Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Last Call For At Long Last

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Wednesday said the Justice Department has decided not to pursue charges against Hillary Clinton or her aides and will close the investigation into her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

The announcement comes a day after FBI Director James Comey held a press conference in which he said “no reasonable prosecutor” would pursue a case against Clinton, even though she and her staff were “extremely careless” in their handling of classified material.

Lynch's statement provides further relief to Clinton, whose presidential campaign has been dogged by the email scandal, which spawned myriad probes and lawsuits, some of which will continue even as the DOJ’s investigation ends.

“Late this afternoon, I met with FBI Director James Comey and career prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email system during her time as Secretary of State,” Lynch said. “I received and accepted their unanimous recommendation that the thorough, year-long investigation be closed and that no charges be brought against any individuals within the scope of the investigation.”

Lynch had previously said that she would accept the FBI’s recommendation, a declaration that came after Lynch came under fire for an impromptu meeting she had with former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac late last month.

And oh boy, the Republicans are never going to let this go, with Comey and Lynch now facing the House GOP starting tomorrow.  But they haven't let anything go over the last eight years, why start now?

Black Lives Still Matter

As I mentioned in this morning's StupidiNews, we've got yet another example of police executing a black man in front of witnesses and captured on video, this time for the capital offense of selling CDs outside a convenience store, this time in Baton Rouge.

The video showed two Baton Rouge police officers attempting to detain Alton Sterling after the officers responded to a call “from a complainant who stated that a black male who was selling music cd’s and wearing a red shirt threatened him with a gun” outside the Triple S Food Mart, a convenience store, a Facebook post by Baton Rouge Police Department said. Police said they responded about 12:35 a.m. 
Sterling was shot and killed while pinned down by the officers. 
His killing is the latest in a nationwide string of fatal police-involved arrests captured on video. Like many others, the first versions of what happened are coming more from a video showing a fragment of the incident than from police, who have had relatively little to say so far. Thus no clear picture has yet to emerge of the full sequence of events that led to the death. 
The cellphone video of the incident surfaced on social media. The footage began with police standing a few feet from Sterling. A loud pop — like that of a stun gun — can be heard. 
“Get on the ground,” a police officer yelled. 
“Get on the ground,” the voice yelled again, followed by a second pop. 
Sterling, a large man, remained on his feet. 
A police officer tackled him over the hood of a silver car, then onto the ground. 
Meanwhile, another restrained his left arm behind his back and knelt on it. 
“He’s got a gun,” someone yelled. 
“Gun. Gun.” 
Both officers drew their pistols from their holsters. In the video, Sterling appeared to be fairly immobile. 
Then, the officers shouted something unintelligible, which seemed to include the phrase “going for the gun.” 
Two noises that sounded like shots rang out immediately after. 
Whoever filmed the video then dropped the cellphone.

I'm not showing the video, because I'm getting sick of the black death porn aspect of these police killings.  It's there at the WaPo story if you want to view it, and it's your call if you want to watch it.  I don't need to. Having said that, without the iPhone video of the incident, Sterling's death would have been just another statistic.

Although both officers were wearing body cameras, the Baton Rouge Police Chief reportedly told Louisiana State Rep. Denise Marcelle (D) that they both fell off during the incident and didn’t capture any footage of the incident. 
Civilian cellphone footage filmed from a nearby car shows police confronting a man in a red shirt, purported to be Sterling, and yelling at him to get on the ground. An officer tackles him, throwing him onto a car hood and then to the cement. Both officers are on on top of Sterling, who appears to be flat on the ground when one shouts “He’s got a gun.” The video then shows the other officer shooting at point-black range; The person shooting the video reacts, shifting the video from the scene, and at least two more shots are heard. 
Thank god for the iPhone because without the iPhone they might have gotten away,” said Mike McClanahan, the president of the Baton Rouge chapter of the NAACP, at a press conference. 
The attorney for the Sterling family, Edmond Jordan, said in a press conference that one of the Baton Rouge Police Department’s first moves was to confiscate the store surveillance camera — along with its entire video system — without providing the store owner with a warrant. Police Chief Carl Dabadie also told Rep. Marcelle that there is dashboard camera footage from one of the squad cars. 
“There are no criminal charges pending against anyone as far as we know,” Jordan said. “So why are they holding on to this video?” 
I don’t think the department knew that there was another video out there,” he said.

No, and if the cops had shaken the witness in the car down and taken their phone, we'd never have known. Governor John bel Edwards is referring the investigation to the feds, needless to say.

What I know is this: Louisiana is an open carry state for both long guns and handguns and has been for years, both police officers say their body cameras came off during the altercation and that they don't have footage, and Alton Sterling is dead.

What I know is that people I consider friends will gaslight this again in order to justify Sterling's death, and that they will continue to believe that the Second Amendment is there for the protection of citizens against the government, and that Sterling's life was forfeit the second he "refused to comply" with the officers.

What I know is that this will happen again, be caught on video in another American town, more protests will happen, and that not a damn thing will change.

What I know is that I'm bone weary of this happening, and that there's little I can do in order to try to stop it.

Meanwhile, here in Kentucky, we're going to enshrine into law that police are above said law.

And so it goes in America.

Meanwhile In Gunmerica...

The issue of gun violence isn't going away, as much as Republicans would like to use the power of "Thoughtsnprayers" to make the issue vanish.  It's not, not with Donald Trump remaining an albatross around the necks of every Republican running in November.  It looks like we're moving into the deal-making stage ahead of the convention recess.

House Democrats and Republicans seem just as destined for an election-season clash over guns as they did before a Democratic sit-in on the chamber's floor ushered in lawmakers' July 4 recess two weeks ago. 
Nearly a month after the Orlando mass-shooting catapulted the issue back onto the nation's radar, the two parties were meeting separately Wednesday to map strategy. 
Republicans have incorporated some gun curbs into a broader bill aimed at addressing domestic terrorism that the House has planned to debate this week, though their plans seemed less certain late Tuesday. Democrats are insisting on amendments tightening gun restrictions far further, which House Speaker Paul Ryan seemed to nix Tuesday, and each party says the other's proposals are defective. 
Ryan, R-Wis., met Tuesday evening with two leaders of the sit-in, Reps. John Lewis of Georgia and John Larson of Connecticut. The Democrats said Ryan listened respectfully and mentioned his party's concerns about protecting gun owners' rights, but made no promise to allow votes on the Democrats' proposals. 
Asked what Democrats would do if they are denied votes, Lewis, the civil rights hero, wasn't specific but said: "There will be action. We will not be silent." 
Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said the two parties "have different views on how to achieve a shared goal of preventing gun deaths," especially over protecting gun owners' rights. She said the next steps on anti-terror legislation "will be discussed and determined by the majority in the coming days." 
That seemed less assured than earlier comments from Ryan that the House would vote on the GOP legislation this week. Late Tuesday, Republicans were working to line up GOP support for their own measure, with some having questions about the bill's procedural protections for gun owners and other concerns. 
Despite the uncertainty, GOP leaders' hopes of staging a vote on their proposal underscored the pressure they've felt since the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, that left 49 victims dead. Since the 2012 slaying of school children in Newtown, Connecticut, Republicans have not brought any legislation broadly restricting guns to the House floor.

Ryan wants this vote over and done with so it becomes the Senate's problem, which is what John Boshner would have done a month ago.  Sadly, Ryan is even worse at this whole Speaker thing than Orange Julius was, and that's really saying something.

Still, Ryan should be able to say that he kept his promise of holding a vote, and then watch the measure die.

Well, unless the House revolts again.  You never know.


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