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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: 17 Months Later

It has been 17 months since the public has seen Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. At the request of prosecutors, he will make his first court appearance since July, 2013 this week. I wrote a long post on his incredibly restrictive jail conditions back in April, 2013, describing the SAMS ("special administrative measures") imposed on him.

Yahoo News has a detailed update, which I highly recommend reading. [More...]

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Friday Open Thread

Who's going shopping today?

I'm taking the day off, which means I won't be on line much.

I hope all Talkleft visitors had a wonderful holiday. I looked at so many store ads my eyes are blurry. At least I forgot about ISIS for a few days.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome

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Pre Thanksgiving Open Thread

TalkLeft wishes you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Don't forget to check in with your local radio station to find out what time they will play Alice's Restaurant. It was November 28, 1965 that Arlo was convicted of littering in Stockbridge, MA. You can read the backstory here.

I will be busy setting up my new Desktop computer. I spent 8 hours Sunday reading up on every feature of every Dell and HP, I ended up with a great deal on a very powerful Dell. Of course, now comes the agony of transferring stuff over and hoping it works. I used a program last time and it caused a lot of problems, so this year I will do it by hand. My 2 GB hard drive is filled on the old one, and windows installer hasn't worked in year and a half --which means I haven't been able to add or remove any programs. Black Friday is definitely the day to do swap it out.

It's also that time of year to ask those of you who appreciate TalkLeft to send us a little thanks, via paypal or snailmail

I'll be back to normal schedule next week, my last day of an 8 day court run was today.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone. This is an open thread, all topics welcome. (Alice's Restaurant is below.)[More...]

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Corey Gardner's Repackaging: How Big an Effect?

Via Andrew Romano:

Until last night. Gardner isn’t a moderate; he’s a pro-life Republican who ranked as the 10th most conservative House member in 2012. He has opposed Republican immigration reform efforts, voted to shut down the government unless Planned Parenthood was defunded and supported Cruz’s efforts to gut Obamacare.

Romano says Corey Gardner "repackaged" himself for yesterday's election: [More...]

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Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper Re-Elected

Votes from Denver and Boulder pushed Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper over the top early this morning. He has been re-elected.

This race was too close for comfort. Bob Beauprez, as of this writing, has refused to concede defeat.

Congrats to Governor Hickenlooper.

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Robel Phillipos: Guilty Verdict on Five of Nine Alleged Statements

Robel Phillipos has been found guilty of making five of the nine false statements alleged in the Indictment. The jury found he lied about both false statements charged in Count 1 and three of the nine statements charged in Count 2. He will remain on bond and house arrest through sentencing.

Shorter version: He did not lie about what he saw or heard in the dorm room. He lied about not being in the dorm room at all, and learning afterwards that his friends had taken the backpack from the dorm room. He did not lie when he denied discussing get rid of the backpack with his friends. The jury rejected the FBI's "written confession" by Robel. [More...]

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Canadian Shooting Suspect Zehaf-Bibeau 's Background

Update: Susan Bibeau and Bulgasem Zehaf have made a statement expressing their devastation at their son's actions and their sorrow for the victim, his family and people of Canada. His mother says she grieves for the people, not her son. She spoke with him last week, for the first time in five years.

Susan Bibeau said she was devastated for the victims of the attack. "If I'm crying it's for the people," she said, struggling to hold back tears. "Not for my son."

...."I am mad at my son, I don't understand and part of me wants to hate him at this time."

She said he seemed lost and "and did not fit in."
"I his mother spoke with him last week over lunch, I had not seen him for over five years before that...."So I have very little insight to offer."

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Jared Polis: The Most Internet Friendly Congressman

Jared Polis is one of my favorite Congresspersons. (Unfortunately, I don't get to vote for him because he's not in my district.) Kevin Collier of the Kernel and The Daily Dot writes about Jared today:

Jared Polis (D-Colo.) may be the most Internet-friendly congressman in history. He certainly has the credentials: A former Web entrepreneur, he’s the first openly gay parent in congressional history, a proponent of legalizing marijuana, an active redditor, and a League of Legends gamer. He’s also long accepted campaign contributions in Bitcoin, the booming cryptocurrency.

