Friday Open Thread

Sonny Franzese, the oldest prisoner in the federal system has been released at age 100. He was a Colombo family underboss who was sentenced to 50 years (was paroled a few times and sent back in for new offenses.)

Here's what he looked liked then.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< The Senate Republicans' Health Care Bill
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    ... about how six Nazi German saboteurs, who were caught in June 1942 and executed by the U.S. military three months later, were honored with a recently discovered monument that had been placed on federal property some time ago by the National Socialist White People's Party:

    Washington Post | June 23, 2017
    Six Nazi spies were executed in D.C. White supremacists gave them a memorial -- on federal land. - "News of the unsettling discovery soon reached Jim Rosenstock, who worked in resource management for the National Park Service and also happened to be a local history buff. He was curious, but also skeptical. How could someone have planted such an item there? And why? And -- above all -- who? Rosenstock needed to see it for himself so he, too, made the hike into Blue Plains, a woody area known best for a wastewater treatment plant and an abundance of mosquitoes. And that's when he saw the stone. 'I kind of started doing a little bit of my own research,' Rosenstock recalled of that day in 2006 when he began to help unravel an only-in-Washington mystery, complete with World War II espionage, nationwide panic, a mass electrocution, J. Edgar Hoover chicanery, white supremacists, classic federal bureaucracy and a U.S. Supreme Court case that played a significant role in America's modern war on terror."

    This is why I like history.

    From (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by FlJoe on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 07:59:42 AM EST
    the fool who cried hoax
    "Well I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it," Trump said in an excerpt of his interview on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" released Friday. "But nobody wants to talk about that."
    "The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even -- before the election," Trump said. "And I hardly see it. It's an amazing thing. To me, in other words, the question is, if he had the information, why didn't he do something about it? He should have done something about it. But you don't read that. It's quite sad."
    It's hard to get past the totally ignorant lie in the first line but he does raise a question about Obama's actions that will be debated for decades, but, in a sane world, it should automatically raise the question why did you spend all this time calling it a hoax and obstructing the investigation(YMMV)?

    So, wait...Trump is now saying Obama knew (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 12:32:57 PM EST
    about something that Trump has been dismissing as just a hoax manufactured by Dems?  So, does he think it's a real thing or not?

    Oh, right, it doesn't matter what Trump said before - nor apparently does it matter that Trump's had the ability to know and be briefed on this for quite a while.

    At this point, why does anyone even listen to anything Trump says - most of the time it's barely coherent, it's almost always devoid of facts, or its full of the alternative facts his pals on Fox News tell him - which is kinda the same thing.

    But, back to Obama: it's not so much that he choked, it's more like he never had the leadership skills or the courage to actually be in front of something and not just observe for long enough to figure out where things were going so he could jump to the front of the line and claim credit for "leading."  It's one of the things that drove me crazy about him, and the problem with being like that is that when push comes to shove in a really important way, he was bound to let the country down.


    The (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by FlJoe on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 01:37:32 PM EST
    sad part is there is around thirty percent of the country who will believe any BS tRump feeds them at any given moment and another fifteen who enable him one way or another.

    Obama's worst mistake was clinging to his bipartisan or even trans-partisan dreams. He never seemed to grasp to true nature of the republicans.
    They cheat, they lie, they demonize and they always get away with it, always.


    A person (none / 0) (#29)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 06:39:58 PM EST
    interviewed for one of the Sunday Morning Shows (Face the Nation, I think) said that we elected Trump and must now believe him.

    Scary, scary stuff.  


    while being unable to (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 06:43:02 PM EST
    "grasp the true nature of the republicans"  was certainly not great for him or the country somehow it seems like a virtue

    Good grief... (none / 0) (#1)
    by fishcamp on Fri Jun 23, 2017 at 04:59:02 PM EST
    Who was his lawyer?

    Rock (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jun 23, 2017 at 09:47:28 PM EST
    I would like to introduce Hard Place...
    A leading pro-Trump dark money group just helped Republicans win a huge special election victory. Now it's threatening to take out a vulnerable GOP Senator.
    America First Policies, a non-profit advocacy outfit, plans on spending seven figures attacking Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller if he maintains his opposition to White House-backed health care legislation, the group confirmed on Friday.

