Morning Ed: Law & Order {2017.05.16.Tu}

I had a quip turning around the whole “outsized political rhetoric leading to political violence SMH” but after reading comments and a subsequent Buzzfeed article I am wonder if it needs to be said “This does not make vehicular assault okay.”

The origin story of a family gold smuggling operation.

If you rob banks because that’s where the money is, recruiting border patrol officers at rodeos seems to make sense.

I’ve heard of this story before, but it still has the feel of an overwrought Lifetime Movie.

This story would be better if it were a pickup or something, but even with a Porsche it’s pretty aggravating. {Related-ish}

Makes sense. The Rodney King video no longer startles.

Fighting cocaine with drones.

It looks like the Ragin Cajuns urgently need thirteen more football players.

This is a pretty fascinating story and here’s the first person account of the guy who saved the Internet for a day.

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79 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Law & Order {2017.05.16.Tu}

  1. [13 more football players]

    We lost a couple of football players last year when they pulled an armed robbery on someone who recognized them. Major U. Full ride scholarship. “Hey, let’s go flush our lives!”

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    • That sounds similar to some U of Illinois football players last week: “The trio . . . apparently wore masks during the alleged break-in early Wednesday morning. When one of the players spoke, though, . . . the alleged victim recognized the voice. At that point, . . the suspect pulled his mask off and tried to make light of the situation, while one of them produced what we now know to be fake firearm and demanded cash.”

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      • I think it’s only at a professional level that they look the other way. Or maybe it’s a State thing. Local Coach kicked them off the team instantly.

        But as often as this happens, maybe it means an athletic scholarship isn’t enough and the U should be giving out spending money?

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  2. We had a very extensive discussion on Gypsy Blanchard in August 2016. Most of the commentariat believed that the situation was very complicated but even evil a-holes deserve the protection of the law and killing them outside of self-defense is still murder. The general consensus was that Gypsy received a relatively appropriate punishment, she is in jail for murder but is suffering a relatively lenient sentence based on the facts of the case. There were a minority of the commentariat that believed Gypsy should not have been convicted based on being an abuse victim in a system that failed.

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    • Gypsy was a lot more complicated than “Politician casts unpopular vote, declines to waste time meeting with every upset constituent”.

      There is no way this is justified, and those commenters who seem OK with it need a reality check.

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    • It looks like the trial of the online boyfriend still has not taken place. His defense team has a psychologist to testify to diminished capacity that would preclude a first degree murder charge:

      [Defense Psychologist] Franks said Godejohn is on the autism spectrum and spent most of his time on the internet and playing video games. The psychologist described the murder suspect as more like a child than an adult. He said his IQ is 82 and he functions at the level of a 10- or 11-year-old person.

      The psychologist’s findings could result in Godejohn being found guilty of a lesser charge than first-degree murder, which requires someone to deliberate before killing another person.

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      Prosecutors have asked for more time to have their own experts review the defendant.

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    • Actual readers may not have had time to decide whether they liked it or not.

      TNC’s Black Panther #1 sold 286,755 copies to retailers last year (4/16), but those numbers have steadily declined: 35,492 copies of BP # 11 (2/17) and 30,509 copies of BP # 13 (4/17).

      For the new spin-off series, retailers ordered about 35,604 copies of Crew #1 (4/17), which is around how many Black Panther comics were being sold at the time Crew #1 orders had to be placed. We don’t have numbers for Crew #2 yet, but usually a second issue gets around 25% to 30% less than the first issue, and a third issue will drop another 15%.

      It’s quite possible that the decision to cancel the series was inevitable before a reader got to read an issue, and the primary factor appears to be TNC’s diminishing sales on the main title with nobody thinking a spinoff would expand the market.

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      • It sounds like Marvel could have given this a bit longer to run to get real numbers. But if you say a second issue would get 25%-30% less that may have been enough to drop it now, as a second issue would only have run approximately 26,700. That being said Marvel can’t make folks buy the comics.

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        • Marvel might have anticipated that the comic book might not sell very well and was ready to pull the plug quickly if certain numbers were not met. If they had offered it initially as a limited series, sales would have been lower as people decided to wait for it to be collected. As of now, they’ll have a collected story ready for Barnes & Noble next year when the BP movie comes out. Everybody will do fine.

          Coates’ success at writing does not appear to translate to comics though. Going from 286,755 units sold to 30,509 in a year means that roughly 90% of the people who read Black Panther #1 are no longer reading the series.

