[News] Post a Political News Story

Ongoing discussion of the political news of the day. This thread is for 'smaller' stories that don't call for their own thread. If a story blows up, please start a new thread for it.

Why so DOJ can just show a dog or pony act then let them out? Or trump says hey nothing wrong with the love of money. That's the American way. Money over lives. If they do time or face much of any real consequences I'll eat a tbone steak. Hey I can hope!

Ex-detective charged in death of Ahmaud Arbery lost power to make arrests after skipping use-of-force training

San Francisco Gate wrote:

The former police detective whose actions in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia were defended as a citizen's arrest was stripped of his law enforcement certification and power to arrest a year before the deadly encounter, according to personnel records acquired by The Washington Post.

Gregory McMichael's certification was suspended in February 2019 after repeated failures to complete required training, according to documents from the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office, including a warning in 2014 that McMichael had neglected to finish mandatory firearms and use-of-force courses.

...

Gregory McMichael's personnel documents provide an incomplete account of his employment history with Glynn County, but they indicate that he was stripped of his powers to arrest people on at least two occasions: once beginning in January 2006 - because of an undisclosed infraction the previous year - and again in February 2019, when the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) issued a suspension order for "failure to maintain training for the year 2018."

McMichael retired in June, four months after the suspension of his law enforcement certification. He is being held at the Glynn County Detention Center, along with his son, and could not be reached for comment. It is unclear whether he has an attorney.

The standards and training council notified district attorney Johnson, then McMichael's boss, that McMichael had fallen short in various types of training hours in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010. McMichael did not complete the mandated use-of-force and firearms training in at least three of those years, according to the records.

"This situation has been a great embarrassment to me and to Investigator McMichael," Johnson wrote in a June 2014 letter to Mitch Jones, the Georgia POST director. "It has negatively impacted my office, and I have taken measures to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Please accept my sincere apology."

...

McMichael applied for a waiver for the missed training hours, citing numerous health issues he and his wife had suffered between 2006 and 2009.

"Again I do not offer this information as an excuse, I knew full well that I was responsible for attending the proper amount of training but failed to do so," McMichael wrote in his waiver application to the training council. "The years 2006 through 2009 were a very difficult period in my life. I allowed the difficulty of the situation to cloud my judgment."

McMichael's waiver was granted in 2014, according to the county personnel records, and he was permitted to continue serving as an investigator in Johnson's office.

But problems arose again five years later, leading to his law enforcement certification suspension in February 2019.

In a memorandum later that month, McMichael agreed to give up his badge and weapon and was reclassified as a non-sworn employee, assigned to work in the Camden County District Attorney's office until his retirement in June 2019.

A February 2019 memo signed by McMichael and other officials in the district attorney's office stated he "will not engage in any activity that would be construed as being law enforcement in nature."

"To that end, Mr. McMichael will not carry a firearm or badge, nor will he operate any vehicle in the motor pool outfitted with lights, siren or police radio equipment," the memo stated.

Hobear wrote:

Why so DOJ can just show a dog or pony act then let them out? Or trump says hey nothing wrong with the love of money. That's the American way. Money over lives. If they do time or face much of any real consequences I'll eat a tbone steak. Hey I can hope!

I had the exact same reaction. f*cking depressing.

So they let him coast to retirement. And then didn't want to prosecute him. So much special treatment.

I've met Richard Burr in person a couple of times.

I always thought he was the type to be too careful to get caught, but I already knew that he was adapt at passing the buck. I wonder if he thinks he did anything wrong.

Gremlin wrote:

I've met Richard Burr in person a couple of times.

I always thought he was the type to be too careful to get caught, but I already knew that he was adapt at passing the buck. I wonder if he thinks he did anything wrong.

Got caught.

Hobear wrote:

Why so DOJ can just show a dog or pony act then let them out? Or trump says hey nothing wrong with the love of money. That's the American way. Money over lives. If they do time or face much of any real consequences I'll eat a tbone steak. Hey I can hope!

Burr is the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee that has on multiple occasions disputed Trump's narrative that Ukraine, not Russia, tried to influence the 2016 election in favor of Clinton, not Trump. He's getting hit with a DOJ investigation as retaliation and/or to force him to step down from that role and put a loyalist on that committee.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Burr is the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee that has on multiple occasions disputed Trump's narrative that Ukraine, not Russia, tried to influence the 2016 election in favor of Clinton, not Trump. He's getting hit with a DOJ investigation as retaliation and/or to force him to step down from that role and put a loyalist on that committee.

