Philando Castile’s Killer Walks

To the surprise of exactly no one paying attention in 21st century America, another extrajudicial killing by a cop ends with the killer walking free:

The Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop was acquitted on all charges by a jury Friday, a decision that came nearly a year after the encounter was partially streamed online before a rapt nation in the midst of a painful reckoning over shootings by law enforcement.

Officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled Castile’s car over in Falcon Heights, a suburb near Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the officer later said he thought Castile matched the description of a suspect in a robbery. The stop quickly escalated.

Yanez fired into the car, saying later he thought Castile was going for his gun, a claim Castile’s girlfriend, sitting in the seat next to him, disputed. She began filming the aftermath of the shooting with her phone.

I’m going to outsource anything I might say entirely to NPR Code Switch/Post Bourgie’s Gene Denby:

 

Again: I’d bet good money there is no one conscious in America today didn’t expect this outcome at all un.  Which is the most enraging fact of all within this wretched story.

Over to you.  I’ve nothing left but blank depression and incoherent rage.

Update:

Via AP:

A Minnesota city says it will dismiss a police officer even though he was cleared of all charges in the fatal shooting of a black motorist.

The city of St. Anthony says it concluded the public “will be best served” if Officer Jeronimo (yeh-RON’-ih-moh) Yanez no longer works for the city. The statement says the city plans to offer Yanez a “voluntary separation” so he can find another job.

The city says Yanez will not return to active duty.



Trump and Putin: Some 1980s Background

 

What do interviews in the 1980s and 1990s with Donald Trump tell us about his attitudes toward Russia and nuclear weapons?

The interviews are oblivious to world events taking place at that time. They are basically gossip columns by Lois Romano and William E. Geist, 1984; Ron Rosenbaum, 1987; Mark Singer, 1997. Descriptions of Trump’s lavish quarters and sycophantic workers, his expensive clothes, and his ease in getting a table at a restaurant figure prominently in the introductory paragraphs. Read more



Put Me in a Wheelchair, Get Me on a Plane

The last 24 hours are so full of stories that this one appears to have fallen through the cracks:

One of the Trump administration’s first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired – and it conformed to the wishes of Turkey, whose interests, unbeknownst to anyone in Washington, he’d been paid more than $500,000 to represent.

The decision came 10 days before Donald Trump had been sworn in as president, in a conversation with President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, who had explained the Pentagon’s plan to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa with Syrian Kurdish forces whom the Pentagon considered the U.S.’s most effective military partners. Obama’s national security team had decided to ask for Trump’s sign-off, since the plan would all but certainly be executed after Trump had become president.

Flynn didn’t hesitate. According to timelines distributed by members of Congress in the weeks since, Flynn told Rice to hold off, a move that would delay the military operation for months.

It looks like Chuck Schumer’s advice not to pick a fight with the intelligence community is right: every major news organization got a scoop yesterday. This one went to McClatchy. The Times’ allotment was that Trump’s team knew that Flynn was under investigation before he came to the White House. The Wall Street Journal learned that the Israeli source Trump burned was the most important source we have on ISIS. Reuters has an exclusive on the 18 contacts the Trump campaign had with Russia. And of course the Post got a recording of Kevin McCarthy saying that Trump and Dana Rohrbacher are on Putin’s payroll. I don’t know if that last one was from the “deep state” but the rest were sure leaked by someone from a national security agency. That’s just in one day, which leads me to believe that they have a lot more (otherwise they would drip, drip, drip it out).



Open Thread: Sam Bee’s Not the WH Correspondents Dinner

Seems to have been a fun time! You can watch the whole thing, bit by bit, at the Full Frontal YouTube channel.

NYMag had an interview with Ms. Bee earlier this week:

I am sure you consider yourself to be an entertainer first. But how much do you also consider yourself to be an informer and journalist?

I don’t consider myself to be a journalist. But we rely on the work of journalists. We have journalists working at our offices. We poached a lot of really great journalists to work in our midst. Really, without them we couldn’t create satire. We couldn’t do this show. We are absolutely reliant on them. We are vampires sucking the life force out of all of those great journalists.

Are there a lot of journalists coming to this event? Do you have a sense of that?

You know, some are. We invited a lot of journalists. Certainly, some people felt like they couldn’t come to an event like this, which we completely understand. Our event is on television. That doesn’t prevent anyone from watching it. But we’ll talk about them and thank them whether they’re here or not. But if they come, that’s great…

What has been the most surprising thing, to you, that has happened since Trump’s presidency began? Can you even pick one thing?

I can’t even pick one thing, but I will say the speed at which things were happening for a long period of time. That was very surprising to me. That was very surprising to me. I’m really just getting a sense right now that he’s trying to figure out what are the toys at his disposal. He’s really figuring it out in real time. I don’t think that’s a good thing.

So the degree to which he really had no idea what he was getting into was surprising.

It doesn’t surprise me that he had no idea what he was getting into. It surprised me that someone who had almost no knowledge of what the job required would endeavor to do things as quickly as he did…

If you’re bi-curious, here’s Hasan Minhaj’s monologue at the “real” WHCD. Poor fella tried really hard, but the audience seemed a little stiff…



Time to call the Senate

At this point, the AHCA as revised is on the knife’s edge to get out of the House. The Senate is where the highly anticipated battleground was always going to be. Time to light up their phones.

The great question on policy is Medicaid. There are a number of Republican senators (Portman, Heller are case examples) who represent Medicaid Expansion states whose Republican governors were not on board with the AHCA in March. These are the pressure points.

My read is if the AHCA gets out of the House it solely functions as a vehicle to get to conference committee with whatever the Senate wants to do. So let’s tell the Senate what you think.

Update 1

Call the Tuesday Morning Group and let them know what you think…



Late Night Open Thread: Everyone’s A Cynic Now

It is tree-pollen season here, and while I have a bunch of Serious Constructive articles tabbed up to post about, all I want to do is take another mouth-breathing, stunned-into-submission nap!



Late Night Open Thread: Armed for All Eventualities

All too normal, in these United States of the NRA:

More than 150 local, state and federal law enforcement officials had been searching for Jakubowski, whom authorities suspected of stealing at least 16 high-end firearms April 4 from a gun shop in Janesville, a town not far from Wisconsin’s southern border. Police said he had written a 161-page antigovernment and anti-religion manifesto, which he apparently mailed to President Trump at the White House…

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that local authorities in Vernon County received a call late Thursday about a man matching Jakubowski’s description who was camping and refused to leave the area.

About 6 a.m. Friday, officers approached Jakubowski, who was found under a tarp on the property with four handguns, one long gun, boxes of ammunition, a samurai sword, containers of flammable liquid, a protective helmet and vest, and a copy of his manifesto, authorities said. He was taken into custody without incident, authorities said, and is being taken to Rock County to face charges…

Moore, the Janesville police chief, said last week that Jakubowski has had run-ins with local authorities, including one incident in which he tried to disarm an officer.

But, he said, police had not seen his “antigovernment or terrorist-type” behavior.

“That is a new element for all of us,” Moore said. “Most of his activities have been anger-driven either toward the officers or toward other individuals, but not the antigovernment rhetoric, and that is a new piece to this investigation.”…

No (official) word on the other high-end firearms. Since this originated in the Speaker’s home town, am I a bad person that my first thought was “Somebody check Paul Ryan’s gun safe?”