    St. Louis cop shoots armed black man (none / 0) (#4)
    by Repack Rider on Fri Jun 23, 2017 at 10:17:28 PM EST
    That is, a fellow police officer.  When a car chase ended with a crash outside his house, a black police officer emerged with his service weapon.  Two officers ordered him onto the ground, then released him when they realized he was a police officer.

    A third on-duty officer arriving a short time afterward saw the black man walking toward his professional colleagues, obviously not in any kind of threatening manner, and shot him.

    Well, he WAS Black.

    Then the shooter claimed that the officer was hit by "friendly fire" in an exchange with the suspects.  Curiously, the officers already on the scene were talking to the soon-to-be-wounded officer and were not shooting at the suspects.  If they were involved in a firefight at the time, they were amazingly casual about their own safety.

    I'm sure someone on this blog knows why a cop should shoot a black man who is not threatening anyone.  You can't be too careful when you are in fear of your life.  Courage is a detriment to police work.

    could be true (none / 0) (#15)
    by linea on Sat Jun 24, 2017 at 09:21:40 PM EST
    a policeman arrives at yet another Gunfight at the OK Corral on the streets of america and impulsively shoots the african american holding a handgun due to unconscious bias. or maybe he shoots the person not wearing a police uniform?

    about me getting spanked in the previous thread:

    I'm afraid you are drawing the wrong inference (#28)
    by Peter G
    from those verdicts, Linea.

    ...what we see is that American juries consistently favor police over civilians, especially non-white ones...

    once again, thank you peter.
    yes, i am open to the assertion that i am drawing the wrong inference. but it seems to me people are missing the fat cow in the room; that the police actually have different "use of force" laws and are tasked with stopping crime. and that the police, the judges, and the juries are following the american laws as it exists; not as some wish it to be.

    from my research -- the united states follows the "common-law" legal standard and police are authorized to use deadly force against any suspect who poses an immediate threat to the officer or a threat to others. in fact, police offices were actually allowed to use lethal force against ANY fleeing person who commited a felony prior to 1985 per Tenn v. Garner (most felonies are non-violent - forged doctor's prescriptions, shoplifting expensive items, etc.).


    Don't forget the Hollywood effect (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by McBain on Sat Jun 24, 2017 at 09:39:01 PM EST
    People have been brainwashed by TV and movies.  They're used to seeing lots of dialogue when guns are or may be present.  They think there's plenty of time to defuse a potentially deadly situation when there often isn't.  

    There was no "situation" (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Repack Rider on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 11:19:04 AM EST
    The Black officer was talking to his colleagues and approaching them, as any normal professional colleague might.  There was no firefight going on.

    Of course he was not in uniform, he was home, off-duty, when the event took place in his front yard.  Of course he emerged armed, because he was on his own property, and he has that Second Amendment right as well as a professional obligation to find out what was going on.

    He was confronted, identified as a police officer, and released.  And then an officer who arrived after all that shot him.

    I know from your previous posts that the officer who shot him could not possibly be at fault. I am interested in your rationale for why the Black officer caused himself to be shot.


    the Hollywood Effect (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 05:01:25 PM EST

    I just avert my eyes (none / 0) (#31)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 06:41:27 PM EST
    Horrid stuff.

    And always defended by the usual suspects.


    People brainwashed (none / 0) (#17)
    by jondee on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 07:45:11 AM EST
    includes police officers. Maybe especially police officers.

    How do they manage to get mentally ill people in acute crisis in psychiatric facilities under control without shooting them, tasing them, or beating them nearly to death, the way Alex Landau in Denver was??

    And no, the medications they administer to patients don't take immediate effect.  


    It wasn't just your ... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Yman on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 05:36:19 PM EST
    ... incorrect inference.  It was your false assertions about the beliefs of others here, as well as your arrogant belief that you are better informed about American law and the judicial system than those of us who are actually educated about American law and do it for a living.

    It's laughable, really.


    Right in the article (none / 0) (#21)
    by Lora on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 12:44:46 PM EST
    Attorney for the wounded officer:
    (emphasis added)
    "In the police report, you have so far, there is no description of threat he received. So we have areal problem with that. But this has been a national discussion for the past two years. There is this perception that a black man is automatically feared," said attorney Rufus J. Tate Jr.

    There you have it.  If this is a knee-jerk reaction, some consciousness-raising and commitment to change is in order. And, especially for law enforcement, training that means something, frequent re-evaluation, checking, and practice.


