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Sunday Open Thread

I have nothing to write about. Trump has become boring and predictable. Only the ignorant and persons who can't manage their perceived anger will vote for him.

Things seem stable for the time being in Sinaloa. Yes, a nephew of Zambada-Garcia (Edgar Parra Juvanny Zambada, age 42) got killed, but he seemed like a straight arrow working for a seafood company. Maybe it was road rage? (Added: Probably not. His brother, Juan Jose Parra Zambada, alias "El Juanjo", was arrested with Jesus "El Rey" Zambada Garcia (El Mayo's brother) in 2008 and their father, Juan Jose Parra "El Diablo", was Zambada Garcia's brother in law, having married his sister Ana Maria Zambada Garcia. According to an interview El Mayo gave to the magazine Proceso, Juan Jose Parra "El Diablo" introduced Ismael Zambada-Garcia to drug trafficking when he was 16. [More...]

Another son of Jesus "El Rey" Zambada Garcia, and nephew of El Mayo, Jose Vicente Zambada- Reyes, was killed in a shooting in December.

These kidnappings/killings seem to have more markings of Alfredito Beltran Guzman (son of Alfredo Beltran Leyva, for whom the U.S. Government is seeking a Life sentence and a $10 billion forfeiture),rather than CJNG, although some say the two groups re collaborating. Again, if Alfredito Beltran Guzman is behind it, it sounds like a family feud to me, not an attempt to gain physical control over big swathes of territory.

ISIS on the brink of losing Sirte, Libya. The West has been claiming this for months, but it could be true this time. What does it mean? The BBC has a new article examining what's next for ISIS after Sirte.

The MTV Music Awards are on tonight. Brittany Spears is going to be a featured performer. She was on Carpool Karoake this week with James Corden. It was easily the worst one he ever did. She barely sang, when she did, it was in a whisper. Or she lip-synced. Poor James did all the heavy lifting, including hitting the high notes she didn't even bother to try for. She came across as as a dumb teenager (she's 33) and someone severely in need of a brain from the Scarecrow. Maybe that should be her next part--in the Wizard of Oz.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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  • Display: Sort:
    On Sunday nite tv (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 08:54:55 AM EST
    I would DVR Brittany and watch the 2 hour finale of The Night Of.

    The Night Of (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 10:30:30 AM EST
    Became riveting quickly.

    Parent
    Useless but interesting... (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by desertswine on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 04:36:15 PM EST
    During a 1992 state dinner, President George H. W. Bush, ill with the flu, lost his lunch in the lap of the Japanese prime minister. Bush's faux pas led the Japanese to coin a slang word, bushusuru, which translates as "to do the Bush thing," and means "to vomit."


    J. Edgar Hoover - the man and the secrets (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 08:47:47 AM EST
    I'm reading this right now and, ooooo boy.   I don't read a lot of non fiction but this really does not read like non fiction.   Much of it reads like pulp fiction, some is just totally f'king unbelievable.

    If interested yu can read the book here at Google books

    Or you can read about it here in this LATimes review

    Let me assure you that Curt Gentry is no Kitty Kelley. His goal, which he achieves, is not to sift through a life hunting only for what titillates, but to write a rounded biography, cradle to grave. It just so happens that Hoover's cradle and grave were in Washington, D.C. He was a home-town boy, and there wasn't much to say about him before he went to the Justice Department--unless you want to talk about his success as a high school cadet captain, or his speed as a delivery boy, or the boil that disfigured his nose--and there wasn't anything to say about his life after he left the Justice Department, because he died there. The FBI was his life. What he did there, Gentry writes, was done partly as a super patriot, but also simply in defense of his hometown, to protect it from the evil world outside as he envisioned it.

    It is a strange and truly frightening read.  Reassuring in a way in this time of insane politics to know our country has survived insane megalomaniacs before.  And "insane" is an overused word.  Hoover was insane.  And the really scary part is that everyone knew it AT THE TIME.

