Wednesday Open Thread [8.20.14]

Filed in Open Thread by on August 20, 2014

More Ferguson, to be filed in the Annals of Really Bad Policing — video of a cop in last night’s protests in Ferguson of a cop waving his weapon at peaceful protesters telling them that ” I will fucking kill you!” There are two videos here — one of the cop threatening the protester and a clearer one of the cop and the other cop who caught up to him to get him to lower his weapon. Seriously, this cop doesn’t look angry — he looks scared to death. In a group of people with their hands up (and often you can see the light of smartphones filming), folks. No wonder he didn’t want to give his name.

Video 1:

Video 2:

Rick Perry has a mug shot, y’all!

Jeffrey Toobin has a piece at the New Yorker noting that once these kinds of cases get brought, the idea that “everyone does it” doesn’t typically fly:

So Perry may have a point, but he also has a problem. Prosecutors have wide, almost unlimited, latitude to decide which cases to bring. The reason is obvious: there is simply no way that the government could prosecute every violation of law it sees. Think about tax evasion, marijuana use, speeding, jay-walking—we’d live in a police state if the government went after every one of these cases. (Indeed, virtually all plea bargaining, which is an ubiquitous practice, amounts to an exercise of prosecutorial discretion.) As a result, courts give prosecutors virtual carte blanche to bring some cases and ignore others. But, once they do bring them, courts respond to the argument that “everyone does it” more or less the same way that your mother did. It’s no excuse. So if Perry’s behavior fits within the technical definition of the two statutes under which he’s charged, which it well might, he’s probably out of luck.

Sussex County restaurateur Matt Haley died in India today, as a result of a motorcycle accident earlier in the week. He was on a humanitartian mission there, and won the James Beard Humanitarian of the Year Award this past spring. I didn’t know him or his restaurants, but if my Facebook page is any indication, he was well-loved by many Delawareans. RIP, Mr. Haley. (h/t commenter Dave)

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  1. SussexWatcher says:

    Around Sussex, I’ve seen quite a few pairings of Smink and Christopher roadside signs. Smink could be the Christian wackjob of this election that helps bring Christopher along in the primary, much like COD did in the 2010 general.

  2. mouse says:

    Not sure how to start a new topic but here goes. We need your help in Sussex County. The inland bays are dying from nutrient and sediment pollution directly related to the land use decisions made by the Sussex County Council. These men from rigged districts to elect people from Western Sussex County could care less about the inland bays. The inland bays are a state wide and regional resource that every Delawarian should be concerned about. I suspect there are very few people in New Castle Co. who don’t visit and enjoy the inland bays. I ask that you contact legislators about having state protection of our inland bays similar to the critical areas protection of the Chesapeake. The local county council will do nothing by allow developers to over run the area and destroy our resources.

  3. SussexAnon says:

    Mouse, Sounds like a job for a Clean Water Initiative from the Governor. Guess it evaporated.

  4. mouse says:

    Yes, LOL. Its so pathetically sad. The state is ran by corrupt cabals. The only reason I vote for Democrats is that the GOP can’t even field a viable candidate who can answer basic questions.

  5. SussexAnon says:

    I am not sure which policy roll out was worse. Proposing the funding of roads by actually paying for them through raising the gas tax 10 cents over 4 to 5 years. Or the Clean Water Initiative.

    Both failed at the start.

    Would you care for an oyster or clam from the inland bays? Aquaculture in toxic waters. Good idea.

    DNREC is so accustomed to approving everything in the name of business that it doesn’t have a clue how to enforce its own environmental code.

  6. John Manifold says:

    Kleiman supports Toobin:

    http://www.samefacts.com/2014/08/crime-incarceration/rush-to-judgment-on-the-rick-perry-indictment/

    “[Perry's] attempt to take over the one agency that could hold him and his cronies accountable constitutes an outrageous abuse of power. And doing so in the context of stealing millions of dollars from cancer research to enrich political cronies makes it morally disgusting, to boot.”