Just when you believe it cant get more depressing.

Correction! Burr WAS the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee

(CNN)Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina is stepping aside as chairman of the influential Senate Intelligence Committee while he's under investigation for stock trades he made ahead of the market downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement Thursday that Burr "contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the pendency of the investigation."
"We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee and will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow," McConnell said.

That was fast.

I think that was the point of the FBI investigation and the fact that Loeffler wasn't investigated the same way.

I'm not going to cry too much even if Burr is being singled out--corruption is corruption and while it'd be better if they all go down for it, random punishment is better than no punishment. Besides, Burr hasn't exactly been much of a check on Trump even when you count his protests.

Burr's also one of the people who has been spearheading backdoors into encryption, so we're all safer if he no longer has any power.

Gremlin wrote:

while it'd be better if they all go down for it, random punishment is better than no punishment.

I'm not sure I agree when the reason why one is punished and the other is spared is also corrupt.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
Gremlin wrote:

while it'd be better if they all go down for it, random punishment is better than no punishment.

I'm not sure I agree when the reason why one is punished and the other is spared is also corrupt.

Yeah. This will only accelerate Trump's corruption once he realizes Barr is so compliant that he'll basically use the apparatus of the state to single out and rid the government of anyone who isn't a toady.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Gremlin wrote:

I've met Richard Burr in person a couple of times.

I always thought he was the type to be too careful to get caught, but I already knew that he was adapt at passing the buck. I wonder if he thinks he did anything wrong.

Got caught. ;)

He only got caught because one of the people in his super secret Influential Business Owners Only meeting didn't keep it super secret like they were supposed to and recorded the meeting. I'm actually curious to know which business owner it fooled him so much as to their incorruptibility.

Attorneys for the Georgia rednecks who murdered Ahmaud Arbery can really read a room.

In a press conference yesterday the lawyers for the son redneck said "We implore all of you ... don't rush to judgment." For some strange reason he didn't acknowledge that his client did exactly that, which is why he's now facing murder charges.

And the lawyers for the failed investigator daddy redneck said "So often the public accepts a narrative-driven by an incomplete set of facts, one that vilifies a good person, based on a rush to judgment, which has happened in this case." Presumably the lawyers weren't talking about a narrative driven by an incomplete set of facts like the two DA who blessed Arbery's shooting without really investigating it or how the redneck twins vilified Arbery and rushed to judgement about him.

It's their job to spin the facts in the best possible way they can find. They are, after all, advocates for their clients.

I agree with you that it's bullsh*t, and hopefully the government lawyers will do their jobs properly and prosecute the case with actual zeal. It should be possible to convince a jury that these guys are guilty as sh*t and that their lawyer's spin is a smokescreen for flat-out murder.

But that style of argumentation along with a halfhearted prosecution would probably see these guys walk free.

Benefit of the doubt is an exclusively white privilege.

I'm not saying that these guys deserve the benefit of the doubt, just that it's completely expected for these lawyers to do what they're doing. That's what they're paid for.

I remember when they prosecuted those Blackwater employees for murder a few years back, and how scrupulous they were about following every single step in the process, and respecting every single right. And people were mad about this, rightfully so, but from the wrong angle.

It's not that those (IMO guilty as sh*t) people shouldn't have been given those privileges, the problem is that other people, especially minorities, don't get the same treatment. That's what everyone should expect from the court system, and until we get it, we're not even remotely equal or the land of the free.

Of course, I don't think we care about any of that sh*t, anymore. It's all about expedience for everyone, on all sides, almost never principle. We don't care about anything but getting the exact outcomes we want in this specific moment for this specific problem, and to heck with anything that stands in the way. It's much worse on the right side of the divide than on the left, but it's present everywhere.

Prosecutors just want big numbers, so they'll cut any corner they can get to the guilty verdict. Cops cooperate with it because they see minorities as threats, and the whites as being the real citizens that need protecting. And judges seem to be just as complicit in many cases, particularly when they're elected. Nobody involved seems to particularly care about the lives they're deliberately ruining to make their numbers.