    I got hooked on reading this in a funny way.  I was surfing the interwebs and I came across the strange story of Bert Horgson.  It is the strangest and most frightening abuse of power I have ever heard of.   It doesn't sound possible.  Really.  Just not possible in anything but the fevered imagination of a fiction writer.   But by all accounts it's true.   That story, which as the LATimes blurb says, is not at all the focus of the book but more of an aside that just gets a few paragraphs, is what hooked me into reading the rest.    And as unbelievable as it is it pales compared to the really evil and dangerous stuff this man - who to this day has name on the FBI building in DC - did.  Here is Burts story in a nutshell-

    The diary purports that from at least the mid-1930s onward, Hoover would require selected agents to take on special undercover assignments, often lasting for years, as women or drag queens in high heels and skirts. Sources speculate that Hoover, unable to dress openly as a woman, forced some of his underlings to take up his habit so he'd feel more normal. He reportedly enjoyed training these agents himself, selecting their outfits, applying makeup and fixing hairdos. Most men hated these assignments and many were threatened with firing or even jail time for their cooperation.

    The diary recounts at least one case in the 1950s in which Hoover had the mother of an agent jailed on trumped-up charges to keep him on duty as a red-headed, high-heeled gun moll. Perhaps the weirdest case is that of 24-year-old Bert Horgson, a six-foot Swede who left his family and girlfriend in Minnesota in 1935 to fight Nazi spies with the FBI. Once Hoover caught sight of him, however, the slim, blue-eyed Horgson was instead given a different assignment -- and spent the remainder of his career in dresses and high-heeled pumps as Hoover's "special agent."

    The diary recounts how Hoover kept Horgson from quitting by alternating promises of reassignment with intimidation of both Horgson and his family. Hoover even went so far as to have Horgson's legal identity changed from male to female -- making it illegal for him to dress as a man for most of the 30s, 40s and 50s -- and had agents make sure he complied. Even Hoover's death in 1972 brought Horgson no reprieve. In a final bizarre ploy from beyond the grave, Hoover left orders that the 60-year-old FBI man was to be confined to a special high-security nursing home as a national security risk.

    Horgson found himself forced to remain "Bettina Horgson" until his death 29 years later. Horgson died in 2001 at the age of 89 in a government nursing home in Washington, D.C. One government source says, "this is one of the strangest, and most flagrant abuses of power I've ever heard of."



    I should say (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 09:10:31 AM EST
    Those Burt paragraphs are not taken from The Man The Secrets - from which I can't cut and paste - but from an excerpt from another book on Hoover.

    Parent
    Interesting .. What is the name of (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 12:36:03 PM EST
    the other book?

    Parent
    Wow (none / 0) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 10:16:21 AM EST
    that is scary for sure.

    Parent
    Hoover is an embarrassment (none / 0) (#5)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 10:26:13 AM EST
    to the history of this country and the legacy of the FBI. I have written my own Senator numerous times demanding that his name be removed from the FBI building in DC. That is an insult to the American people.

    Parent
    Truly (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 11:25:31 AM EST
    But you know we all hear that.  I of course have heard it for my whole life basically, still, I really had no idea.  And I believe most people do not.

    About the building, there is a lot about the building in that book.  About the reaction to how it looks, about how it, because of Hoovers repeated redesigns - widely viewed as a way to keep his job "until it was done", about how because of those redesigns and the crony mafia contracts to build it remains the most expensive building ever built by the federal government.  At least in DC.

    There is a lot about the building.  After reading it you almost (but not quite) understand why it really should be called the J. Edgar Hoover Building.

    Parent

    The legacy of J. Edgar Hoover, like that ... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 02:48:18 PM EST
    ... of his equally closeted and vicious contemporaries Roy Cohn and Joe McCarthy, proves that there are no homophobes quite like gay homophobes.

    Director Clint Eastwood, screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and actor Lornardo DiCaprio dealt with the conjoining issues of Hoover's homosexuality and his homophobia matter-of-factly without sensationalizing them in the 2011 biopic "J. Edgar," which rather deftly underscored his increasingly erratic and abusive behavior, as well as his personal relationship with FBI Dep. Director Clyde Tolson, whom Hoover named as his heir in his will.

    J. Edgar Hoover was a terribly twisted piece of work, and good riddance 44 years after the fact. I agree that his name ought to rightly be stricken from the FBI Building in Washington, D.C., given what we now know about his 48-year tenure as that agency's director.

