body of the authorities assured a card with a chilling message that further details were not given.

Puerta Vallarta, where 6 men, including Alfredo Guzman-Salazar, the son of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, were kidnapped from La Leche restaurant this week, allegedly by rival cartel CJNG, is also in Jalisco.

The Attorney General of Jalisco says that as of now there is no indication the dead bodies discovered today are related to those kidnapped in Puerta Vallarta. [More...]

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Hillary: There is No "New" Donald Trump

Hillary today on the changes in Donald Trump's campaign staff:

He can hire and fire whoever he wants from his campaign. They can make him read new words from a teleprompter. But he is still the same man who insults gold star families, mocks people with disabilities and thinks he knows more about Isis than our generals. There is no new Donald Trump – this is it.

It may not be quite time to refer to his changes as re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, but he's getting there.

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El Chapo's Son: Kidnapped in Puerta Vallarta or Not?

It's amazing how bad some news reports are. They just publish without fact-checking. Memo to the AP, AFP and Australia News and other news outlets: This photo is not Alfredo Guzman-Salazar or any son of El Chapo. It's a nobody 23 year old used car salesman named Felix Beltran Leon that police mistook for Alfredo in 2012

The stocky, baby-faced suspect had been presented as the son of Guzman, the chief of the Sinaloa Cartel, and a Navy official described him as a rising operator in the international drug trafficking organization. But Beltran Leon's wife, Karla Pacheco, said he is the father of a toddler and works with his mother-in-law at a used car dealership.

The Attorney General's Office said that "necessary tests" had proved that he wasn't the drug lord's son, but said he would remain under investigation for the guns and money found during his arrest.

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Monday Open Thread

Here's a new open thread, sorry it's so late in coming. All topics welcome.

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More Prominent Republicans Balk at Trump

Is Donald Trump running on empty? More Republicans are jumping ship and refusing to support Donald Trump and planning on voting for Hillary.

More than 200 current and former Republican elected and administration officials, as well as figures from the party apparatus and the conservative media, have said in recent weeks that they simply cannot support Trump, citing his increasingly erratic statements, his lack of policy specifics and his recklessness on the international stage, with many of them saying they'd vote for Hillary Clinton instead.

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Thursday Open Thread

Here's a new open thread. All topics welcome.

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Arianna Leaves HuffPo for Wellness Venture

Arianna Huffington is leaving HuffPo to start a new wellness venture called Thrive Global. She announced the new venture in June, but thought at the time she'd be able to do both. Today she said that's simply not possible, so she's leaving Huffpo.

I think this is a great move for Arianna. So many people approaching her age (and mine) are focused on health and well-being. [More...]

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DEA Rejects Rescheduling Marijuana

The Drug Enforcement Administration announced today it will not initiate proceedings to reschedule marijuana from a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Why not? According to its notice, available here:

In accordance with the CSA rescheduling provisions, after gathering the necessary data, the DEA requested a scientific and medical evaluation and scheduling recommendation from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The HHS concluded that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision. Therefore, the HHS recommended that marijuana remain in Schedule I....Based on the HHS evaluation and all other relevant data, the DEA has concluded that there is no substantial evidence that marijuana should be removed from Schedule I.

The DEA is locked in the stone age and as a result, marijuana will remain in the same schedule with controlled substances like heroin. The DEA says because of public interest in the topic, it is publishing all of its findings. The 186 page document, which will be published in the Federal Register, is available here.

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Trump's Awkward Second Amendment Comment

Donald Trump said: “the Second Amendment people” might be the only group capable of stopping Hillary Clinton from appointing liberal judges if she is elected president." People are now debating whether he was suggested violence against Hillary. Seriously? Trump is an awkward guy who makes spontaneous awkward comments and has more than a touch of Joe Biden "foot in mouth" disease. He shouldn't be President. But not because of this comment.

I'm taking Trump's side on this one. He was obviously referring to the NRA and other gun rights groups' lobbying power and ability to influence the votes of millions of their members. He was not urging anyone use a weapon protected by the Second Amendment against Hillary. [More...]

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Blagojevich: Judge Refuses to Lower Sentence

The re-sentencing for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was held today in Chicago. He appeared by video from the Federal Prison Camp in Englewood where he is serving a 14 year sentence. The resentencing was the result of the appeals court vacating five of the most serious counts against him: the ones that pertained to the alleged "sale" of the Senate seat.

The judge refused to impose a lesser sentence. [More...]

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Monday Open Thread

Busy day here, time for a new open thread. All topics welcome.

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