Justice Dept. Shakes Up Inquiry Into Eric Garner Chokehold Case
By Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, and William K. Rashbaum Oct 24, 2016
The Justice Department has replaced the New York team of agents and lawyers investigating the death of Eric Garner, officials said, a highly unusual shake-up that could jump-start the long-stalled case and put the government back on track to seek criminal charges.
Federal authorities have been investigating whether officers violated Mr. Garner’s civil rights in his fatal encounter with the police. But thecase had been slowed by a dispute because federal prosecutors andFederal Bureau of Investigation officials in New York opposed bringing charges, while prosecutors with the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department in Washington argued there was clear evidence to do so.
In recent weeks, the F.B.I. agents who have been investigating the case were replaced with agents from outside New York, according to five federal officials in New York and Washington. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn are no longer assigned to the case. It is not clear whether civil rights prosecutors from Washington will work alone in presenting evidence to a grand jury in Brooklyn and in trying the case if charges are eventually brought.
Naturally only right-wing cranks will think that this sort of energy and commitment to "justice" was sorely lacking in the Hillary email server "investigation".
Now, To Be Fair, it may be the case that the NY-based FBI investigators and Justice Department prosecutors are too cozy with their counterparts in NYC law enforcement. Yet it seems that the Civil Rights Division of the Justice department knew a long time ago what result they expected the investigation to produce.
Of course, there is no reason to think anyone in Justice pre-judged the Hillary case or had a rooting interest in one outcome or another. Groan.
So we are getting the Cubs-Native Americans World Series the world wanted, and the longest Series drought in one league or the other will come to an end.
For myself, I normally back the American League entrant. This year has a special plot twist - while watching a Yankees game with a fellow Yankees fan who is a Cleveland native, I suggested that since the Yankees were dead and nearly buried, we should switch loyalties.
And now here we are, poised to guide our adopted team to victory!
But enoiugh about me. Hillary is on record as being a Cubs fan, so even though Ohio is a swing state she probably has to ride that pony.
As to Trump, he is a Yankees fan who also likes the Mets so his league loyalty is unclear. However! Trump and former Yankee owner, The Boss, General George S. Steinbrenner (late) have a lot of overlap in terms of deportment. And The Boss was originally from Ohio, so there you go - Trump gets Cleveland.
The NY Times tries to fire up the troops for the closing push:
Hillary Clinton Makes Pitch for Mandate and a Swing-State Sweep
This is not 2008, when the legacy media sincerely believed their guy represented both hope and change. In this campaign the legacy media has long-ago abandoned the pretense that there is a positive case for Hillarity! Hence the daily (hourly? OK, hourly) ten minute hates on Trump.
"Vote For The Crook, Not The Crazy!" fits on a bumper sticker but it does not lead to any mandate other than "Don't Be Trump", and is unlikely to lead to big swings down ballot.
I foresee depressed turnout this election. Meaning total votes will be down from 2012, and the poor fools who do straggle to the polls will be depressed.
Still, an examination of high-casualty shootings emphasizes not only how porous existing firearms regulations are, but also how difficult tightening them in a meaningful way may be.
The New York Times examined all 130 shootings last year in which four or more people were shot, at least one fatally, and investigators identified at least one attacker. The cases range from drug-related shootouts to domestic killings that wiped out entire families to chance encounters that took harrowing wrong turns.
They afford a panoramic view of some of the gun control debate’s fundamental issues: whether background checks and curbs on assault weapons limit violence; whether the proliferation of open-carry practices and rules allowing guns on college campuses is a spark to violence; whether it is too easy for dangerously mentally ill or violent people to get guns.
The findings are dispiriting to anyone hoping for simple legislative fixes to gun violence. In more than half the 130 cases, at least one assailant was already barred by federal law from having a weapon, usually because of a felony conviction, but nonetheless acquired a gun. Including those who lacked the required state or local permits, 64 percent of the shootings involved at least one attacker who violated an existing gun law.
Of the remaining assailants, 40 percent had never had a serious run-in with the law and probably could have bought a gun even in states with the strictest firearm controls. Typically those were men who killed their families and then themselves.
Only 14 shootings involved assault rifles, illustrating their outsize role in the gun debate. Nearly every other assailant used a handgun. That is in line with a federal study that concluded that reviving a 1994 ban on assault weapons and ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds would have a minimal impact, at best, on gun violence.
