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Obama on Jimmy Kimmel Live: Both Funny and Serious

President Obama was on Jimmy Kimmel last night. Both were very funny and entertaining.

Obama did get serious for a few minutes, when he talked about Ferguson, the two officers who were shot, the protesters, racial profiling and the DOJ report. [More...]

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Brian Williams Story Keeps Growing

Update: Brian Williams has released a statement saying he will take a leave of absence from NBC News for several days:

As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue. Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.

***

Two days of trending on Twitter is apparently all it takes for NBC News to launch an internal investigation into Brian Williams' mis-telling of his experience on a helicopter of Iraq. [More...]

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Johnny Depp and George Jung Catch Up

George Jung, the infamous cocaine dealer played by Johnny Depp in the movie Blow, was released from prison last June, having completed his 20 year sentence.

Depp and Jung recently got together to reminisce and catch up.

George Jung wrote a sequel to Blow while he was in jail called Heavy, which was released on Kindle in September. I wonder if they discussed making it into a movie.

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Dershowitz Supplements His Request to Intervene in Jane Doe Lawsuit

[Warning: This is very long. It assumes you know the basics. If not, see my four prior posts on the Dershowitz - Jane Doe claims, accessible here.]

Victims' Rights Lawyers Paul Cassell and Bradley Edwards have not yet responded in court to Alan Dershowitz' motion to intervene in the civil suit between Jane Does 1 and 2 and the Department of Justice. The Court has not yet ruled on Dershowitz' motion. Yesterday, Dershowitz filed a supplement to his motion. I have uploaded it here.

In addition to asking that he be allowed to intervene, he asks that Cassell and Edwards' allegations against him be stricken and that the Court enter a "show cause" order (explaining why they shouldn't be held in contempt of court.) [More...]

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Facebook To Put Amber Alerts in Newsfeeds

Facebook is going to put Amber Alerts in users' newsfeeds.

Just another reason I don't like or have much use for Facebook. Or Joe Biden, who got the Amber Alert bill passed without hearings by sneaking it into another crime bill against drugs.

Worst presidential nomination scenario: Hillary decides not to run and Joe Biden takes a shot.

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Bono's Candid Account of His Injuries

U2's Bono writes he may never play guitar again, due to the severity of his injuries from a bike accident in Central Park last November.

"Recovery has been more difficult than I thought. As I write this, it is not clear that I will ever play guitar again. The band have reminded me that neither they nor western civilization are depending on this.

He published his letter, A to Z, on the band's blog. [More...]

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Three New Narco Dramas Coming in January

Three new narco dramas begin airing in January. They look promising, although I've learned over the past two years that not every series can be an El Capo, La Reina del Sur, Senor de los Cielos or Pablo Escobar: Patron de Mal.

Duenos del Paraíso , on Telemundo, has Kate Castillo of La Reina del Sur as the lead star. An abbreviated 34 minute version of the first episode with English subtitles is available free on Xfinity on Demand. It looks like a winner. It was non-stop action with a myriad of plots. It takes place in the 70's in Mexico and Miami.

The second is a Colombian show by Caracol, airing on Unimas, Tiro de Gracia ("Shot of Grace") starring Robinson Diaz, who was one of the best characters in Senor de los Cielos. He plays two roles, an actor forced to have plastic surgery and become the double for a cartel leader, and the cartel leader. [More...]

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Sony Reversal: "The Interview" Will Be Released Xmas Day

Sony has changed its position and will offer screenings of "The Interview" after all on Christmas Day. It won't be in a huge number of theaters, maybe 200 to 300 around the country.

Here's Sony's tweet making the announcement.

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R.I.P. Legendary Joe Cocker

R.I.P., Joe Cocker. He has died of lung cancer at age 70. He moved to Crawford, Colorado (in Delta County) in the mid-1990's where he and his wife Pam built the Mad Dog Ranch.

