Wednesday's HOT MIC
Not quite sure if this is a case of federal overreach or jury nullification.
A federal jury in Las Vegas refused Tuesday to convict four defendants who were retried on accusations that they threatened and assaulted federal agents by wielding assault weapons in a 2014 confrontation to stop a cattle roundup near the Nevada ranch of states' rights figure Cliven Bundy.
In a stunning setback to federal prosecutors planning to try the Bundy family patriarch and two adult sons later this year, the jury acquitted Ricky Lovelien and Steven Stewart of all 10 charges, and delivered not-guilty findings on most charges against Scott Drexler and Eric Parker.
More than 30 defendants' supporters in the courtroom broke into applause after Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro ordered Lovelien and Stewart freed immediately and set Wednesday morning hearings to decide if Parker and Drexler should remain jailed pending a government decision whether to seek a third trial.
"Random people off the streets, these jurors, they told the government again that we're not going to put up with tyranny," said a John Lamb, a Montana resident who attended almost all the five weeks of trial, which began with jury selection July 10.
"They've been tried twice and found not guilty," Bundy family matriarch Carol Bundy said outside court. "We the people are not guilty."
All four men were photographed carrying assault-style weapons during the standoff near the Nevada town of Bunkerville, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Each had faced the possibility of decades in federal prison if they were convicted.
Jurors saw images of Parker and Drexler in prone shooting positions looking down their rifles through slots in the concrete barrier of an Interstate 15 freeway overpass toward heavily armed federal agents guarding a corral of cows below.
Defense attorneys noted that no shots were fired and no one was injured. They cast the tense standoff with more than 100 men, women and children in the potential crossfire as an ultimately peaceful protest involving people upset about aggressive tactics used by federal land managers against Bundy family members.
Was there a technical violation of the law? I don't think there's any doubt of that. But a bunch of guys in camo walking around with their weapons is hardly threatening. And where did they come up with an "assault" charge?
The feds, armed to the teeth and backed up by all the power in Washington, were actually far more of a threat to the protesters than the private citizens were to them. I think the jury realized that and acted accordingly.
If the federal government really wants to put Cliven Bundy and his family in jail, they are going to have to find another way
Since Trump never does anything small or ordinary, the upcoming battle over the debt limit is likely to spin out of control and become the longest government shutdown in history.
Trump promised in Arizona to veto any debt limit bill that does not include money for the wall. Today, Speaker Paul Ryan said a veto wasn't necessary because the wall would be funded using the appropriations process.
Ryan responded to Trump's veto promise during a press conference in Hillsboro, Ore., saying that Congress needed more time to complete the formal appropriations process to fund the border wall. Congress has passed legislation to fund border security improvements, including parts of the wall, but hasn't allocated the full funding Trump's request needs for the wall.
There are very legitimate problems and concerns on the border that need to be addressed,” Ryan said, but “we’re going to need more time to complete our appropriations process, especially in the Senate.”
Democrats in both chambers are staunchly opposed to funding the border wall, and several Senate Democrats have vowed to block any bill that includes money for the southern barrier.
"Build that wall. Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, but believe me, if we have to close down our government, we're building that wall," Trump said Tuesday during a rally in Phoenix.
Ryan said that lawmakers didn’t have to choose between building the wall and funding the government, but didn’t criticize Trump for threatening a shutdown.
“The president is employing a strategy that he thinks is effective for him,” Ryan said.
Trump is acting more like a king than Obama ever did. He thinks he can snap his fingers and Congress will give him what he wants. Sorry, Donnie, it doesn't work that way. It has nothing to do with the "swamp" either. Regular order is regular order and the appropriations process -- although rarely followed -- is the law of the land.
This is the price we pay for having someone ignorant of governance and the legislative process as president. Congress will pass a debt ceiling bill that almost certainly won't contain any money for the wall. This is because Ryan is going to need about 20 Democrats to get the debt limit passed, given opposition from conservatives. And since Democrats are in lock step about no funding for the wall, the only way to avoid a government shutdown is to send a relatively clean debt limit bill to the White House for Trump's signature.
Since there won't be enough votes to override Trump's veto, we are likely to see some kind of government shutdown. How that plays out over more than a few days is anyone's guess, but we all know who will be blamed.
Paula: If you're me, you made a pot roast and binge-watched "The Flash" last night and felt perfectly OK.
