Monday Open Thread

The news reads like a joke: Al Gore meets with Ivanka Trump (and then her father) on climate change.

Is anyone surprised Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are house-hunting in Washington?

A federal judge has ordered the vote recount in Michigan to begin immediately. As for the current vote total:

Mr. Gore’s loss to George W. Bush pales in comparison with Hillary Clinton’s. If you’re still counting, Mrs. Clinton’s popular vote lead over Mr. Trump climbed to 2,597,156 over the weekend, five times Mr. Gore’s final lead over Mr. Bush. And at 2 percentage points, Mrs. Clinton’s lead has equaled Jimmy Carter’s victory spread over Gerald Ford in 1976.

Both the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times are demanding you turn off ad blockers to read them. When you do, there are so many ads you can't find the story. The ads pop up every few seconds. Sorry, WP and LAT,not a chance will I suffer through your popups (or pay and subscribe.)


El Proceso reports that after he was caught, El Chapo told them the tunnel escape was easy and had been arranged by his lawyers. He said there was actually a first tunnel, but it went to the wrong cell so they built a second one. The article further reports Mexican President Pena Nieto may "gift" El Chapo to Trump, extraditing him a few weeks after he takes office, to start building good will with him.

Trump takes office on January 20, 2017, and a gesture of cordiality for the start of a new era in relations with the president threatening to build a wall along the border and overrule the North American Free Trade Agreement, would be delivery of El Chapo few weeks after that date. El Chapo could be a present of Peña Nieto to Trump.

If Mexico trusts Trump more than El Chapo, I think it will be making a huge mistake. The minute El Chapo gets here, he will start talking about corruption in Mexico in hopes of getting a lesser sentence. Only if Mexico keeps him under wraps at home, can it prevent its dirty laundry from coming out. El Chapo still has extradition appeals pending, and they will not be resolved in the next month. To extradite him before his appeals are up would be a huge breach of Mexican law. I don't know who this reporter's "diplomatic sources" are, but I'm not buying it.

ISIS has appointed a new spokesman to replace al-Adnani. He goes by the name Abu Hassan al-Muhajir. He released a speech today calling for attacks on the West and in Turkey.

I'm not interested in Ben Carson.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Oakland: It Justs Keeps Getting Sadder
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    I am thinking that paying to subscribe (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Peter G on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 04:44:20 PM EST
    to WaPo online is appropriate and worthwhile. Would that also solve the ad-pop-up issue?

    No pop ups with the (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by fishcamp on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 04:56:28 PM EST
    Aspen Times Peter.  They have a small political news section, but most folks are hurrying towards the gondola.

    It hasn't with the L.A. Times, ... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 06:35:13 PM EST
    ... speaking from experience as an online subscriber. I can't speak for the Washington Post subscribers.

    I will say, however, that it we want to see journalists continue to do their work, we really ought to consider paying for at least an online subscription to the newspaper of your choice. The hard fact of the matter is that newspapers are in dire financial straits, having hemorrhaged money over the recent years.

    John Oliver on HBO's "Last Week Tonight" discusses that very point in a very forthright if humorous way.



    A Trump Surrogate, less humorous, (none / 0) (#26)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 08:49:49 PM EST
    made the same point recently:

    "One thing that's been interesting this entire campaign season to watch is that people that say facts are facts. They're not really facts," Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes said on "the November 30, 2016 Diane Rehm Show" on NPR. "It's kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true. There's no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts."

    I'm happy with my WaPo subscription (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Towanda on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 08:38:28 PM EST
    after cancelling the NYTimes.  Sad! what that paper has become.  I just ignore Maureen Dowd and a few others, not at all in the league of David Farenthold.  

    And WaPo has a few popups but far fewer than my local paper (also by subscription).


    Washington Post Subscription (none / 0) (#22)
    by KD on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 08:28:36 PM EST
    In addition to the L.A. Times, I subscribe to the South Bay Daily Breeze for more local news. A benefit of that is a free subscription to the Washington Post online. So some smaller papers make deals with other papers for subscribers.

    Things I Blame For Hillary Clinton's Loss, Ranked (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 07:39:20 PM EST
    The Best Post on That Subject I've Seen (none / 0) (#23)
    by RickyJim on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 08:33:27 PM EST
    is on a physics blog.  Physicists are smart, I suppose.  Here is an excerpt
    Most of the explanations one hears of Trump's success don't hold up if you look at exit polling numbers:

    Sexism: more white women voted for Trump than for Clinton.
    Racism: many counties that went solidly for Obama in the past went to Trump this election. Many Trump voters last voted for an African-American President.
    Revolt of the rural poor whites: While New York City went heavily to Clinton, nearby Suffolk County on Long Island, with a median family income of $100,000, went for Trump.
    Ignorance, lack of education: Most white college graduates voted for Trump.