Cocker lived with his wife, Pam, on a 240-plus-acre plot he called "Mad Dog Ranch," named after his 1970 "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" tour, where they moved in 1995 from California. The 17,000-square-foot home they built was host to personal concerts and a garden where, in a juxtaposition to the hard-partying, drug-using reputation he held in the 1970s, the rocker tended to his tomatoes.

In Crawford, a town of less than 400 about 50 miles southeast of Grand Junction, Cocker became a well-known and well-liked member of the community, separated from his days connected to the Rock and Roll greats of which he belonged.

Here's a profile of his non-rock star life there (from the Denver Post in 2008.) [More...]

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Obama Says Sony Made a Mistake in Canceling "The Interview"

President Obama said today that Sony made a mistake in deciding to cancel "The Interview."

That's not who we are. That's not what America's about....We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States...

...Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they do when they start seeing a documentary they don't like, or news reports they don't like. Or even worse, imagine if producers or distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of someone whose sensibilities probably need to be offended.

...The company shouldn't have been deterred from releasing its movie "any more than we stop going to a football game because there might be the possibility of a terrorist attack, any more than Boston didn't run its marathon this year because of the possibility that somebody might try to cause harm."

Obama said he wished Sony called him before making the decision. Good to know that Sony can just pick up a phone and get put through to the President. Can any other corporations do that?

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Sony Cancels Release of "The Interview"

Following threats by hackers to launch attacks on theaters who show "The Interview", a comedy movie by Sony Pictures about a planned assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Sony announced yesterday it is canceling the release of the film. The announcement followed decisions by several movie chains not to show the movie. Sony has no plans to release the film in the future.

Some criticize Sony's cancellation saying they are giving in to cyberterrorists, and it's a slippery slope. Others say better safe than sorry.

According to Reuters, the U.S. believes North Korea, not keyboard terrorists sitting in their parents' basement, is behind the Sony hacks and threats.

Why didn't Sony just release it to cable "On Demand", Netflix, iTunes and Amazon?

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Sony's Threatens to Sue Media Who Publish Hacked Materials

On behalf of Sony, lawyer David Boies has written a letter to media organizations (available here)threatening to sue them if they publish the materials hackers obtained from its computer network.

Can Sony win such a lawsuit? Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy analyzes the issue and concludes "Probably not, at least as to most of the information that media outlets would want to publish."

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Time Magazine's Person of the Year

Time Magazine released its list of the 8 finalists for Person of the Year today. Here's the list (not from Time, because it has an auto play video.) Pretty lackluster. There are some odd choices, like Taylor Swift. And redundant ones, like Vladimir Putin, who was chosen in 2007 and 2012.

It's not a popularity contest. Time writes:

TIME's choices for Person of the Year are often controversial. Editors are asked to choose the person or thing that had the greatest impact on the news, for good or ill — guidelines that leave them no choice but to select a newsworthy — not necessarily praiseworthy — cover subject.

Time named Adolph Hitler "Person of the Year" in 1938 and Joseph Stalin twice, in 1939 and 1942. In 1979, it was Ayatollah Khomeini.

Since groups of persons are now eligible, how did ISIS not make the list?

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John Lennon: 34 Years Ago Tonight

Tonight is the 34th anniversary of the killing of John Lennon.

Here's one reason his passing has a special meaning for me and my son. I particularly like the post I wrote in 2010. And from my post in 2005

There are millions of people in this world whose lives were enriched by John Lennon, his persona and his music. He told his truth and it was the truth of an entire generation. His death was a tragedy, but his life was an inspiration.

[More...]:

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Rudy Giulani's Shows His True Colors

Rudy Giuliani is justly taking a heap of justly deserved criticism for his comments on Meet the Press about race and crime today. In a discussion about Ferguson and the disproportionate number of white cops in neighborhoods with a large minority population, he complained that too much attention was being paid to the Michael Brown shooting. He rattled off statistics about black on black crime. When another guest on the show objected, he said:

“White police officers wouldn’t be there,” Giuliani said, “if you weren’t killing each other.”

You can watch the segment here.

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