Obviously we will have no trouble finding table-pounding progressives who will insist that if a bitter and divisive national debate that turns our gun laws upside down can save even one life it will be worth it. And I don't think for a nano-second this story will change the Times editors position on, for example, an assault weapons ban.
The Times holds out a slender reed for those progressives:
But there were also cases in which victims arguably would have lived had they been in a state with tighter firearms restrictions, because it would have been harder for their attackers either to get guns or to carry them in those circumstances. That includes several of nine attackers who were dangerously mentally ill but still met the federal standard for gun possession.
Just to summarize that last link, progressives argue that the mentally ill are responsible for only about 4% of violent crime. However, that 4% figure is for people diagnosed with exclusively a mental disorder; people with a mental disorder and substance abuse issues are not counted as part of the mentally ill population for purposes of (under-)estimating their tendency to violence. If they were, the 4% figure would rise by a factor of 3 to 5.
Another laughable lefty stat [same link] defending the mentally ill was based on a survey of the Indiana prison population of homicide offenders. C'mon - plenty of famous mass shooters never went to trial, choosing instead to die at the scene. And that is common - per NY Times and Mother Jones surveys of mass killings, more than half of the killers cheat the hangman by dying at the scene.
While the 2016 race has been remarkable for its ugly tone, there is a rich political history of campaigns pushing ethical and legal boundaries to undermine the opposition. In 1972, supporters of Richard M. Nixon, who was even better positioned to win than Mrs. Clinton, unleashed an organized campaign of sabotage: forging letters, disrupting rallies and even flying an airplane over the Democratic National Convention that year with a banner that read “Peace Pot Promiscuity — Vote McGovern.”
I have long and repeatedly noted that Hillary is her party's answer to Dick Nixon - an impressive resume but no personal warmth leaving her respected but not loved, secretive, paranoid, ethically absent, at war with the media - Hillary's The One!
But times have changed in this regard - today it would be the Democrats flying a "Peace Pot Promiscuity" banner over their own convention.
Geez, the West Coast team got the late start every time, even when Toronto was still kicking and thrashing (but not hitting!) against Cleveland.
It's almost as if Chicago and Los Angeles have bigger US television markets than Cleveland and Toronto.
SINCE YOU ASK: Even though it might might Obama happy I am rooting for Chicago on the National League side and Cleveland to win it all. Just imagine Cleveland winning the basketball and baseball championships and becoming Sports City USA. Weird, right? But not ghastly, like Boston in 2004 with football and then baseball, or Boston again in 2007/8 with baseball and basketball. And speaking of dodged bullets, but for Eli Manning the Patriots would have become Super Bowl champs in Feb 2008, so the Celtics championship in June 2008 would have left Boston as reigning champs in three sports simultaneously. Like Boston fans could be even more insufferable?
Well. A New York team might make the playoffs in some sport this year (or next!), so its all good.
“When nobody talks about the issue, the clear signal is that this isn’t very important,” Dr. Leiserowitz said. “Ultimately, it comes down to one of the most precious resources on the planet, human attention.”
He also said that when public figures such as President Obama, Pope Francis and Leonardo DiCaprio talked about climate change, it could influence how much the public says they care about climate change...
Uhh, one of those things is not like the others (and no, the eye-catching divergence is not on skin tone, except for racially-obsessed progressive bean-counters).
But, and you can only imagine my surprise, those names weren't picked form a hat - Leo has a documentary coming out which includes, some big names:
Friends in high places: Trailer for jet-setting Leo's new environmental documentary 'Before The Flood' stars Obama, Pope Francis and of course DiCaprio himself
So droll of them to note that climate change is not quite enough of a crisis for Leo to forego the private jets. And I am old enough to remember talk of "limousine liberals".
ERRATA: I will never find a link to verify this but burned in my memory is an old Normal Lear ("All In The Family" anecdote. His car pulled up in front of some pollution/climate conference or other and he hopped out of his very fancy BMW. Asked whether he understood the contrast between his message and his mode of transportation, his reply was something like "I get it, its a polluting gas-guzzler and we can't go on like this - but have you felt the ride?"
COMPLETING THE LIST: Back in a famous 1998 article describing young Leo's night-clubbing antics with, well, the Pussy Posse, we complete the circle:
When he goes to a club, people start screaming and jumping over the security guards and elbowing and pushing to get near him."
And that's not just the civilians. "The models are all over him," says Jeffrey Jah, director of the club Life. "He's got rock stars, Puff Daddy, Donald Trump, going over to his table to sit with him. Leo just comes in to hang out with his friends."