    In 1974, the Schaumberg, IL school district named a brand-new elementary school after the then-recently deceased FBI director. That honor was  subsequently rescinded by the district 20 years later, as full realization of his abuses compelled many people to reassess the man himself and his tortured history.

    If Schaumberg, IL could do it, so should Congress.

    Parent

    That's funny (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 03:28:37 PM EST
    I was just reading about the school.  The squaking and flapping of the trolls is very funny.  As is the tabloid link.  I had not seen that.  That story has of course circulated widely over the years.  The Man The Secrets doesn't exactly go there but very close.  A lot of it, a LOT, is about Hoovers "private" documents and files like the "alleged" diary that were destroyed, supposed to be destroyed or spirited away before they could be destroyed.

    The book opens on the day of his death with his life long personal secretary (who's name escapes me right now) flying into action destroying and moving documents to the house of his companion Tolson among other places.   There was even a congressional inquiry but not until two years (I think) after his death and the author says it was a total farce.

    That particular wording I quoted I believe probably cam from a much more sensational book about Hoover called something like "Official and Confidential, the secret life of J Edgar Hoover". But there have actually been several.

    Parent

    Also for the record (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 04:09:50 PM EST
    Cohn and McCarthy were not just contemporaries they were protégés employees and partners in "crime"

    The Rosenberg trial brought the 24-year-old Cohn to the attention of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director J. Edgar Hoover, who recommended him to Joseph McCarthy.

    If you want to have some fun Google "Cohn Hoover fluffy black dress"

    And on that subject, we all know Trump was sued (twice) by the justice department for discriminating against AAs in housing.   But only since I started reading this book did I learn Roy Cohn was his attorney.

    The government alleged that Trump's corporation quoted different rental terms and conditions to blacks and made false "no vacancy" statements to blacks for apartments they managed in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.[19]
    Representing Trump, Cohn filed a countersuit against the government for $100 million, asserting that the charges were irresponsible and baseless.[18][20] The countersuit was unsuccessful.

    That's was 1975.  It seems three years later he represented him again for violating that settlement.

    Oh
    And how about Cohn Reagan and (Trump ally) ROGER STONE?

    Cohn aided Roger Stone in Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign in 1979-80. Cohn helped Stone arrange for John B. Anderson to get the nomination of the Liberal Party of New York, a move that would help split the opposition to Reagan in the state. Stone said Cohn gave him a suitcase that Stone avoided opening and, as instructed by Cohn, dropped it off at the office of a lawyer influential in Liberal Party circles. Reagan carried the state with 46 percent of the vote. Speaking after the statute of limitations for bribery had expired, Stone later said, "I paid his law firm. Legal fees. I don't know what he did for the money, but whatever it was, the Liberal party reached its right conclusion out of a matter of principle."[25]

    Small freakin world.

    Parent

    Steve Avery's Lawyer requests more (none / 0) (#8)
    by McBain on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 11:45:40 AM EST
    evidence testing. Kathleen Zeller is Avery's new lawyer. She's had a lot of success getting innocent people out of prison, including Ryan Ferguson in 2013. Avery's legal team during the filming of "Making a Murderer" are no longer representing him.

    "Mr. Avery is requesting, and is willing to pay for, the most comprehensive, thorough, and advanced forensic testing ever requested by a criminal defendant in the State of Wisconsin,"

    Zellner also wants to use newly developed radiocarbon tests to determine whether the samples of Avery's blood found in Halbach's car came from a fresh wound or from a sample taken years earlier. (A key theory of Avery supporters is that the blood in Halbach's car was planted using a sample taken when Avery was wrongly imprisoned for a 1985 rape.

    I've never been convinced of Avery's guilt.  Too much shady behavior from the Manitowoc County police. Hopefully, there will be a new trial.  


    Avery is guilty (none / 0) (#33)
    by Towanda on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 08:49:21 PM EST
    and the small-town cops were incompetent (and possibly corrupt).  This does not have to be a dichotomy.

    Those of you swayed by the Making of a Murderer doc might, this being a legal blog, look to other sources.  Here's a start.

