Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Last Call For Junior Gitmo Fun Camp For Kids

Just when you thought the Trump regime couldn't get more odious, they remind you that no matter how bad the Democrats are on things, that Republicans will always be worse.

The Trump administration is making preparations to warehouse migrant children on military bases, according to Defense Department communications, the latest sign the government is moving forward with plans to split up families who cross the border illegally. 
According to an email notification sent to Pentagon staffers, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will make site visits at four military installations in Texas and Arkansas during the next two weeks to evaluate their suitability for child shelters. 
The bases would be used to hold minors under age 18 who arrive at the border without an adult relative or after the government has separated them from their parents. HHS is the government agency responsible for providing minors with foster care until another adult relative can assume custody.

The email characterized the site visits as a preliminary assessment. “No decisions have been made at this time,” it states.

An official at HHS confirmed the military site visits. Speaking on condition of anonymity because the plans are not yet public, the official said HHS currently has the bed space to hold 10,571 children in its network of 100 foster-care facilities.

It's like summer camp, only it's internment camp.  America!

Those facilities are at 91 percent capacity, the HHS official said, and the Trump administration’s crackdown plans could push thousands more children into government care. The official said DHS has not provided projections for how many additional children to expect. 
Trump officials say they are moving forcefully to halt a sharp increase in the number of families crossing the border illegally this spring, many of whom are Central Americans seeking asylum. U.S. border agents arrested more than 100,000 illegal border-crossers in March and April, the highest monthly totals since Trump took office. 
Trump has seethed at the increase, singling out Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for blame. He has ordered her to “close” the border and cut off the migration flows, which typically increase in spring with seasonal demand for rural labor. 
Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions say the government will take the extraordinary measure of filing criminal charges against anyone who crosses the border illegally, including parents traveling with their children. In most cases, that means adults will be held at immigration jails awaiting court dates while their children are sent to foster care. 
“If you’re smuggling a child, then we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law,” Sessions said in a speech last week.

“If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally” he added. “It’s not our fault that somebody does that

 At what point do other countries start demanding regime change for Washington?

At what point do we do it? I mean, we're literally rounding up kids, separating them from families, and then rendering them into government facilities for what, permanent detainment until they can be expelled from the country without their parents?

What country does this?

Oh yeah, America.  Being made great again, one war crime at a time.  Jesus hell.

Greitens's Game Goes Gaga

It looks like St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner got in over her head in her efforts to prosecute Missouri GOP Gov. Eric Greitens, as the case made a major turn Monday.

Prosecutors on Monday dismissed a criminal charge against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, bringing a stunning halt to his trial just before it was set to begin and with jury selection already underway.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner dropped the felony invasion-of-privacy charge, stemming from allegations that Greitens took a nude photo of a woman without her consent. The decision came after a judge ruled that the governor’s lawyers could potentially call her as a witness in the trial.

“It’s a great victory and it has been a long time coming,” Greitens, 44, a Republican and a former Navy SEAL, told reporters after his case was dismissed. The governor has repeatedly denied any criminal wrongdoing and dismissed widespread, bipartisan calls for his resignation.

But Greitens’s political and criminal troubles are far from over. The circuit attorney said she intends to refile the charge and may appoint a special prosecutor or one of her assistants to pursue the case. Greitens still faces another felony charge of computer tampering tied to allegations that he improperly used a veterans charity donor list to raise funds for his 2016 campaign for governor.

Not only could Greitens be facing a special prosecutor, but there's still the second set of charges against him over his computer fraud when he allegedly used his charity fundraising list as campaign donor information.

Oh, and he's still going to be impeached, most likely.

Legislative leaders in the Republican-controlled Missouri Senate on Monday renewed calls for the governor to resign. They said they will continue considering impeaching Greitens during a special session that is set to start this week.

The dismissal “does not change the facts” revealed to the House’s special committee investigating Greitens, the Republican leaders said in the Missouri in a statement Monday.

“The members of the House committee have discovered a disturbing pattern of allegations, most of which are completely separate from the case dismissed today,” Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard and Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe said in the statement. “We now hope the governor and his staff are more forthcoming with the facts, and they decide to appear before the special investigative committee.”

“The governor has lost the moral authority and the ability to lead the state going forward, and we reaffirm our call that he resign immediately,” the statement added. Leaders in the Republican-controlled House also urged the governor to “take advantage of our open offer to share his side of the facts” and testify to the House committee.

The dismissal of the case does however look like a complete disaster for Gardner's office.

The circuit attorney’s announcement came on the third day of jury selection for Greitens’ trial. It also followed news that investigators were unable to find evidence in Greitens’s phone, email or Apple iCloud account proving that he took the alleged photo of the blindfolded woman, a hairdresser with whom he was having an extramarital affair in 2015, before his campaign for governor.

On Monday, the defense filed a new motion to dismiss the charge. Scott Rosenblum, one of the governor’s lawyers, accused the circuit attorney of “misconduct from the beginning of this case to the end,” as recently in the last week. Rosenblum rejected the notion that prosecutors would refile the case, saying they had no evidence to support the charge.

Rosenblum told reporters the judge agreed to allow the defense team to name Gardner as a witness based on the possibility that she knew about alleged perjury committed by an investigator pursuing the case.

“The judge allowed us to endorse her as a witness,” Rosenblum said. “She made herself a witness to the perjury that her investigator created throughout the course of this case and his misconduct. She was the only witness.”

