Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Last Call For Lowering The Barr, Con't

Two weeks ago the FBI opened an FBI insider trading investigation into GOP Sen. Richard Burr of NC, the Senate Intelligence Committee chair who investigated the Trump regime's Russia ties. The FBI showed up at Burr's house and took his cell phone. If there was still any doubt that Burr is being investigated and replaced as committee chair by Sen. Marco Rubio at the direct order of a corrupt Trump regime, those doubts, minuscule as they may be, died screaming on Tuesday.

Three senators under Department of Justice scrutiny for stock trades after coronavirus briefings had their matters closed by the agency Tuesday, but a fourth lawmaker — Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C. — remains under investigation.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Georgia Republican and Sen. James M. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, were all notified by DOJ prosecutors through their defense attorneys, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

The senators all sold significant amounts of stock before the coronavirus pandemic decimated the financial markets. The market plunge began in late February and after the Senate received briefings on the coming pandemic.

Although the DOJ investigations have run their course for the trio of senators, that does not necessarily mean the Securities and Exchange Commission’s inquiries are halted, according to Jacob S. Frenkel, a former senior counsel in the SEC’s enforcement division.

“The closing of the DOJ investigations does not mean that the SEC’s investigations are closed, because the burden of proof for the Government is much higher in a criminal case — reasonable doubt — than in a civil enforcement action — preponderance of the evidence,” Frenkel said.

Frenkel added that he expects the SEC investigations into Feinstein, Loeffler and Inhofe will also come to a close based on the evidence.

Judith Burns, an SEC spokesperson, declined to comment on whether the SEC is investigating any of the senators.

On May 14, the day Burr stepped aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Kerry Rom, a spokesperson for Loeffler said she “forwarded documents and information to DOJ, the SEC, and the Senate Ethics Committee.”

Burr had his phone seized by federal agents and relinquished his post as Intelligence Committee chairman pending the investigation. He sold between $628,000 and $1.7 million in his securities holdings on Feb. 13, after his panel began receiving daily coronavirus briefings, ProPublica first reported.

Caitlin Carroll, a spokesperson for Burr, declined comment.

Four senators, including powerful Democrat Dianne Feinstein, faced possible investigation.  Only Burr is actually being investigated.  The other three are off the hook essentially.

Trump got what he wanted though, Rubio is now the chair of the Senate intel committee and we'll never see the full evidence against Trump from the committee's investigation, evidence that Burr wanted to make public.

This is as corrupt as it gets, folks.

Biden, His Time, Con't

Joe Biden understands that without taking on GOP attempts at overt voter suppression, we are lost as a country and a people, and he is making sure that fighting back against the GOP is a national priority for Democrats.

Joe Biden has hired a national director for voter protection, a role his campaign says will focus broadly on voter rights, including the disenfranchisement of people of color amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign said Rachana Desai Martin will join its legal team, serving also as senior counsel. Martin, who has a strong background in voter protection work, previously worked as chief operating officer of the Democratic National Committee and the DNC’s director of civic engagement and voter protection.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted people of color, especially black Americans who represent an outsized number of infections and deaths. An Associated Press analysis last month found more than one-third of those who have died are African American.

The push for voter protection rights has only intensified in recent weeks, after some primary elections, including Milwaukee’s on April 7, sparked concern that voters were forced to wait in long lines to cast their ballots. Some health officials have warned the coronavirus could spread at polling places.

Several states are looking at remote voting possibilities. Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said last week that all registered Michigan voters were sent absentee ballot applications. The move drew the ire of President Donald Trump, who threatened to hold up federal funding.

Separately, the Republican National Committee and other Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California to try to stop the state from mailing absentee ballots to voters ahead of the November election.

Voter protection will play a central role in Biden’s overall election strategy, the campaign said, noting that several states over the past few years have passed laws relating to voter ID and purges of voter rolls that could make it harder for people to vote. The campaign said it also expects significant disinformation campaigns targeted at potential voters.

Last year, Georgia made national headlines when it purged nearly 309,000 voter registrations from the state’s voting rolls.