  7. puck says:

    That is a creepy mug shot. It triggers the Uncanny Valley response, like a Madame Tussaud’s wax figure.

  8. Another Mike says:

    Without losing sight of the genesis of the unrest in Ferguson, the last 12 days or should prompt a serious discussion in these United States. Too many members of law enforcement are out of control.

    Just over the last 10 days in Ferguson, we’ve seen cops wearing camouflage carrying assault rifles pointed at peaceful citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. The list of journalists being arrested for doing their jobs continues to grow. Officers are taunting the crowd, uttering such memorable lines as “Bring it, all you fucking animals! Bring it!” and “I will fucking kill you.”

    When you’ve been told for so long that you’re fighting a war, and you dress like a soldier, well, everyone looks like the enemy. That’s what the American people have become.

    The attitudes of so many “peace” officers illustrates this. Just today, the Los Angeles United School District decriminalized many offenses and has directed its school resource officers to handle all but a few infractions by bringing the student to the principal’s office. This is great news for anyone with common sense. Yet, on Police One, the cop commenters disagree. All of them.

    The 1033 program, civil forfeiture, too many issues to list here. The discussion must begin.

  9. puck says:

    Obama to kick US tech workers in groin:

    President Barack Obama is considering key changes in the nation’s immigration system requested by tech, industry and powerful interest groups, in a move that could blunt Republicans’ election-year criticism of the president’s go-it-alone approach to immigration.

    Yes, when you get all righteous and misty-eyed about “comprehensive immiggration reform,” this is what you are getting – more displacement of good middle-class jobs for Americans, and more driving down of salaries across the board. Not a way to help the economy heal.

    One of the more popular requests among business and family groups is a change in the way green cards are counted that would essentially free up some 800,000 additional visas the first year, advocates say…Obama’s aides have held more than 20 meetings in recent months with business groups and other interest groups to discuss possibilities, ahead of an announcement about next steps the president is expected to make in September.

    WTF does Obama hope to gain by triangulating at this point?

    Obama’s comments drew this through-the-looking-glass reaction from a Republican:

    U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., slammed the White House this week for meeting with big business to bring in more workers while “tens of millions of Americans are on welfare, unemployment and public assistance.”

  10. Jason330 says:

    Nobody ever said that Obama was going to be the champion of the middle class..Did they?

    Anyway, if you think Obama likes big business – just wait for Hillary.

  11. mouse says:

    Its scary. I’m going to either have to vote for a Green Party candidate that will likely lose or a bad Democrat because they will be better than the bad Republican.

  12. cassandra_m says:

    Sounds like a job for a Clean Water Initiative from the Governor. Guess it evaporated.

    This evaporated because the General Assembly decided that they couldn’t do their jobs in an election year. It wasn’t because either the Governor or Collin O’Mara didn’t work for this — especially among the legislators. Oddly, there wasn’t nearly the push back on this as there was on the gas tax. And yet the collective defensive crouch prevailed.

  13. Aint's Taking it Any More says:

    Like every modern-day presidential candidate before him, Obama ran on a platform that promised to champion the middle class. Like every one before him, he didn’t.

    Why is anyone surprised?

  14. mouse says:

    I so wish there was a viable 3nd party. I vote that way as much as possible just to try. Our current deligation, Mr. Banking committee et al, are all more interested in enriching the 1% and themselves than doing anything for average people. If you vote Republican, its even worse.

  15. Liberal Elite says:

    @p “Obama to kick US tech workers in groin”

    It’s not just tech workers, it’s the entire STEM educational/research system in the US.

    For every single STEM PhD granted in the US, 7 are granted in China and 5 are granted in India. Allowing a LARGE number of them into the US would be good for industry, but terrible in so many other ways. It would simply kill higher education in the US. We would simply outsource high tech education to foreign countries.

    Imagine if we did this for medical doctors to lower health care costs…
    It would be easy to cut their wages by a factor of two or three.

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