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Monday Night Open Thread

San Francisco erases 8,000 marijuana convictions, dating to 1975.

Also, San Francisco loses a crusader for justice -- Public Defender Jeff Adachi has died.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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The Host-less Oscars Thread

The Oscars are host-less this year. I think ratings, which haven't been good in recent years, will be even worse tonight.

Have any of you seen any of the movies that are up for awards?

Here's a place to discuss the Oscars if you're watching.

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Can Donald Trump Find Venezuela on a Map?

Donald Trump owns no hotels in Venezuela. Could he even find it on a map? And why is Melania Trump speaking at this event in Miami when the podium says "The President"? Was it a fundraiser? (I honestly don't know since I refuse to listen to either one of them.) Why am I writing about this? Because of the comments on You Tube. They are as cruel (and in some cases as apt)as any I can remember since the November, 2016 election results. Some are pretty funny (others are admittedly sexist and xenophobic).

One thing appears certain: A year and a half after the 2016 election, Donald Trump remains the most mocked and vilified person ever to have a desk in the oval office. His wife is now running second, perhaps contending only with Ivanka, Don, Jr. and Jared for that unglorified spot. [More...]

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Friday night open thread

I am stuck in traffic headed up I 70 with all the Skiers —
only I’m going to the jail not the slopes. I’ll be back writing Tomorrow .

This is an open thread all topics welcome

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Trump Seeks Network Prime Time to Promote Border Wall

Donald Trump has asked the major networks to allow him to address the nation tomorrow night on the importance of the border wall. No answer yet.

I hope they turn him down. Let him hold his talk on his Facebook page where his fans can watch and listen.

He's also going to visit the border. Why, and who cares?

Democrats need to stay firm in their opposition to this needless and wasteful expense Trump is trying to impose on taxpayers.

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Xmas in America: Trump's Government Shutdown

It's official. CBS reports (no link due to auto play video):

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday that there is no deal, and the Senate is adjourned until Thursday, Dec. 27.

We are in a partial government shutdown mode which will last through Christmas, at least. Only "essential" workers(shorter version: some law enforcement, including border agents, and military troops at the border) will get paid, the rest of federal workers do not:

More than 420,000 federal employees would have to go to work without pay. More than 380,000 will be furloughed. Those who work will get paid eventually - and those furloughed likely will - but depending how long the shutdown lasts, they could miss a paycheck.

Trump owns this now. It is his Christmas present to America.

As Trump continues to pander to his shrinking base of under-informed and marginalized voters, Dems need to stay firm and refuse to pay a cent for his imaginary wall. As for his "beautiful" Steel Slat Barrier he tweeted about this morning, I hope he's the first to sit on top of it.

The only acceptable outcome for next year: #TrumpResigns.

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Trump Refusing to Sign Shutdown Bill

Donald Trump wants his wall. He's refusing to sign the bill to avoid a government shutdown without funding for his wall.

Donald Trump is the antithesis of what this country needs in leadership.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Hopefully, Trump's fall will come soon.

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Khashoggi: CIA Assessment and Reports of Prior Marriage

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have secretly gotten married in the U.S. last June.

The Washington Post reports a CIA assessment of Khashoggi's murder led the agency to conclude the Crown Prince ordered it.

The CIA assessment relies in part on a phone call that was intercepted by Intelligence between the Crown Prince's brother, who is the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and Khashoggi. Apparently, the Ambassador told Khashoggi it was safe to go pick up the documents for his marriage at the Embassy. [More...]

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Mexican Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Decriminalized Marijuana

The Mexican Supreme Court issued two important rulings today on marijuana:

Mexico’s Supreme Court issued two more rulings Wednesday ordering that complainants in individual cases be allowed to use marijuana for recreational purposes, establishing a precedent that a blanket prohibition on pot is unconstitutional.

The court found that adults have a fundamental right to personal development which lets them decide their recreational activities without interference from the state.

“That right is not absolute, and the consumption of certain substances may be regulated, but the effects provoked by marijuana do not justify an absolute prohibition of its consumption,” the ruling said.

The rulings establish that Mexico's laws prohibiting marijuana use are unconstitutional but it is still up to the Mexican Congress to pass a law legalizing marijuana.

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Happy Halloween, TV and Open Thread

It's really cold here -- I sure wouldn't want to be a trick or treater.

If you are staying in (or just getting back home with your candy), it's a good night for TV. Here's what I've been watching:

  • On Amazon Prime: The Romanoffs (Except for episode 4 which may have been the most boring TV I've seen in ages)
  • Exathlon U.S. on Telemundo: Extreme Sports competition I've been watching for months. The finale is Sunday night. You can catch up with some segments here or on You Tube.
  • Rosario Tijeras on Netflix(The 2010 Colombian version, not the later Mexican remake.) It's 60 episodes but they go fast (and there's subtitles and no commercials).

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Sleazy Phony Fraudlent Attempt to Discredit Mueller

Even considering all the slimy attempts by various Republicans to promote fake news we know about, this one stands apart as pretty outrageous.

A company that appears to be run by a pro-Trump conspiracy theorist offered to pay women to make false claims against Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the days leading up to the midterm elections—and the special counsel's office has asked the FBI to weigh in. “When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation,” Mueller spokesman Peter Carr told me in an email on Tuesday.

According to the Atlantic, the phony sleazy attempt to discredit Mueller leads back to a company named Surefire Intelligence and a man named Jack Burkman. (I remember Burkman from having appeared on cable TV segments arguing against him in the Clinton years. He seemed like a jerk then and apparently has only increased that perception in later years. [More...]

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Pipe Bombs in the Hands of Trump Supporters

Donald Trump blames the media for the suspicious packages containing pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats/liberals.

The FBI statement is here.

Sorry, Trump, but the culprits are your under-informed supporters (as is evident from the multiple misspellings and misaddressed packages alone. i.e., "Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s last name lacked an “h” in Schultz. Her address in Florida was spelled “Florids.” Mr. Brennan’s name was missing an “n.”"). [More....]

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Trump Makes Threats Over Caravan

Donald Trump is threatening to cut aid money to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala if the migrant caravan is not stopped. He's also threatening to send the military to the southern border with Mexico.

Vox reports the caravan is unlikely to make it across the Mexican border. [More...]

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Kavanaugh Sworn In: Trump Bloviates, SNL Laughs

Not as funny as last week's cold open on Kavanaugh with Matt Damon, but still quite good.

In real life last night, Donald Trump answered questions from a Fox News Host after his rally in Kansas. The depth of his fake news statements made my head spin. He can't really believe this stuff. I guess he knows his core, under-informed fanboy base can't be bothered to watch real news, which makes them over-susceptible to his nonsense.

We are three weeks to November. Please do your part to get out the vote. If you don't, your children and grandchildren may never forgive you.

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Kavenaugh Comes Out Strong and Angry

For those who thought it was all over, think again. Brett Kavanaugh is angry, very angry. And he's credible.

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