Thursday, November 27, 2014

More Turkey For Thanksgiving

Karoli at Crooks and Liars makes this catch of Lawrence O'Donnell's analysis of the Darren Wilson grand jury proceedings, and those proceedings were nothing short of shocking.

This is how the Grand Jury arrived at their verdict. Early on in the proceedings, Assistant District Attorney Alizadeh handed out copies of a law that was ruled unconstitutional in 1985. In essence it set the bar for use of excessive force lower than is permissible. Simply put, ADA Alizadeh told the jury that it was permissible to shoot a fleeing suspect.

Tennessee v. Garner made the statute Alizadeh distributed to the Grand Jury unconstitutional, but that didn't stop her from distributing it to grand jurors at the outset in order to set their minds in a place where Darren Wilson was justified in what he did.

Then, at the very end of the proceedings on November 21st, Alizadeh "corrected" the record. Sort of.

For the entire proceeding, jurors weighed the evidence in light of a law that was deemed unconstitutional almost 30 years ago. Then they corrected the record at the very end, but by then it was too late.

Alizadeh only tells the grand jurors that the law they've been using for over two months in order to assess the legality of Darren Wilson's shooting of Michael Brown isn't the law on the final day of the proceedings.

And she passes off using a law ruled unconstitutional in 1985 as a mistake.

A law that just happened to exonerate Darren Wilson of any wrongdoing using his version of events, a law that said a fleeing suspect can still be shot without penalty, ruled unconstitutional nearly 30 years ago.

But I'm supposed to trust the system.

OK.  Sure.

Thanksgiving Turkeys In Congress

The chief goal among Republicans in Congress right now is not jobs, or healthcare, or even "the will of the American people", but punishing President Obama like he's an errant child.

Congress returns to Washington Dec. 1, just 10 days before government funding is set to expire, and Boehner and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) say they are intent on avoiding a government shutdown. Obama’s executive action has inflamed conservatives, who believe he has overstepped his constitutional authority. Some hard-line GOP lawmakers are calling for a showdown with Obama, but Boehner and McConnell have no desire to relive the October 2013 government shutdown. McConnell, Boehner and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said that the Republican-controlled Capitol Hill would stop governing by crisis. Boehner last week, however, said that he has plenty of energy to fight Obama.

Some conservatives have called on Congress to choke off funding for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, but those employees are funded by fees, not congressional appropriations.

GOP aides and lawmakers say they expect the leadership to consider additional legislation to address the executive order, but there have been no decisions made on what those bills would look like. There are lots of ideas: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has signaled he would hold up some of Obama’s executive branch nominees, others privately have been musing about shutting the government down, refusing to invite the president to give his State of the Union address or censuring the president. Many in congressional leadership think these ideas are nonsensical, since it will not serve any practical purpose.

To recap, Republicans in Congress are so utterly petty and hateful that they're falling all over themselves to see who can be the biggest asshole to President Obama.  That's what they are worried about right now.

And that's all that matters.
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