He says Jared has "assembled what is essentially the best Internet freedom voting record possible" and then lists Jared's accomplishments. They are too long too quote, but quite impressive, so please read the article. [More...]

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Happy Birthday, Open Thread

It's that time of year again...this year it's a big one. I should be happy because I'm done with outrageous heath insurance premiums (now it's just Medicare, a supplemental policy, and a drug plan which together cost 1/3 of my monthly health insurance premium last year.)

But aging is never really a happy experience, even when you have good health and a good life. Every day there's a reminder of some part of the face or body that used to be "up to here" and has now shifted "down to there." [More....]

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Joe Biden's 40 Car Entourage Angers Aspen Law Enforcement

Joe Biden went to Aspen this weekend to speak at a private corporate event. Local law enforcement, including the sheriffs of Pitkin County (Aspen) and Garfield County (Glenwood Springs) are justly critical. It cost them thousands of dollars in overtime and security, the Secret Service didn't chip in (either did the corporation), he was only there for 24 hours and his speech wasn't open to the public. On top of that, he had a 40 car motorcade they had to monitor for 70 miles between the Eagle County Airport (near Vail) and Aspen, both for his Friday arrival and Saturday departure.

Helicopters buzzing above Aspen and multiple road closures along Highway 82 and Interstate 70 on Friday and Saturday accompanied Biden’s entourage, which involved a 40-car motorcade and at least nine local law enforcement agencies.

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Denver's "Lab Rat Cages" Already Defaced

Colorado is spending $2 million on a campaign called "Don't Be a Lab Rat" to warn teens about possible brain damage from marijuana. As part of the campaign, life size rat cages have been set up at the Denver Public Library and Denver Skate Park (Photo via CBS Denver.) More are planned. The cage at the skateboard park has already been defaced. [More...]

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CO: June Marijuana Sales Up 19%

The Colorado Department of Revenue has released the June, 2014 figures for marijuana sales and tax revenue. The Denver Post reports retail recreational marijuana sales were $24.7 million, the highest since January when sales began. June's figures were 19% higher than May, possibly due to the opening of additional retail stores.

Legal marijuana (both medical and recreational, taxes, licenses and fees) generated $29.8 million in taxes from January to June. [More...]

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CO: Drivers' Licenses Available to Immigrants Regardless of Status

Colorado's recently passed law allowing immigrants to obtain drivers' licenses without regard to their immigration status is now in effect. The process is by appointment only. So far, more than 9,500 appointments have been scheduled.

The law, SB 251, was passed last year. The official announcement is here. It applies to the undocumented, and those with only temporary legal status. There are five offices set up to issue the licenses: Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Grand Junction. The requirements:

[The undocumented] must present documents like a utility bill to prove they've lived in Colorado the previous two years, in addition to an identification number they've used to pay taxes. They must also show a passport or other identification from their home country. [More...]

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Colorado: New Rules for Marijuana Edible Packaging

Colorado is enacting new rules for recreational marijuana edibles, designed to address the problem some people (like Maureen Dowd) have determining how much to ingest.

The rules will not be "tougher" with respect to the quantity of THC contained in edibles. Colorado's current rules specify each "serving" of recreational pot edibles can contain up to 10 mg of THC. [More...]

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My First Tornado

I was driving to the ICE detention facility in Aurora today when looking off to the left, I saw what I assumed was a fire. I considered for a brief second it could be a tornado, but it wasn't raining and it didn't seem to be twirling, it just looked like dirty smoke. So I kept going.

Within a minute there was lightening. Then I could hear a little bit of hail fall on the roof of my car, then a siren went off in my car (my cell phone was plugged into the stereo, and the siren was as loud as the radio when the volume is turned up really high. I didn't even have the radio on, let alone set at high volume.) It was an emergency alert -- which I hadn't signed up for but appreciated -- telling me to get out the area, a tornado had been spotted "in rotation" on radar. I had no idea what "in rotation" meant, but I understood I should get out of the area.

Within seconds, I was in the midst of a torrential downpour and the streets were flooded. By now I was only about 5 blocks from the jail, but the jail was in the direction of the brown blob of smoke I had seen, which was not a fire, but a tornado that had touched down. [More...]

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