The justice system in this country is f*cked up.

Pleasant sign for the future when the Old Gray Lady is running "Tool up, Libs" op-eds.

(FWIW, I have become Team Ida B. Wells on this.)

In the immortal words of Tallahassee from Zombieland, It's time to nut up or shut up.

p.s. Zombieland: Double Tap is a hoot, but very pale-skinned which disappointed me quite a lot. It has two non-white faces in it. One is a minor character love interest for one of the leads, and the other is a door guard.

...

Maybe Jordan Peele can give us a decent horror comedy in the vein of the two Zombielands, but with 21st century sensibilities. If anyone can do it, he can.

Good, if depressing, article.

The fake “Obamagate” scandal shows how Trump hacks the media

This is the latest example of zone-flooding, a phenomenon I described at length back in February. The strategy was best articulated (in America, at least) by Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News and chief strategist for Donald Trump, who in 2018 reportedly said: “The Democrats don’t matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with sh*t.”

This is a new form of propaganda tailored to the digital age and it works not by creating a consensus around any particular narrative but by muddying the waters so that consensus isn’t possible. And it’s all the more difficult because even the most scrupulous, well-intentioned coverage can easily fall into the trap of flooding the zone.

Before Ahmaud Arbery's death, multiple people walked through construction site, report says

USA Today wrote:

...

Glynn County police told USA TODAY they had no records of home break-ins or burglaries between Jan. 1 and Feb. 23 in that neighborhood. Local media reported one car burglary.

Homeowner Larry English confirmed to CNN through the release of new videos that several people had entered the construction site over the course of several months. CNN reported that it obtained 11 surveillance clips from Oct. 25, 2019, to Feb. 23, 2020, from Attorney J. Elizabeth Graddy, who is representing English.

Among the people seen entering the site on separate occasions: A man and woman, a man and even children.

Earlier, English's attorney released three security camera clips taken Dec. 17 – more than two months before the shooting – that showed a black man in a T-shirt and shorts at the site. In the final clip, the man walks a few steps toward the road, then jogs away.

“It now appears that this young man may have been coming onto the property for water,” Graddy said in a statement. “There is a water source at the dock behind the house as well as a source near the front of the structure. Although these water sources do not appear within any of the cameras’ frames, the young man moves to and from their locations.”

...

English has said the house was wide open, and nothing was ever taken from the property. English does not know anyone in the videos which were transmitted to his phone by his security system when someone entered the property, Graddy told CNN.

Sincerely one of the worst court rulings I've ever seen.

The short version: the George State Supreme Court has determined that if one of its members resigns just prior to the end of their term, then the election can be canceled and the governor gets to appoint their replacement for a roughly two year term. If you're thinking that a Republican Justice whose term was up in November just happened to announce his future resignation and his Republican replacement is being appointed for the next two years by a Republican governor, then you win a cookie.

Can you tell me the percentage of rat sh*t in the cookie?

Under new FDA guidelines set by the Trump administration, I'm not obligated to disclose that information to you.

They're so corrupt

This is a new form of propaganda tailored to the digital age and it works not by creating a consensus around any particular narrative but by muddying the waters so that consensus isn’t possible.

Hey that strategy looks like Putin's strategy. What a coincidence!

This strategy makes it very difficult for groups to communicate, like on GWJ, because if a poster comes in with, "Look at this thing I saw on the internet. How about that? Just asking questions!" they're quite plausibly asking the question in good faith, but accidentally doing the devil's work.

How do you address that without being an asshole?

That's sad, but it also reminds me to appreciate people like OG, Clocky, Prederick, Robear, etc. who I can consistently expect are either bringing genuine insight and/or hilarity. That, or they've constructed an alternative alternative reality bubble and I'm a sucker for it.

Should we have been teaching rhetoric this whole time?

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

That's sad, but it also reminds me to appreciate people like OG, Clocky, Prederick, Robear, etc. who I can consistently expect are either bringing genuine insight and/or hilarity. That, or they've constructed an alternative alternative reality bubble and I'm a sucker for it.

If anyone can create an alternative reality bubble where Trump and Friends literally do not exist, sign me up.

DSGamer wrote:

They're so corrupt

Evergreen tweet.