    It's Midsummer's Eve... (none / 0) (#5)
    by desertswine on Sat Jun 24, 2017 at 12:08:51 AM EST
    “Are you sure/That we are awake? It seems to me/That yet we sleep, we dream”

    There's no fixing stupid. (none / 0) (#6)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jun 24, 2017 at 06:40:32 AM EST
    Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Trump's so-called expert on voter fraud, has been sanctioned and fined by a federal judge for "patently misleading representations" in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, as well as for "deceptive conduct and a lack of candor." In the meantime, he's also announced his candidacy for governor. Given that it's Kansas, he ought to be a shoo-in.

    Yep (none / 0) (#7)
    by FlJoe on Sat Jun 24, 2017 at 07:11:37 AM EST
     "patently misleading representations" and "deceptive conduct and a lack of candor" are considered badges of honor in the current GOP, maybe not quite the silver star level  for p$$sy grabbing or punching reporters in the face but certainly a bronze star.

    The new stories (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jun 24, 2017 at 09:57:23 AM EST
    Are beginning to suggest Plebus and others possibly sitting congress persons might be worried, or should be worried, about Mueller.

    I'm starting to think the CW that Muellers investigation could take "years" might not be correct.

    If, as we have heard, Flynn is singing...
    And we know investigations have been under way for many months.  Preet has certainly discussed what he was looking at before the ax fell.

    I think Mueller feels the need to give the country some closure.  I wouldn't be surprised based on what I have read about him he would like to do it before we are in the middle of another election, I think we might Nat have to wait years.  


    Watergate (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jun 24, 2017 at 08:44:34 PM EST
    was pretty extensive and it took about 18 months and that was with the firing of a special counsel. So personally I expect this to be wrapping up around the midterms.

    Well according to today's conservative (none / 0) (#9)
    by jondee on Sat Jun 24, 2017 at 11:25:30 AM EST
    Walking Dead, p*ssy grabbing is for "baby christians"; the true ideal for these folks is Birther Gadarene Swine like Kris Kobach, with his multiple degrees, televangelist dyed hair, and frozen-in-place incandescent smile. When he gets elected to higher office, he'll lay on hands and cast out all the liberal-secularist demons and all real or imagined fraudulent voters.

    Lately whenever I see Kobach all I can think of is Dan White as played by Josh Brolin in Milk. And that's the most positive association I can make.


    Yikes! That's a frightening thought. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jun 24, 2017 at 08:27:51 PM EST
    Josh Brolin earned a well-deserved Academy Award nomination as best supporting actor for his complex turn as the emotionally volatile Mr. White in Gus Van Sant's critically acclaimed 2008 film.

    White's abbreviated term as San Francisco supervisor represented a regressive throwback to a bygone political era during a time of profound progressive change in the city. As a result, he often found himself punching way above his weight class, which frustrated him to no good end.

    Throw in the fact that White's springs were wound way too tight for someone involved in politics, and all the ingredients were there for a tragic outcome. His assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in November 1978, followed five months later by the trial jury's failure to convict him of murder, were watershed moments in San Francisco politics.

    And just as his own psychiatrist had feared when testifying at his murder trial, less than two years after his release from prison, Dan White committed suicide in October 1985 -- but not before confessing in 1984 to Frank Falzon, the SFPD homicide detective who had arrested White six years earlier, that he had indeed gone to City Hall that tragic morning with every intent to murder both Moscone and Milk.

    So, the Moscone-Milk killings were not an act borne of diminished capacity after all, but one of admitted premeditation and cold-blooded calculation. That fact was accurately conveyed in the haunting climax of Van Sant's film, as Brolin's eerily detached White enters San Francisco City Hall through a back window, calmly seeks out both of his victims in their respective offices, and then maliciously guns them both down in turn.



    I see people referring to Kansas (none / 0) (#10)
    by jondee on Sat Jun 24, 2017 at 12:18:01 PM EST
    as "Kochistan", which is pretty funny, or would be, if the consequences weren't so potentially dire.

    When you sow the government with the seeds of stupid, you shouldn't be surprised when you subsequent reap a crop of stupid. Personally, I find it hard to sympathize with people who deliberately elected as their governor an ideologue of clearly mediocre talent and intellect like Sam Brownback, not only once but twice, and just because he had an (R) following his name. If Kansans think they're getting screwed, they need only look in the mirror to see who did it to them.

