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More Capitol Riot Defendants are Forgoing Lawyers

We've always known that most non-millionaire Donald Trump supporters are marginalized and under-informed. (Just a nicer term for under-educated and/or stupid). So perhaps it's no surprise that many of those charged in the Capitol riots are now seeking to represent themselves, despite repeated warnings from the Judge that it's a bad idea, and despite being offered the services of court-appointed counsel.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth told one such defendant he hadn't seen a successful case of self-representation since he took the bench in 1987. New York Civil Rights Lawyer Ron Kuby says he hasn't seen a successful case of self-representation in his 40 years as a lawyer.

I say this all the time on TalkLeft, but I'll do it one more time: You have the right to remain silent. Use it or lose it. Our jails are filled with people who thought if they could only tell their side of the story, the police (or judge or jury) would see it their way. It rarely happens.

Many of these under-informed defendants think that if they represent themselves, they will be able to put the corrupt "system" on trial. It won't happen. The system is not on trial, you are. Judges, not defendants, decide what is admissible at a trial. Any hint of something that seeks jury nullification won't be permitted in federal court.

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Sunday Open Thread


I'm obsessed with bodies of water these days. From Drake's Passage that goes between Ushaia, Argentina and the Antarctic, to the amazing waters around Tasmania, just below Australia, I've spent hours looking at pictures and ships and adventure tours.

By contrast, I also love the photo above. It's neither in South America, Australia, Asia nor the Indian Ocean. It's somewhere in Europe. I would love to sit on one of those chairs and do nothing but stare at the ocean. Any guesses?

Have any of you crossed Drake's passage or been to Tasmania? (Not the same as Tanzania in Africa).

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Facebook Hearing

Can anyone explain what it is that Facebook is accused of? Articles like this are ridiculous, not once does it say what they are "targeting children" with or how Instagram is dangerous. On some network later, Monica Lewinsky is going to weigh in, so I take it that bullying is involved.

Why isn't it a parent's responsibility to monitor their child's use of social media and the internet. Some Congressman today said on the radio that we are going to have a generation of afflicted children. Afflicted by what?

And what does artificial intelligencve have to do with it? I heard a news anchor on the radio say that a woman who has a miscarriage will be bombarded by it online for years.

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Thursday Open Thread

Thanks to Peter G. for letting me know we need a new open thread. I'll be back over the weekend.

All topics welcome.

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Congratulations to CO Governor Jared Polis

Mazel Tov, Congratulations and Muchas felicidades to Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Colorado First Gentleman Marlon Reis, partners of 18 years. They got married in Boulder on Wednesday.

The greatest lesson we have learned over the past 18 months is that life as we know it can change in an instant. We are thankful for the opportunity to celebrate our life together as a married couple.


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Saturday Open Thread

Is there anything to watch on TV? I recommend Race Around the World Season 1 and 2 on Discovery +. It is not another Amazing Race, it's miles better and more interesting with unbelievable photography.

Next up is Vicenzo on Netflix, which is half drama and half comedy and just wonderful.

I'm also watching the new season of Make the Cut on Amazon Prime (with Heidi and Tim). If you haven't seen Tehran on Apple TV, it's great and has you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

U.S. Network TV continues to get more and more vacuous in my opinion. Cop stories and victim stories. No thank you.

In the good news department, Malverde will be starting soon, Telemundo's "most ambitious adventure". (Although that phrase is as overused as when Chris Harrison would say on the Bachelor, "This is the most dramatic season ever.) Rafael Amaya who played Aurelio in Senor de los Cielos will make his return to TV after more than year. And there's an indication, however slight, there could be a Senor de los Cielos 8. A La Reina del Sur 3 is also in the works.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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President of Haiti Assassinated

Jovenel Moise, the President of Haiti was assassinated in his home last night, around 1:00 a.m. His wife was critically injured and has been flown to Miami for treatment.

The attack was carried out by highly trained professionals, with high-powered weapons. The killers claimed to be with the DEA, carrying out an operation, according to Bocchit Edmond, Haiti's ambassador to the U.S. and Prime Minister Claude Joseph.

Prime Minister Claude Joseph said highly trained assassin, some speaking a mix Spanish or English with a US accent, assassinated the president at his home. The assassins yelled, “DEA operation! Everybody stand down! DEA operation! Everybody back up, stand down!”