I say this not to be flippant and, yes, I realize that we have to cover politics, but it's important to point out that there are still a lot of us who aren't getting wrapped up in the "pro" or "anti" hysteria. It's no secret that I have liked a lot of what's happened in the Trump administration. I'm not buying an annual pass on the Trump Train, however. It's also fairly well documented that I hate the MSM, so I will never be participating in any hysteria they deem important.
So...pot roast (made in an Instant Pot, btw, and delicious).
I never used to watch Obama speeches unless I was being paid to comment on or write about them. My world kept turning, despite the insistence by people close to me that every word he uttered posed an existential threat to my liberty.
Same thing with Trump.
I won't lie, the fact that a bar opened 100 yards away from my door last year has helped.
James Damore has lawyered up with a Republican attorney to handle his complaint against Google. From CNN Tech:
James Damore, the Google engineer who was fired after he wrote an explosive memo on diversity, has retained an attorney.
Harmeet Dhillon, a California representative for the Republican National Committee, confirmed Tuesday that Damore is her client.
She'll represent Damore in proceedings related to a complaint he filed against Google with the National Labor Relations Board.
Dhillon declined to comment as to whether a lawsuit is in the works.
Damore could be the bad publicity gift for Google that keeps on giving for a long time at this rate. Good for him. The anti-diversity of thought people need to be fought, and too often aren't.
If Damore has any success whatsoever in making Google pay in any way over this might embolden others whose silenced is being forced by the "tolerant" diversity crowd.
Nothing quite like bearding the lion in his den.
Joey Gibson's Patriot Prayer group -- known for its peaceful advocacy for free speech -- has gotten a permit from the National Park Service to hold a rally in San Francisco on Saturday.
The National Park Service said Wednesday that a controversial right-wing rally will be allowed to go forward Saturday at park-managed Crissy Field in San Francisco and advised the public to steer clear.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area Acting General Superintendent Cicely Muldoon said the park service had no choice but to honor the free speech rights of event applicant Patriot Prayer, despite concern from city officials that the afternoon demonstration will draw far-right extremists and counterprotesters and turn violent in similar fashion to an Aug. 12 event in Charlottesville, Va.
The park service, which said it has also approved a handful of permits for counterprotests over the weekend, has been meeting with San Francisco police and park service officials from across the country to try to ensure a robust security plan. Parts of the Presidio will be closed to visitors during the rally, officials said.
“After consultation with other law enforcement colleagues, including the San Francisco Police Department, National Park Service law enforcement believe that whether a permit is issued or not, many people will come to Crissy Field on Aug. 26 to express their opinions,” Muldoon said in a statement. “Law enforcement advised that issuing a permit will increase their ability to ensure public safety.”
Mr. Gibson must find a way to deny white supremacists and Nazis a role in the demonstration. That former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi referred to Patriot Prayer as a "hate group" is a calumnious slur. Not even the SPLC has branded Patriot Prayer a hate group. Considering how low the SPLC's bar is on hate, this should assure all but the most rabid lefties of the peaceful intentions of the group.
But that's exactly who will show up as counter-protesters -- rabid, out-of-control Antifa thugs spoiling for a brawl. This will no doubt keep the number of Patriot Prayer demonstrators to a minimum -- another victory for the real fascists in America.
Think you've got a tough job? Here's what happened to a Milwaukee Public School teacher who apparently said the wrong thing to a male student.
The circumstances around the fight aren't known.
Police say the student was arrested at the school and faces possible charges of battery.
A Milwaukee Public School spokesman says the district is cooperating with the investigation.
"MPS is cooperating with the Milwaukee Police Department to investigate a situation that occurred today at 1515 W Lapham Blvd. Due to this being an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further."
A school that's known as the fighting cardinals--now dealing with a fight of a different kind.
Police tell FOX6 the teacher's injuries were not life threatening. Charges will be presented to the District Attorney's Office in the coming days.
Officials say the case will be presented to the Milwaukee County District Office in the coming days for possible charges of Battery to a School District Official.
Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan issued the following statement on this incident:
"Violence at MPS is a great concern to the community. Actions like this need criminal charges to send a message, and hold the student responsible for their reckless and dangerous behavior.
"I applaud the many great teachers and students at MPS, however, there is a segment of students who choose to behave inappropriately and criminally, which robs other students and teachers of an opportunity to build a safe learning environment."
"Behave inappropriately"? Um, no. Behaving inappropriately is starting a food fight in the cafeteria or shooting spit balls in class. This is "behaving criminally" and will be dealt with accordingly.
