Saturday :: December 24, 2022

Hello Sunshine, Goodby Freezing Temps: Open Thread

Thank goodness the freezing cold has passed us and the roads are now drivable. For those who are waiting for the icy weather to reach them, be prepared. It is really cold out there.

Today will be my first day outside in about 4 days. I'll be back after I make my rounds.

It is also Christmas Eve. Merry Xmas Eve, to all who observe.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Tuesday :: December 20, 2022

Congress Deleted Free PACER From Spending Bill, OKs Solar Aid to Mexico

This is like a joke. A $1.66 trillion spending measure was unveiled on Tuesday. It deletes the provision that would have provided the public with free access to federal court records. While Mexico announces the U.S. has agreed to provide it low-interest loans to invest in solar energy.

I spend hundreds of dollars a month on PACER, much of which is to ensure my historical and present facts are correct in writing TalkLeft. I use Lexis for my law practice. Public records are public and should be retrievable by all of us at no cost. (Colorado's efiling system is even worse -- it costs $15.00 just to look at a particular case docket if you aren't counsel of record.)

Joe Biden needs to turn around his thinking cap and stop the endless money going around the world, especially for war and the war on drugs. People here are in need as well, of everything from more pay to teachers, more access to health care and taking better care of our senior citizens.

Please Joe Biden, don't run again. Your noggin' just can't do this. We don't need a country run by your surrogates. We should have a real leader..

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Monday :: December 19, 2022

Harvey Weinstein Convicted of Assaulting One of Four Accusers

A California jury has found Harvey Weinstein guilty on 3 of the 7 counts against him. All three counts pertained to a "Jane Doe #1", an Italian model who testified Mr. Weinstein attacked her in her hotel room at the "Mr. C Hotel" in February 2013. Here's a recap of Jane Doe #1's testimony and her daughter's testimony .

The jury acquitted Weinstein of sexual battery as to Jane Doe 3, a massage therapist, and hung on counts of sexual battery by restraint pertaining to Jane Doe 2, who has been publicly identified as Lauren Young, an actress and screenwriter.

The jury also hung on three counts, pertaining to Siebel Newsom (wife of CA. Gov. Gavin Newsom), who alleged Weinstein raped her at the Peninsula Hotel 18 years ago. During the trial she testified:

 “I could tell he just needed, he was so determined, just so scary, just all about him and his pleasure, his need for satisfaction, so I just did it to make it stop,” Siebel Newsom told the jury.


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Trump Referred for Criminal Prosecution For July 6 Events

The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol has concluded its investigation and released its report.

The Committee referred Donald Trump to the Justice Department for prosecution of four crimes.

You can read the 154 page executive summary here.

Shorter version:

The central cause of of January 6th was one man, ...Donald Trump, who many others followed. None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him.

In response, Trump called the Committee a "Kangaroo Court". The four counts of referral are:[More...]

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Saturday :: December 17, 2022

Saturday Open Thread: Who Really Cares?

I think the media has traded Donald Trump for Elon Musk. Why can't the media focus on what informed members of the public care about, instead of incessantly repeating stuff that doesn't amount to a hill of beans in the real world?

Does anyone (other than individual and corporate investors) really care about the future of Twitter or Tesla? Or, for that matter, Google or Microsoft?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Friday :: December 09, 2022

U.S. Finally Swaps Viktor Bout for Brittany Griner

Brittany Griner is back in the U.S. and Viktor Bout is back home in Russia, 14 years after the U.S. engineered his arrest in Thailand and extradition to the U.S. as part of a sting operation in which DEA informants posed as FARC rebels.

Mr. Bout was sentenced to 25 years in jail in a federal court in Manhattan in 2012, protesting his innocence to the end. Prior to that he spent around two years in detention in Bangkok pending extradition to the U.S., and then a further two years in detention in America before he was convicted.

Even former Judge Shira Scheindlin, who sentenced
Bout, said last year Bout's sentence was excessive:

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Tuesday :: December 06, 2022

Trump Family Business Convicted on All Counts

The Trump Organization was convicted by a New York jury on all 17 counts of fraud (tax fraud and a scheme to defraud), conspiracy and falsifying business records.

Shorter version: The jury didn't believe Alan Weisselberg acted only for his own enrichment. They believed that he also acted to benefit the Trump Organization.

Remember Michael Cohen? I heard him on the car radio last week on MSNBC and he said what the Trump Org. and Weisselberg were doing is called "Grossing Up". He thought it was a theory that might appeal to the jury. In essence, by paying bonuses to Weisselberg and sons in real property, like apartments in Trump-owned buildings, instead of increasing their salaries on which the company would have to pay payroll taxes, the Trump Organization saved big on taxes. (Same for paying for private school tuition for the Weisselberg grandkids and for new expensive cars every year)[More...]