    Parent

    prison or not? (none / 0) (#9)
    by thomas rogan on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 11:45:57 AM EST
    From NY Times
    A man suspected of stabbing two nuns to death in their rural Mississippi home confessed to the killings on Saturday, according to the police.
    Rodney Earl Sanders, 46, was arrested on Friday and charged with two counts of capital murder in connection with the deaths of Sister Margaret M. Held and Sister Paula J. Merrill, 68, whose bodies were discovered on Thursday at their shared home in Durant, a town of 3,000 people that had gone years without a murder.
    "Sanders was developed as a person of interest early on in the investigation," Lt. Colonel Jimmy Jordan, the director of the state's Bureau of Investigation, said in a statement.
    Mr. Sanders has a history with the police. In 1986 he served six years in prison for an armed robbery in Mississippi, and last year he was convicted of a felony D.U.I. He had been on probation since September, Grace Simmons Fisher, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections, said.

    So much for probation of repeat felons with a history of at least one violent crime...

    i agree with warehousing (1.00 / 1) (#10)
    by linea on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 12:26:04 PM EST
    but im not sure this was predictable from the information i have.  he commited an armed robbery and was in prison from 1986 to 1992 and then 13 years later was placed on probation for a DWI. you feel the judge in the DWI case was too lenient given his previous conviction twenty years ago?

    Parent
    In MS a "felony DUI" is the third (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 03:02:14 PM EST
    one that an individual gets.

    Given the number of people killed in accidents where alcohol is involved getting three DUI's demonstrates that the driver has a serious problem. Taking their license just adds the charge of driving without one..so locking them up long enough for them to get the point seems logical.

    Parent

    Having a history with the police is all it (none / 0) (#27)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 07:00:10 PM EST
    sometimes takes to be a person of interest early in the investigation. I'd l,e to know what other evidence there is besides the confession, and what the circumstances were of the confession.

    I don't take anything the police say for granted.

    Parent

    Captain Howdy please (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 05:35:30 PM EST
    take the night off. You have already blog-clogged this thread mostly with insults to other commenters. I've cleaned the thread.

    Saw 'Florence Foster Jenkins' last night. (none / 0) (#28)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 07:08:04 PM EST
    Really well done. Hope Meryl Streep has room for another Oscar.  Could have been a really one note character...pun intended ...but she does her magic. High Grant is good too - good to see him on screen again. And I read that the young man that plays her accompanist does his own playing - on a Bechstein oculus!

    I hunk at this point Streepmis just looking for challenges - she's done all of the accents and everything else. Now why not sing off key? Hownstlyntheynrelaly did a good job of spacing out the singing. It is funny and horrifying at the same time. It was still firing my neurons a half hour later.

    Pardon the iPad typing . Hope it is decipherable (none / 0) (#29)
    by ruffian on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 07:08:48 PM EST
    thought some of you would enjoy this text (none / 0) (#30)
    by mogal on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 08:11:22 PM EST
        Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness,
          and his upper rooms by injustice;
          who makes his neighbors work for nothing,
          and does not give them their wages;
    14      who says, "I will build myself a spacious house
          with large upper rooms,"
          and who cuts out windows for it,
          paneling it with cedar,
          and painting it with vermilion.
    15      Are you a king
          because you compete in cedar?


    Text is from Jeremiah 22. (none / 0) (#31)
    by mogal on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 08:14:23 PM EST
    Colin Kaepernick refuses to stand during (none / 0) (#32)
    by McBain on Sun Aug 28, 2016 at 08:36:22 PM EST
    National Anthem. Things  haven't gone well for the 49ers lately and this isn't helping.  I don't agree with his decision, I think he's basing his opinion of African Americans being obressed on bad information, but I do agree with this statement from teammate Torrey Smith...
    "Oftentimes people want athletes to take a stand," Smith said. "But when they do, it's like, `Hey, y'all, shut up. Sit down.'

    Michael Jordan and other athletes get criticized for not speaking out on certain issues. I don't think that's fair.  I prefer to athletes and other celebrities to focus on their craft.  As for Kaepernick, he's in danger of losing his job with the 49ers because of poor performance on the field, with his protest/statement added to the mix it's almost as if he's trying to get released.