Why do teachers' unions and school districts continue to defy logic and allow these violent, unbalanced students to remain in a classroom supposedly dedicated to learning? They should be sent to a special school where they can goof off all they want without detracting from the learning experience of kids who desperately need an education.
Yes, the poor thugs will feel singled out and be ashamed and embarrassed. They should be. As it stands, big city schools are raising generation after generation of functional illiterates who have trouble finding entry-level work because they went to a school where constant disruptions by gang bangers and psychopaths made it impossible to learn.
Reuters needs to look up "namesake" and "doppelgänger" in the dictionary.
You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.
Well, that does it. I am completely chagrined. A United Nations committee has issued an "early warning" to the US because, well, racism.
The warning specifically refers to events last week in Charlottesville, Virginia, where the civil rights activist Heather Heyer was killed when a car rammed into a group of people protesting against a white nationalist rally.
Such statements are usually issued by the United Nations committee on the elimination of racial discrimination (Cerd) over fears of ethnic or religious conflict. In the past decade, the only other countries issued with early warnings have been Burundi, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria.
The United States has been warned under the procedure in the past when Cerd raised the issue of land rights conflicts with the Western Shoshone indigenous peoples in 2006.
“We are alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred,” said Anastasia Crickley, chair of the committee.
Cerd has obviously never seen a Black Lives Matter demonstration. I guess "Pigs in a blanket. Fry 'em like bacon" and other examples of eliminationist rhetoric aimed at police and white people doesn't count as "racism."
We should thank the UN for their vigilance. Of course, other nations have been far more blatant in demonstrating their racism. Things are so bad in Russia that concerns have been raised about racial violence directed against black athletes and fans at the World Cup to be held there next year.
Racism is a scourge that is not endemic to any one country, region, or race, for that matter. Far more than any other nation - and considering where we started from as far as race relations are concerned - the US has made gigantic progress in wiping that scourge from our shores. The few haters who are left make a lot of noise but have zero power. They have become notorious lately because we have a president too stupid to banish them from the public square and a press eager to use them as a club to smear that same president.
But thanks for the warning, UN. Now, about North Korea...
This is hilarious:
Apparently, some on the left believed Tucker when he said that President Trump staring at the sun with his bare eyes during the eclipse was the "most impressive thing any president has ever done." Humorless dolts.
That said, while I'm a huge fan of satire and think it's an important part of our political discourse, I'm not sure Fox News in prime time is the best platform for that. This 2014 article in The Atlantic described how the Russian "media" regularly blur the lines between truth and reality. It describes Putin's campaign of information warfare:
In today’s Russia, by contrast, the idea of truth is irrelevant. On Russian ‘news’ broadcasts, the borders between fact and fiction have become utterly blurred. Russian current-affairs programs feature apparent actors posing as refugees from eastern Ukraine, crying for the cameras about invented threats from imagined fascist gangs. During one Russian news broadcast, a woman related how Ukrainian nationalists had crucified a child in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk. When Alexei Volin, Russia’s deputy minister of communications, was confronted with the fact that the crucifixion story was a fabrication, he showed no embarrassment, insteadsuggesting that all that mattered were ratings. “The public likes how our main TV channels present material, the tone of our programs,” he said. “The share of viewers for news programs on Russian TV has doubled over the last two months.” The Kremlin tells its stories well, having mastered the mixture of authoritarianism and entertainment culture. The notion of ‘journalism,’ in the sense of reporting ‘facts’ or ‘truth,’ has been wiped out. In a lecture last year to journalism students at Moscow State University, Volin suggestedthat students forget about making the world a better place. “We should give students a clear understanding: They are going to work for The Man, and The Man will tell them what to write, what not to write, and how this or that thing should be written,” he said. “And The Man has the right to do it, because he pays them.”
"Fake news" has become increasingly difficult to spot, even for media professionals. News outlets ought to be very cautious about blurring the lines between news and entertainment. With trust in the media is at an all-time low, now would be a very good time to start putting a higher value on credibility.
One of my favorite things to come out of Trump's speech last night.
The rest of the fallout from the president's Arizona speech was not too positive. He seems to have blown any goodwill engendered from the speech on Afghanistan Monday.
In response to Paula, I think "Trump Finally Became President" was trending last night because people were mocking it, not because they were endorsing that idea. Lachlan Markay, Harry Enten, and Steve Deace unleashed some pretty painful digs at the president mocking that very line.