A n AP poll from late April found that Americans’ support for mail-in voting has increased amid concerns about the safety of polling places during the coronavirus pandemic, but a wide partisan divide suggests Trump’s public campaign against vote by mail may be resonating with his Republican backers.

Donald Trump is attacking voting by mail as fraudulent somehow even though Donald Trump himself voted by mail.

What Republicans are really afraid of is losing, and battleground states expanding vote-by-mail is the death knell of the GOP and they know it.  They will fight every ballot to get it thrown out in November, because if they don't, the Democrats win overwhelmingly.

It's the end of them and they know it.

Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

One thing that hasn't changed a bit in 2020 is the rate of police killings of black people, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest murder, recorded on video, is of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed by Minneapolis cops after the police were caught by smartphone with one officer's knee crushing Floyd's neck.

The F.B.I. and Minnesota law enforcement authorities are investigating the arrest of a black man who died after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by an officer’s knee, in an episode that was recorded on video by a bystander and denounced by the mayor of Minneapolis on Tuesday.

After the shocking video circulated widely on social media, the mayor said in the afternoon that four police officers had been fired. He identified the victim as George Floyd.

The arrest took place on Monday evening, the Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement, after officers responded to a call about a man suspected of forgery. The police said the man, believed to be in his 40s, was found sitting on top of a blue car and “appeared to be under the influence.”

“He was ordered to step from his car,” the department’s statement said. “After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress.”

The statement said that officers called for an ambulance and that the man was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, “where he died a short time later.”

On Tuesday morning, without referring to the video recorded by a bystander, the police updated a statement, titled “Man Dies After Medical Incident During Police Interaction,” that said that additional information had “been made available” and that the F.B.I. was joining the investigation.

On Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis tweeted that the four responding officers involved in the case had been terminated. “This is the right call,” he said.

The bystander video shows a white Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee into a black man’s neck during an arrest, as the man repeatedly says “I can’t breathe” and “please, I can’t breathe.”

As the video spread on social media on Monday night, the arrest quickly drew comparisons to the case of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died in New York Police custody in 2014, after an officer held him in a chokehold. Mr. Garner’s repeated plea of “I can’t breathe” — also recorded by a cellphone — became a rallying cry at demonstrations against police misconduct around the country.

“Being black in America should not be a death sentence,” Mayor Frey said in a statement on Tuesday. “For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man’s neck. Five minutes.”

The video recorded in Minneapolis shows that, after a few minutes, the man, lying face down in the street with his hands cuffed behind his back, becomes silent and motionless; the officer continues to pin the man to the pavement with his knee.

Five whole minutes with an cop's knee cutting off your air supply.

Five minutes of being asphyxiated.

Nobody came to his rescue, because after all, the cops would have arrested them or worse.

I would say he died like a dog, but in America we treat our dogs a thousand times better than we treat the most lauded of black folk. Being President of the United States of America didn't save Barack Obama from a nation of white supremacists who wanted him hanged from a tree and still do.

Minneapolis decided it had enough yesterday.

Thousands of people marched through the streets of south Minneapolis Tuesday night in response to the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for several minutes and ignored the man’s protests that he couldn’t breathe.

Protesters marched from the site of Floyd’s death — outside Cup Foods on Chicago Avenue — to the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct, where the door was smashed and protest signs left outside.

Shortly before 8 p.m., police clad in riot gear were firing tear gas and sandbags at the protesters, who were throwing water bottles at them in what appeared to be a standoff.

As it marched earlier, the crowd, which numbered in the thousands, shouted chants such as “I can’t breathe” and called for the swift prosecution of the officers involved in the incident.

“This will happen again if we don’t get out in front of this,” said community activist Al Flowers, who called the incident “one of the most egregious murders I’ve ever seen.” He said the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck should be prosecuted.

At one point, protesters pelted a line of police SUVs with water bottles and other items, shattering the windows.

It's infuriating.  Four cops just casually killed a man in front of a crowd because he was black.

And you want to tell me I should respect law enforcement?

And you want to tell me "Well if he followed the rules, he'd still be alive..."

And you want to tell me...what?

Black Lives Still Matter.

You can't kill all of us.


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