Open Thread: LAW ‘NORDAH!!!!

A/k/a, “keeping those people in their place”

Cynical Ankh-Morpork NYC resident Harry Siegel, at the NY Daily News, on Atty-Gen Malevolent Leprechaun’s “Law & order, real & imaginary“:

It’s sports-talk hour at the Justice Department.

“Violent crime is surging in American cities,” drawls longtime-caller Jeff from Mobile, though that’s not, y’know, true. In fact, crime is up sharply in a handful of cities, most notably Chicago, and flat or down in many others. After a quarter century of fairly steady decline, the national murder rate remains near a 50-year low.

Yet American carnage can be averted, United States Attorney General Jefferson Sessions wrote this month, sounding a lot like someone telling Mad Dog “you can’t measure heart,” if we “avoid harmful federal intrusion in the daily work of local police.”

In the real world, cops basically police themselves, for better and for worse, despite feeble efforts from Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to pretend otherwise. The feds don’t pay for policing. Don’t set or even track local standards. Don’t know how many people cops kill, or how many cops who get fired from one department end up back on the job in another one…

Here’s how the attorney general said it, in case you think I’m putting words in his mouth. After his flat, false claim of an urban violent crime surge, he pointed to real rises in Chicago and Baltimore to declare that “amid this plague of violence, too much focus has been placed on a small number of police who are bad actors rather than on criminals. And too many people believe the solution is to impose consent decrees that discourage the proactive policing that keeps our cities safe.”

He didn’t even give lip service to the question of what the right level of focus of would be, just insisted a “small number” (whatever that means) of bad apples won’t spoil the whole barrel…

So instead of staying focused on actual violent criminals, he railed about “lawless” sanctuary cities, blamed the courts that have halted Trump’s executive orders for blood on the streets by “restricting crime tactics” and continued his bizarre on-and-off feud with New York City officials who vow to use discretion — something southern law-and-order types are traditionally all about — in dealing with the feds as ICE ramps up its efforts to round up people here without papers.

The idea that America’s capital for immigrants, legal and otherwise, is also its safest big city is more than he can wrap his head around…

“Crime tactics” instead of “crime control tactics”. I believe that’s what poker-table psychologists call a tell…



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Fly the “Friendly” Skies!


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Stuff like this is why I make it a policy to leave home as seldom as possible. But, hey, I hear Orbitz is making it easy for users to filter all searches by “Never ever United”…

Apart from fighting back as best we can, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Open Thread: LEO Snakes on A United Plane

If there’s an opening to defend overzealous enforcement in the service of soulless corporatism, count on Ross Doubthat to rush in. Not that he was alone in his pursuit of the Worst Possible Take…



Attorney-General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions Can Do Many Dirty Jobs At Once


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The Depraved Leprechaun, busy with the tasks Lord Smallgloves hired him for…

And he’s gonna use the Nixon Administration’s favorite shortcut to guarantee a full supply of “dangerous repeat offenders”…


Read more



Late Night Open Thread: F-Word Trump

At a listening session with county sheriffs from around the country, Trump invited the sheriffs seated in the White House’s Roosevelt Room to make a statement while reporters were present. Rockwall County, Texas, Sheriff Harold Eavenson spoke up first to discuss asset forfeiture, a practice by which law enforcement can seize the cash and property of individuals suspected of committing a crime without a guilty verdict.

Proponents of the practice argue that allows law enforcement to effectively combat terrorism and the drug trade, while opponents, including some conservatives, argue that it allows police to seize assets without due process. Trump’s predecessor, former President Barack Obama, sought to rein in an asset sharing program by which local law enforcement were given a share of whatever assets they seized…

The president’s remark elicited laughter from those gathered in the Roosevelt Room, although the president did not join in. Eavenson did not offer the Texas state senator’s name, and the public information officer for the Rockwall County sheriff’s office declined to name the lawmaker in question…

Question: You know who else relied on “You don’t look like the sort of person should be allowed to have nice things” as a way to simultaneously reward his followers and intimidate his perceived enemies?

Answer: Every two-bit thug who’s ever been able to wrap his kleptomania in the rags of ‘government’… but for the last hundred years or so, we’ve called them ‘fascists‘.