Prosecutorial misconduct has sunk many a case against a political figure (remember Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens?) and this case appears to have been bungled so badly that it had to be dropped.  When a judge flat out makes it clear the defense can call the lead prosecutor as a witness to answer questions about perjury by the prosecutor's staff, your case is fried like an egg.  Josh Marshall:

As for the criminal case, the concerns at issue date back to the first deposition of the woman at the heart of the case on Jan. 29, soon after Gardner’s probe began. 
William Tisaby, the investigator who conducted that interview alongside Gardner, later appeared to lie to the defense about key aspects of how it transpired. Tisaby said that he took no notes during the interview — a claim contradicted by a video of the conversation that was belatedly provided to defense lawyers.

Judge Burlison ultimately sanctioned prosecutors for failing to promptly turn over to the defense relevant evidence, like the video and 11 pages of notes Tisaby took while interviewing the woman’s friend. 
These missteps helped Greitens’ team frame the investigation as tainted from the start, and Gardner’s office acknowledged that they made a mistake in relying on Tisaby. 
Even without those unforced errors, prosecutors had a difficult path towards securing a guilty verdict. Under the relevant Missouri felony statute, they needed to prove that Greitens transmitted the nude photo in a way that would make it accessible via computer. But, crucially, they did not have access to the photo itself. 
Searches of the governor’s smartphone and Apple cloud data found no evidence of the image, and no witness, including Greitens’ ex-lover, has ever seen it. The judge barred testimony from three expert witnesses for the prosecution, including two electrical engineers who could speak to the technical issues regarding the photo’s potential transmission, and a law professor slated to testify about revenge pornography. 
That left prosecutors with only the woman’s testimony and corroborating accounts from her ex-husband and friend. According to the woman, she saw a camera flash through her blindfold, heard the distinctive click of an iPhone camera shutter, and then heard Greitens threaten that the photo would appear “everywhere” if she told anyone what had transpired.

Greitens’ team moved several times to dismiss the case due to the lack of hard evidence. On Monday, they also called on Gardner to drop an unrelated felony computer tampering charge she brought against Greitens for allegedly misusing a charity donor list to fundraise for his gubernatorial campaign. 
“I think anything that this circuit attorney’s office has touched or its investigators should be dropped because it’s tainted. It’s biased,” attorney Scott Rosenblum told reporters outside the courthouse.

Hopefully a more competent hand can take over and refile.  Gardner screwed up, and badly.  Luckily, it looks like there's still enough evidence in the other case against Greitens and in the General Assembly's investigation to end his political career.

We'll see.  It's an epic failure for sure, but not a fatal one.  Greitens is still going down.

Blue States Should Go TRAP Shooting

We talked about yesterday's big SCOTUS decision on states being able to determine their own laws for sports betting and how that could open the door to challenging the Trump regime's position on states banning sanctuary cities, but there was actually another big SCOTUS move from Monday and that involved whether or not there's a Second Amendment right to sell guns.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to endorse a constitutional right to sell firearms, rejecting an appeal by three men who were denied a permit to open a gun store in northern California.

The justices, without comment Monday, left intact a federal appeals court decision that said the Second Amendment doesn’t protect the rights of would-be firearm sellers. The lower court also said potential customers could buy guns elsewhere.

It’s the third time this year the court has rejected an appeal from California gun-rights advocates. The court hasn’t heard arguments in a Second Amendment case in eight years.

The men, led by John Teixeira, sought to open their store about five miles south of Oakland in Alameda County.

In denying the permit, county officials said the proposed store didn’t comply with a local ordinance because it was less than 500 feet from residential properties.

The San Francisco-based appeals court said residents could shop at 10 other gun stores in the county, including one about 600 feet away from the proposed site.

Now, if these arguments sound somewhat familiar, replace "firearm access" with "abortion access" and as the Daily Banter's Justin Rosario points out, you have TRAP laws, which the Supreme Court has found to be legal. So how about TRAP laws for limiting gun stores?

It's unclear that the original regulation was designed with this outcome in mind but it's not hard to see the possibilities and we have Republicans to thank for paving the legal road for us. They've spent the last several years creating TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws designed specifically to put abortion clinics out of business. There's absolutely no reason the same can't be done to anyone that wants to sell guns
Here's a brief list of ways to make guns sales safer: 
  • Any location selling guns must have a full time trauma surgeon and nurse on staff at all times.
  • Any location selling guns must be within 2 miles of a hospital.
  • Any location selling guns must have all staff fully certified as EMTs.
  • Any location selling guns must have very expensive insurance to cover loss of life in case of an accidental shooting.
  • Any location selling guns must be a full functioning ambulatory surgical center in case the wound is too severe to move the victim.
This will, naturally, outrage the NRA and their mindless army of ammosexuals but so what? They have their precious right to own as many guns as they want. They'll just have to travel to get them. They thought this was a great idea when it came to punishing women and stripping them of their reproductive rights so they don't get to start crying about tyranny now. 
It's true that there are versions of this already in effect in cities like Chicago but this is how states like New York or California could make simply eliminate gun stores statewide and it would be 100% legal because, hilariously, this is essentially a state's rights issue in which states have the right to decide what kinds of businesses will be allowed to operate within their borders and under what kinds of restrictions. Watching the pro-Confederacy yahoos argue that states don't have the right to regulate within their borders is going to be amazing.

Now I want to know how legally viable this is, because I truly think California and New York should, well, shoot for the moon on this.

We'll see.  But blue states regulating gun stores the way red states regulate abortion clinics would be incredible.


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