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Thursday :: December 01, 2022

War on Pain Meds Leads Man and Wife to Suicide

The mainstream press sells the DEA's story: Opioid deaths and suicides are up among seniors. Time to rachet up the war on pain doctors.

That misses the point, of course, which is why? VICE News gets it right in This Couple Died by Suicide After the DEA Shut Down Their Pain Doctor. Millions of people live in chronic pain, and only strong opioids, including fentanyl patches prescribed by their doctors, brings them down from a pain scale of 10 to something livable, like a 5.

There are millions of chronic pain patients suffering just like me," Danny Elliott wrote before ending his life. "Nobody cares."

It's the war on pain doctors that needs to end, so they can exercise their judgment without fear of intimidation. Prosecutors, legislators and drug agents don't have medical licenses. They shouldn't be making one size fits all rules for what type of pain medicine and how much of it a chronically ill patient is allowed to have.

Just like with lethal injection, you wouldn't do a dog this way. Chronic pain kills. It killed Prince. Leave the pain doctors treating seniors and others with chronic pain alone.

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Thursday :: November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving and Open Thread

I hope your holiday is filled with great food and spirits, warmth and pleasant company.

I think that there actually are a few things we can be thankful for this year -- but we are not yet out of the woods: The good news is the narcissist who posed the biggest threat to our democracy in the last century (at least) has slipped to the back-burner and faces legal hurdles at every turn, from his removal of documents from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, his or his legal team's attempts to overturn the 2020 election, especially in Georgia, troubles over his and his corporation's taxes, a pending civil lawsuit for sexual assault, and probably more.

More good news is that vaccines and new COVID treatments have lessened the likelihood of severe illness and death the past several months. [More...]


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Monday :: November 21, 2022

Monday Open Thread: Heading to the Fediverse and Mastodon

I'm trying to figure out Mastodon, the "fediverse" alternative to Twitter that journalists, media sites big and little, analysts and bloggers are joining en masse while abandoning Twitter. TalkLeft's account is here. Hopefully over Thanksgiving I can figure out how to properly use the place. It's very enticing, and friendly, and free. But not particularly intuitive to me. It's like switching to MAC when you've always been a Windows person, it takes some getting used to. [More...]

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Thursday :: November 10, 2022

Boebert v Frisch - Colorado's 3rd District

Update: 11/17 6:00 pm: Now there are only 500 votes separating Boebert and Frisch. Looks like there will be an automatic runoff recount. At noon, Boebert had 162,175, 50% and Frisch had 161,078, 50%. I think the question now is, if Boebert holds her 500 vote lead, will there be enough mistakes in the recount for Frisch to win?

Update: I hate being wrong. But it looks like Lauren Boebert will skip to the lou for another 2 years. She's now more than 1,000 votes ahead. Her lead in Mesa County (Grand Junction) alone is 11,000 votes.

So even though she loses Aspen (Pitkin), Vail (Eagle), Telluride (San Miguel) and Crested Butte (Gunnison) by a landslide, and she even loses Garfield County (Glenwood Springs) and Pueblo (which used to be a Democratic stronghold and is apparently much more mixed now) by several thousand votes, those voters all turn into chopped liver because they're outnumbered by the Biden-hating Trump lovers.

Update: CNN is using higher percentages for the votes already counted in Colorado -- almost all at 95%. The New York Times and NPR are using the percentages I did below.

****Original Post

I would love if Lauren Boebert lost to Adam Frisch. Then maybe she'll pick up her guns and go skip to her lou someplace where we don't hear from her again.

The final vote count may not be in for a few days. Colorado has a process for "curing" votes. And if the candidates are within .05% of each other, there's an automatic recount.


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Tuesday :: November 08, 2022

Midterm Elections: Can Dems Win House or Keep Senate?

>p> Update 10:24 pm: Congrats to Colorado Governor Jared Polis who won a second term easily tonight. I'm glad to see that Sen. Michael Bennet also won re-election, and of course, our indefatigable Congresswoman Diana DeGette.

Florida gets its first Gen Z Democrat. 25 year-old Maxwell Alejandro Frost, won Val Demings's Orlando house seat. He describes himself as a young, Black Latino who is focused on "gun violence, climate change, abortion rights and Medicare for all." Democrat Demings, unfortunately, lost her bid to take over Marco Rubio's Senate Seat.

*****Original Post*****

There was a total lunar eclipse last night and early this morning. Did you miss it? Here's a handy little webpage that tells when it was visible in major cities.

It seems like there is a consensus in the media that the Republicans will take the House. The difference is in the number of seats they win. There are presently 222 Democrats and 213 Republicans in the House. Some predict a 15 seat gain for Republicans. I think it will be less.

The Senate could be a toss-up. Right now it is 50/50. Even one seat lost is a disaster for Dems. Biden will have lame-duck status for the next two years. [More...]

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