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Did anyone watch "Narcos?" I was not impressed. They should have named it "Narcs" -- it's the story of two U.S. drug agents helping Colombia nab Escobar. It's not the story of Esobar, it's the agents' story, and it's got some factual issues. If you want the real flavor of who these agents are, read some Congressional Hearing testimony from around 1993 or their description of their time in Colombia over at the DEA Museum where they gave a tour. [More...]
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Justice Dept official says "referral" related to Hillary Clinton's email is NOT for a criminal investigation - contradicting earlier reports— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) July 24, 2015
David Nir writes about the NYT's dramatic walkback of its claim that two government Inspector Generals had made a referral to the Justice Department seeking a criminal inquiry of Hillary Clinton regarding her e-mails.
But the story gets worse for the New York Times. These memos (PDF) from OIG regarding the very same investigation demonstrate that in fact the issue is about how the State Department handled Clinton's e-mails AFTER she turned them over to State:
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Egypt's Foreign Ministry has issued a new style guide for media coverage of terrorism. It bans the use of the words "ISIS, ISIL or Islamic State." It instructs reporters not to use any religious based terms when referring to terrorist groups, including "jihadists", "Islamists" or "fundamentalists." Reporters cannot refer to leaders of these groups with the label "Sheikh" or "Emir."
How are reporters supposed to refer to the groups? The guide says the acceptable terms include "terrorists, extremists, criminals, murderers, savages, slaughterers, assassins, radicals, fanatics, rebels" and a few others.
You can read the new rules here.
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Showtime's Nurse Jackie ended its 7 year run last night. (Spoiler Alert: Don't read further unless you've seen it or don't intend to watch.) [More...]
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"the President carries his own background into race and he's not seen as a neutral observer" wtf does that mean? pic.twitter.com/zIllINELz3— Ms. Kim (@KimBrownTalks) June 21, 2015
On Meet the Press, this morning, the Washington bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, Gerald Seib, said:
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Brian Williams is returning to NBC -- but not as the anchor of the evening news. Instead, he will anchor breaking news and special reports on MSNBC. He appeared as a guest on the Today Show this morning with Matt Lauer. He said he's grateful for the second chance and he knows and expects he will be held to a higher standard.
Other changes are coming for MSNBC, as the network, whose ratings have been poor, starts to focus more on breaking news and less on punditry and talk shows.
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I just re-signed up with Netflix. It has announced new deals with Telemundo, Unimas and Univision and will expand it's latin programming.
I just finished watching 48 episodes of El Cartel 2: La Guerra Total (sequel to Cartel de Los Sapos.) I bought the DVD's, since it wasn't available with workable subtitles anywhere else.
Unimas has been airing Cartel de Los Sapos for a few months, and the finale is tomorrow night. Telemundo is in the midst of Senor de Los Cielos 3. Both have English captions, even on Xfinity. [More...]
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No seriously, that's what they said:
The editor running the coverage, Carolyn Ryan, is more than satisfied with the results so far. “We’ve had extraordinary and world-beating coverage,” Ms. Ryan, the Washington bureau chief, told me by phone this week, mentioning her “dream team of reporters.”
In the news media world, she said, “it’s been broadly recognized that we are dominating.” She mentioned that commenters from Matt Drudge to Dylan Byers of Politico to Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed have praised the coverage or aspects of it. [My emphasis.]
Somewhere, Howell Raines and Jeff Gerth are smiling.
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It's been raining and cold in Denver for days. Perfect activity for being indoors on a holiday weekend: Watching the final 24 episodes of Season 1 of El Cartel, aka Cartel De Los Sapos (Cartel of the Snitches.) Unimas has been re-airing episodes every weeknight since April, but is only up to episode 23. Since I hate to wait, I ordered the second half of season 1 for $5.00 on Ebay (free postage, brand new and shrink-wrapped). The six disk set with 24 episodes and English subtitles arrived yesterday. I've already watched 12 episodes. There are no commercials, no ads at the bottom of the screen and no annoying previews.
I knew El Cartel was the story of the end of the Cali cartel and the rise and take-down of the Norte Valle Cartel in Colombia, but I hadn't realized until watching the show how the NV takedown was done. Here is the true and fascinating story taken from U.S. court records of how agents from DEA Group 43 conducted a rogue operation, and along with their famous informant, photographer Baruch Vega, convinced dozens of cartel bigwigs that if they paid millions of dollars each, promised to stop trafficking and divulge their trafficking routes, they could come to the U.S., get bail, return home, keep all their money, and serve no jail time. Dozens fell for it. [More...]
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Sometimes you don't know what you got till it's gone. That's how I feel about David Letterman. I didn't watch him often, but when I did, I enjoyed him and his show, and I'm sorry he's leaving.
His quirkiness and unpredictability were unique for late night TV. He'll be missed.
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Elian Gonzalez is all grown up in Cuba. In his first U.S. interview (which took place in Cuba), he says he is grateful to the U.S. and would like to visit one day.
He said while he disagrees with his mother's decision to leave Cuba, he feels she fought hard to keep him alive on the boat and is grateful to her for saving his life.
Elian is now 21 and engaged to his high school sweetheart.
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Update: This may be the best season yet. (I won't give the plot details about characters for a few days to give people a chance to watch it.) Some non-spoiler details: Season three begins 4 years after season 2 ended so everyone's lives have changed. There's a more valuable commodity than cocaine -- uranium in Venezuela. As with last season, there are Venezuelan generals working with FARC in the Colombian jungle at the cocaine labs (which produce coke for the Mexican drug lords.) What's new is that the Iranians have entered the picture and are making deals with all of them to get their hands on Venezuelan uranium. The uranium is to be transported to Mexico and then the U.S. The CIA now wants to take control of Aurelio from the DEA because now it's a matter of national security.[More...]
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Haven't read book attacking Clintons. But if, as reported, it charges that Obama Admin moved Colombia FTA to reward CGI donor, that's nuts!— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) April 20, 2015
So now the NYTimes is openly in the business of doing steno for the GOP. Just awful:
The Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have exclusive agreements with the author to pursue the story lines found in the book ["Clinton Cash."
Who cares if the author writes for Breitbart and worked for George W Bush? It's hit piece on Hillary Clinton! Does anyone at these news organization care about ethics anymore?
And the awfulness is patent even in this prelude piece. Consider this:
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Welcome to Colorado. CNN's new series High Profits airs its first episode tonight. It's about the burgeoning marijuana industry, and tonight's episode is in Colorado.
"Justified" with Timothy Olyphant ended its six year run on FX last night. I won't spoil it for those of you who haven't seen it yet -- I'll just say it was very good. No ambiguous nonsense like the bizarre end to the Sopranos.
We not only know what happened to Raylan, Boyd and Ava now, but we get to see them all four years from now. [More...]
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