…[I]t’s important to step back and appreciate the bigger picture here. Trump — faced with an outpouring of popular opposition to his ban, and a level of institutional pushback to it, that surely caught him and his advisers off guard — is actively experimenting with how far he can go in delegitimizing the institutions that are already signaling they may place serious, meaningful limits on his power…

The travel ban has unleashed a surprisingly robust response from the public and our institutions, making this into a first test case as to whether popular mobilization and those institutions can effectively rein in Trump’s authoritarian and nakedly discriminatory impulses. The question is not just whether this ban can be stopped. It’s also whether Trump can be blocked from extending and expanding this policy and instituting others like it.

But even as that response has arisen, Trump is also testing how far he can go in delegitimizing our institutions — and in telling lies designed to minimize impressions of popular opposition to the scope and nature of his exercise of power — apparently in order to undermine the degree to which those forces will continue to function as a check on that power later. So it’s important to appreciate that this test case flows in two directions.



Pastoral Scene of the Gallant South

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It’s 2016, but it might as well be 1816 in South Carolina if you are an unarmed black man and a white cop wants to kill you:

A judge declared a mistrial Monday afternoon in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man at the hands of a South Carolina former patrolman, after the jury said they could not come to a unanimous verdict.

In a statement read by Circuit Judge Clifton Newman, the jury said “We as the jury regret to inform the court” that they were unable to come “to a unanimous decision in the case of the state versus Michael Slager” on Monday afternoon after a day of questions and deliberation.

“The court therefore must declare a mistrial in this case and I so declare that is case is mistried,” he said after the jury returned to the room and confirmed their decision.

The jury had remained undecided — but not deadlocked — on Monday in the murder trial.

The defense in ex-patrolman Michael Slager’s the five-week trial claimed that he feared for his life when 50-year-old Walter Scott got control of the officer’s stun gun and pointed it at him.

Here’s the video of him chasing Scott, stopping, taking up a shooting stance, and unloading his service weapon into the unarmed man running AWAY from him:

He must have been really “scared.”

It’s now official. You can be executed by the cops, on video, have the cop plant evidence on your still bleeding body, again, on video, have the cop be heard tittering about the adrenaline rush, on audio, and you will not receive justice. But let’s place the blame where it really lies- on Colin Kaepernick for not standing during the National Anthem.

My biggest fear in the next few years with the rise of the neo-nazis and the white supremacists and the normalization of the Trump racist right is that we are going to see this kind of thing, both the shooting and the white holdout on the jury, happening more and more often. Basically, jury nullification in any offense in which the black man is the victim and the aggressor is white. The justice system has never have been equitable for black people in America, but now that it is “acceptable” to be openly racist in public and not only that, get elected President and be appointed to his staff, we are going to see a lot more of this.

In the past, we could rely on the Federal government and the Justice Department to at least make an attempt to address these concerns. But with racist ass Jeff Sessions running the DOJ, it’s going to get worse. Not only will he and the DOJ not pursue these cases, but he will also be gutting the voting rights of minorities so they don’t even have any redress at the ballot box, and on top of that, he is an anti-marijuana zealot and will ramp up on the drug war. You’re all bright people and don’t need a refresher course on the disparate impact of the drug war on people of color.

This is a slowly unfolding disaster. I’m sick. The Klan doesn’t even need to wear robes in public anymore.



Comey’s Coup

I don’t mean to alarm you, fellow citizens, but this FBI business is starting to feel like a coup. Right-wing agents, either with the willing participation of Mr. Comey or emboldened and enabled by his inept leadership, are attempting to swing the election to Donald J. Trump. Consider the evidence that has emerged just in the last 10 days:

1. Comey’s extraordinary statement that reanimated the dead emails story

2. The dormant @FBIRecordsVault Twitter account that burped to life this week and spewed forth investigative reports on Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich

3. FBI leaks to The Hill about an investigation into an alleged straw donor scheme to benefit FL senate candidate Patrick Murphy

4. Leaks to the WSJ (link to TPM because paywall) by FBI agents who are furious that they weren’t given the green light to investigate the Clinton Foundation based on allegations contained in book published by a Breitbart editor

It’s almost as if our taxpayer-supported public servants were waiting to see if Russia’s interference in the U.S. election would bear fruit, and, in the absence of that, decided to hurl produce of their own into the gears of our democracy. This cannot — must not — stand.

Obviously, our first order of business is to win this election. Y’all know what to do on that score. You’re doing it, and I believe we will win. But after that, there must be a reckoning. I’m not sure how that can be accomplished, but this rot must be exposed and rooted out. It’s a bigger threat to our democracy than Donald Trump.