    At this point (none / 0) (#12)
    by jondee on Sat Jun 24, 2017 at 07:26:09 PM EST
    I think they'd elect Captain William Quantrill, if he came back and was the Republican frontrunner.

    New Masterpiece Mystery (none / 0) (#23)
    by caseyOR on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 04:31:01 PM EST
    starts on PBS tonight. It is called "Tennison," and the program is the prequel to the extraordinary series "Prime Suspect" which starred Helen Mirren as Inspector Jane Tennison.

    Much like "Endeavour " does with Inspector Morse, this new show begins when Jane Tennison first joins the police force and will tell the story of what made Tennison Tennison.

    IMO, "Prime Suspect" is one of the best police procedural to ever apppearcon television. If "Tennison" is anywhere near as good, it will be excellent TV.

    The Birth of a Nation (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 05:04:11 PM EST
    was on HBO last night.  the 21st century version.  i recorded it and just got around to it.

    oh. my. god.

    what a depressing sad movie.  

    jus makes ya proud ta be a amurkan.


    Binged The Leftovers (none / 0) (#33)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 06:45:09 PM EST
    Good advice to start from the beginning.  You really start to care about the characters amid the absurdity.

    Carrie Coon's Nora is very hard to forget.  And perpetually perplexed Justin Theroux is good too.

    And, just when Laurie looks to be the most sane, she does something insane...

    Too bad it is over.  I really enjoyed.

    The finale was satisfying....and a relief.  There is some sanity here.


    did you catch Carrie Coon (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 07:23:55 PM EST
    in this season of FARGO.  something about her.  definitely.  she could get noms for two different lead roles at EMMY time.  so far she should get it for LEFTOVERS IMO.

    its been announced the writer Damon Lindelof is going to do a series for HBO based on WATCHMEN.  very excited about that.  he also responsible for LOST.  which i never saw when it was running but binged the whole thing a year or so ago.  amazing.


    ooo baby (none / 0) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 07:32:10 PM EST
    Looks like Damon Lindelof may be going back to work for HBO.

    Fresh off the critically acclaimed series finale of "The Leftovers," Lindelof is in talks to develop an adaptation of the comic book series "Watchmen" to the cabler.

    This will be HBO's second attempt at developing a series based on the landmark DC Comics miniseries by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. The premium channel had kicked the tires on a "Watchmen" project in 2014. Sources say Lindelof's take on the series would be starting over from scratch independent of that effort.



    I heard that (none / 0) (#38)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 07:36:27 PM EST
    May start watching.

    If you mean FARGO (none / 0) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 07:48:49 PM EST
    You get to binge.  It finaled last week.

    An equally (well almost) good finale also featuring Carrie Coon in the memorable end scenes.


    I am watching the right. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 08:45:37 PM EST
    Certainly agree with your assessment. No happy endings.

    Really hard to watch (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 09:05:16 PM EST
    Because it's so easy to imagine happening.

    To easy.


    thanks for the heads up (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 05:04:46 PM EST

    i would have missed this.  


    ... from Washington, signaling the Kremlin's increased concern over the growing investigation by a special counsel and multiple congressional committees into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, a scandal in which Kislyak has emerged as a central figure and key player.

    now (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 06:40:25 PM EST
    if they would only recall Trump

    Not content to rely (none / 0) (#34)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 06:48:03 PM EST
    on diplomatic immunity?

    Man, there is a lot smoke from all over.....but Trump will have the GOP protect him no matter what.


    as i said upthread (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 07:28:31 PM EST
    the whole thing seems to be revving up.  i would not be surprised if we were all surprised by fall.

    It looks like Anthony Kennedy (none / 0) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 25, 2017 at 07:59:54 PM EST
    Will perhaps NOT give Trump another nominee.

    Praise Jesus

    The 80-year-old justice sparked a flood of speculation that he was set to announce his retirement when he moved up by a year a long-scheduled reunion of his former clerks.

    But he made no announcement about his future at the event, held this weekend at the court, one attendee said.

    The legal site Above the Law quoted Kennedy as joking at the reunion that he had an announcement that had been the subject of speculation: "The bar will remain open after the end of the formal program."