    That post, continued: (none / 0) (#27)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 08:56:31 PM EST
    One way to describe what has happened is that this was the first real social media election, with most people getting the information they used to decide who to vote for from Facebook and other internet sources. Many if not most of these have no interest in what is actually true. Many are dominated by a reality TV ethos of picking out someone for others to attack, appealing directly to the ugliest part of the monkey brain we are all descended from. This is not just the province of the Right, with the Left just as happy to join in the ugliness. Everyone can play and get satisfaction of their darkest needs. The winner will always be the con artist monkey with the best dominance displays.

    Well physicists are smart about (none / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 09:20:16 PM EST
    physics ... but that doesn't mean they are smart about other things...such as politics.

    But he does have 6 good points.


    Silly, sophomoric logic (none / 0) (#31)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 09:31:57 PM EST
    Even physicists do it.

    max blames (none / 0) (#25)
    by linea on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 08:44:14 PM EST
    bernie sanders too.

    bernie did exactly what he was supposed to do; he ran against hillary if the primaries and then endorsed her during the election. it's time for the hillary moderate democrats to stop blaming bernie and progressives.


    You think it's time? (none / 0) (#30)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 09:29:42 PM EST
    Too bad.

    BTW - "Progressives"?  Most of her supporters were progressives.  You don't speak for them.


    I blame (none / 0) (#33)
    by Towanda on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 10:14:07 PM EST
    your sort of non-strategic thinking for the loss.

    I hope that you and yours are smarter in 2020.


    News media rush[ed] to whitewash their role (none / 0) (#28)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 09:10:17 PM EST
    - in savaging Clinton's character

    Hillary didn't change from 2015 to 2016. Perceptions of her changed. And those perceptions were based on an avalanche of lies and smears.

    That is what happened. Every post-mortem of her campaign that provides another explanation is lying to you.

    - peter daou, shareblue, november 10, 2016


    continues... (none / 0) (#32)
    by linea on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 09:48:37 PM EST
    Things I don't blame:


    Because seriously, fu*k that.

    - max weiss, the huffington post, 2/5/2016


    Mistrial in Walter Scott case (none / 0) (#1)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 04:15:13 PM EST
    There was a lot more to this case that the initial shaky video.

    They couldn't even agree (none / 0) (#3)
    by TrevorBolder on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 04:43:26 PM EST
    on a manslaughter charge?

    That seems odd


    Sounds like they overcharged with murder (none / 0) (#6)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 05:14:15 PM EST
    ... to convict on manslaughter, right? The fact that jurors could even not agree on the minimal charge is certainly not evidence that prosecutors overcharged. Reportedly, the jury -- which was composed of 11 white persons and one African American male -- hung on the adamant refusal of one of its members to go with the flow, so to speak, although I would also emphasize here that such uncorroborated information constitutes hearsay at best, and as of this writing has neither been confirmed nor denied by the trial judge or anyone else involved in the proceedings.

    I've never been on a jury (none / 0) (#12)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 06:58:00 PM EST
    so I don't know what it's like to hear a prosecution tell you all trial that someone is guilty of murder then have a judge instruct that you can consider something that wasn't really brought up.  Based on today's reporting, some jurors had questions about why the manslaughter charge was added.
    The jurors also asked the judge several questions, including why Slager was charged with voluntary manslaughter in addition to murder.

    From what I've read, this was never a legitimate murder case. Too much evidence of a fight and struggle for the officers taser.

    What is "too much evidence"? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 08:05:05 PM EST
    Apart from the fact that a murder charge could easily be justified even if there was such evidence, what evidence are you talking about that is "too much"?

    "Sounds like" the murder charge ... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Yman on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 08:09:26 PM EST
    ... was completely justified, but it's notoriously difficult to get a unanimous decision of guilt against a police officer.


    That "sounds like" thing is pretty easy!


    The biggest part of that "a lot more" (none / 0) (#7)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 05:15:51 PM EST
    being a lot of baroque, lawyerly spin, and the fact that you only need to get to ONE juror in order for a mistrial to be declared.

    But maybe you have some inside scoop you'd like to share with the rest of us, McBain.

    It sounds like you think you do.

    Don't leave us hanging.


    There was evidence of a struggle (none / 0) (#13)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 07:03:43 PM EST
    for the the officer's taser, which is a weapon. Most people only know about the video and made up their minds right away.  Happens all the time.  Just about all of these high profile, racially charged cases have exculpatory evidence that gets ignored by many.

    Too bad you weren't around (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 08:20:14 PM EST
    back when they buried Chaney, Schwerner, and Goodman at that reservoir, in that other famous "racially charged case"..

    You could've spread the word that there was "evidence" they tried to run people over with their car, even if you didn't know what the evidence was.


    "Evidence" that you can't specify (none / 0) (#16)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 07:46:40 PM EST
    is only evidence of you eschewing objective facts and taking an unwarranted leap of faith based on your belief that "this happens all the time."