Reuters confirms the statements by Edmond and Joseph:

Edmond told Reuters in an interview the gunmen were masquerading as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents as they entered Moise's guarded residence under cover of nightfall - a move that would likely have helped them gain entry.

According to La Nouvellist, a major newspaper in Haiti, the Deputy Justice of the Peace has released an official report. It says Moises' body was riddled with bullets. Also, his daughter was home at the time and hid. [More....]

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Derek Chauvin Sentenced to 22.5 Years

Original Post Friday: Derek Chauvin will be sentenced today for the murder of George Floyd.

He could get life plus cancer and the public would say it's not enough.

Attorney Ben Crump will be on hand afterwards to give a press conference. He's beome as ubiquitous as Gloria Allred was a decade ago. Not my cup of tea.

Update: He got 22.5 years. His motion for a new trial was denied just before sentencing. The Judge issued a 20 plus page opinion explaining his sentence. You can read it here. Basically, it seems his guideline sentence was 11-12 years, and the judge said he had discretion to impose an upward variance, and because of the aggravating factors in the case, including Chauvin's extreme cruelty to George Floyd, he decided to do that. From the Washington Post: [More...]

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U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Reach 600K

600,000 people with COVID-19 have died in this this country. That is such an appalling number.

The World Health Organization says even people who have had COVID-19 should get vaccinated.

The virus has not gone away. The Delta variant is growing in the U.S. and elsewhere. We don't know if it's more dangerous, just that it's more transmissible. Meaning it's a fast spreader. The CDC has now declared it a "Variant of Concern". It thinks the current vaccines will be mostly effective against the variants, but that sounds more like hope than science. [More...]

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Thursday Night Open Thread

I have been adjusting to life outside of my bubbled apartment. After more than a year indoors, I can't help but avoid the computer. I will be back though!

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday Open Thread

Time for a new open thread, all topics welcome.

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CDC To Relax COVID Testing for the Vaccinated

I'm almost as tired of writing about COVID-19 as I used to get writing about Trump. The CDC seems to me to have jumped the shark. Now they are recommending less testing for people who have been vaccinated?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that most people who have received the full course of shots and have no COVID-19 symptoms don’t need to be screened for the virus, even if exposed to someone who is infected.

When will these experts figure out that we need to prevent the virus, not just treat it after it infects and kills. To do that you need to test. This year-old interview with Virologist Shao Yiming, chief AIDS expert at China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention,published in Science Insider Magazine makes a lot of good points.


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Sunday Open Thread

Is anyone going maskless here?

I used to say about Wordperfect that they'd have to pry it out of my dead hand before I changed to Microsoft Word. That's how I feel about my mask. I'm still going to wear it and I won't be shopping at any grocery store or butcher where either the employees or customers are not masked.

As for restaurants: Just the thought of an unmasked worker handling my food and breathing over convinces me it's not time to eat at an indoor or outdoor restaurant yet.

With the large numbers of law enforcement and prison guards refusing to take the vaccine, and the government claiming they don't have the right to demand they get one, I'm not feeling any safer today than I did two weeks ago or a month ago. [More...]

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Liz Cheney Ousted as Party Leader

The House of Representatives today held a vote on Liz Cheney and she has been removed as House Republican Conference chair

which is considered to be the third most important Republican position in the House.

Donald Trump was happy, calling her "a poor leader, a major Democrat talking point, a warmonger, and a person with absolutely no personality or heart.”

He did get one right: warmonger.

I don't understand why Democrats and progressives are flocking to defend Liz Cheney. Liz Cheney holds the same beliefs as her father, Dick Cheney. See Maureen Dowd's column this week, on the similarity of beliefs held by Cheney and her father. I'm with Dowd on this.

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Bill and Melinda Gates Announce Divorce

Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they are getting a divorce. Both their twitter feeds have the same message. They say they will continue their work together at the Gates foundation, but won't continue to work together as a couple.

The Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the most influential private foundation in the world, with an endowment worth nearly $50 billion. It has focused on global health and development and U.S. education issues since incorporating in 2000.

Melinda Gates has been heavily involved in gender equality initiatives in the past few years. Maybe she wants to start her own foundation. Given they are announcing a divorce, not a separation, I suspect they have already settled their financial affairs.

It may be the largest divorce settlement in history, since they are reportedly worth $150 billion. I found this part of their announcement curious:

‘We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in the next phase of our lives

They've been married for 27 years. What kind of continued growth as a couple were they expecting? [More...]

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