    Tell us, McBain, (none / 0) (#17)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 07:54:55 PM EST
    just how far away must a black man have fled for a back-shooting to be considered a 'non policy conforming' and justifiable shooting?  At what precise point is he no longer considered a threat to the officer's damaged ego?  500 feet?  1,000 yards?  

    The skin color is irrelevant (none / 0) (#20)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 08:17:56 PM EST
    I doubt anyone can answer your question about exact distances as many other factors would be involved as well. I do know the law applies differently to police officers than to civilians when it comes shooting someone who's running away.  

    Perhaps the jury didn't necessarily buy Slager's story but did find enough reasonable doubt to convict.  That's the part all the arm chair jurors overlook.... the incredibly high burden of proof in a criminal case.

    Slager isn't off the hook. There could be a retrial and there's also a pending Federal case.


    Lots of conflicting reports out there... (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 06:36:49 PM EST
    ...conflicting on which charge was hung and how many yays and nays there were, etc., etc.

    "Lawyers for Michael Slager had sought a mistrial after jurors told Newman on Friday they were deadlocked because one holdout juror was unwilling to convict Slager. Jurors, however, sent the judge a note Monday saying most of the jurors were undecided."

    12 Angry Men


    Question for lawyers. (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 06:44:55 PM EST
    If they hung on manslaughter, does that mean he was found not guilty of murder?

    Life sentence in hot car death case (none / 0) (#2)
    by McBain on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 04:17:39 PM EST
    I hope Harris's inappropriate texting relationships weren't a big factor to the jury.

    I popped in to read (none / 0) (#14)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 05, 2016 at 07:24:37 PM EST
    Donald's annual rant on the NCAA CFP/BCS Committee, only to be disappointed to find nothing. I will retreat to reading Bowerman and the Men of Oregon and return to read the sour grapes report should it appear at a later time (which he may find difficult to write with the Huskies being first out if someone else had been included.)

    ... in this country right now which are far more important than college football. Wouldn't you agree?

    That said -- CAUTION: Rant Ahead -- given that Ohio State didn't even win its own Big 10 East Division this season, never mind the conference championship, the CFP committee's selection of the Buckeyes over actual Big 10 champ Penn State to play in a limited four-team "national championship playoff" demonstrates an inherent and wholly arbitrary devaluing on the part of its members of both that conference's actual final standings and the result of its championship game.

    Why even have conference seasons, standings and championship games at all, if some selection committee feels free to disregard those once-definitive determinants of supremacy and choose whomever they want for whatever their reasons?

    In ye olde olden days of yore, back when Pong and Pac-Man ruled the earth, if you didn't win a Pac-10 or Big 10 conference title, you didn't get to go to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl game on New Year's Day. Period. As admittedly flawed as the old system was with regard to choosing a national champion in Div. 1 college football, at least that system respected the integrity of a first-place finish and upheld the validity of a conference title.

    For the second time in five years (see "2011 Alabama football"), the current BCS / CFP format has done neither. And for what, exactly -- some highly subjective "power rankings," as opposed to the division and conference winners? Because the Buckeyes pass some sort of undefined "eyeball test" with the CFP committee members, while the actual Big 10 champion does not?

    Well, I gotcha yer eyeball test, right here! On October 23, in a game which ultimately proved decisive as far as the Big 10 East was concerned, then-No. 2 Ohio State  -- a 20-pt. favorite that night -- blew a 14-pt. 4th quarter lead over then-unranked Penn State by giving up 17 unanswered points to lose the game. Seven of those Penn State points came on this blocked field goal attempt in the contest's waning minutes, which deprived the Buckeyes of an opportunity to control their own conference destiny, and ultimately proved fatal to the team's division title aspirations.

    I won't deny or dispute that Ohio State is a very good team, or further that the Buckeyes have a good chance of winning the CFP's little soirée four weeks hence. But they are not a great team by any means or definition, due entirely to the inconvenient fact that the Buckeyes finished second in their division due to their aforementioned loss to Penn State. And that's why they sat at home this past weekend, watching on TV as their inter-division rival Nittany Lions played for and won the Big 10 championship.

    A truly great team shouldn't have to depend upon some committee to suspend the reality of conference standings, grant them a mulligan retroactive to October 23, and then extend to them an invitation to this overly exclusive affair at the immediate expense of the very team who actually beat them on the field that day, and who ultimately won the Big 10 outright.

    And so, Ohio State gets to play for the ginned-up glory that's the NCAA's CFP Invitational, while the Nittany Lions will have to console themselves with having at least earned a once-coveted Rose Bowl berth on January 2.

    But wait! Who will the Nittany Lions be facing that day? Why, none other than the Pac-12 South runners-up, the USC Trojans, similar recipients of CFP committee largesse when its members also decided to punish actual South Division winner Colorado for losing a Pac-12 championship game which the Trojans stayed home in L.A. to watch, by virtue of their second place finish. But nuf ced. That's another rant for another time.

    "CFP Power rankings," y'all. HOO-rah!