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  3. “running off the road” gonna be hella funny when it turns out that her car wasn’t within a hundred yards of his and never exceeded the speed limit, and the “running off the road” was akin to the “threatening gestures” black men make that justifies shooting them 47 times.

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    • Not that we can trust the news, but the news says this:

      After the congressman wrapped up his May 8 meeting at the university, Wright allegedly tried to stop him on campus and talk to him about her grievances, Plunk said. When the congressman drove away in his car, “that’s why she began following him,” Plunk said, adding that it was for about five miles before the congressman pulled into the driveway of a farmer he was familiar with.

      When Kustoff’s vehicle entered the driveway, police said Wright got out of her car and “began screaming and striking the windows” of his vehicle. At one point she allegedly reached inside his car and then tried to block the vehicle from moving, police said.

      Turning this into an argument over whether she ran the guy off the road is probably in her best interest. That way, we can make the point that “she didn’t run him off the road!”

      That said, the story also mentions this:

      Someone called 911 during the encounter, but Wright left before police arrived. Authorities later identified her after she posted about the incident on Facebook, the sheriff’s department said, but declined to provide details about her post.

      There are a lot of things that her post might have said.
      Given that the sheriff department declined to provide details, I imagine that the post will be read to a jury at some point.

      Her best bet is to go for something like jury nullification by way of “she was acting in self-defense” and making this a national trial rather than a local one. Turn this interaction into a national argument over health care (with a smattering of “representatives’ responsibilities to constituents”) rather than over felonious reckless endangerment.

      And her lawyer should hammer “she didn’t run him off the road!” like it’s a mantra. “They’re going to argue that my client ran this guy off the road. She didn’t run him off the road!” (Shows evidence of felonious reckless endangerment) “See? Even the prosecution agrees that she didn’t run him off the road!”

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      • “Turning this into an argument over whether she ran the guy off the road is probably in her best interest.”

        It is also, ya know, in the truth’s best interest that things are reported and described accurately.

        The identified behavior, assuming it is true, is bad enough that mischaracterizing it serves no interest beyond, well, mischaracterizing it for someone’s gain.

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        • It is also, ya know, in the truth’s best interest that things are reported and described accurately.

          I can’t claim to speak on behalf of the truth.

          I’m only gaming out what’s likely to happen when it goes to trial.

          If they keep this local and small and quiet, she’s going to jail for a felony. This guy is a congressman, for crying out loud.

          If it turns into a national case that explains how much insecurity people are feeling over health care and the lengths that ordinary people have to go to in order to exercise their First Amendment Right to Petition the Government for Redress of Grievances and isn’t it true that by ignoring this poor woman this congressman was violating her First Amendment Rights… she might get off with a slap on the wrist.

          And that’s the truth.

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      • The thing is…

        I would not be at all surprised to learn that someone had, in fact, pursued a member of Congress who they felt had ignored their concerns and attempted to flee. Or that they actually had banged on car windows and attempted to stick their arms into the car.

        But. I also would not be at all surprised to learn that these things hadn’t happened, that (as I said) the person doing the “pursuing” was following but wasn’t anywhere near the congressman or his car. That this is, as I suggested earlier, one of those times where threatening behavior was identified ex post facto the response to it.

        Because both of those kinds of stories are happening now, and I guess all I can say is what I say for everything else like this–“camera first”. If you see something happening, get out that smartphone and start recording.

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  4. Scenes from an Alternate Universe –

    “Heritage and Conservative Action party officials confirmed with CNN they were withdrawing support from Prime Minister Trump’s coalition government. It’s expected that John McCain will lead a caretaker minority government that will lead with Liberal supply and confidence until new elections later this year…”

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    • This seems not really so very different from what happened in the UK not too long ago, IRL.

      With the difference being that the placeholder PM smelled something good in the wind for herself, and called a snap election. Which she’s probably going to win. One wonders just how much of the IRL zeitgeist would have to carry over into your Earth-2 scenario for PM McCain to be able to pull off a snap election after your headline.

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    • Yes, that could happen, but if the governing party was about to lose its coalition backing due to the PM’s conduct, it’s far more likely that the party would roll Trump and replace him with a new leader the coalition parties found less objectionable.

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      • Yeah, I did some bad writing by not mentioning that Trump was a member of a different party (American).

        I was running with the idea that Trump’s party (American) were as off their rockers as Trump supporters are IRL, so the other two coalition partners had to do something drastic to get Trump out of power. I thought about using Pence as a stand in as well, but McCain stood out as the old established respected pol brought in to keep things in order.

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      • Incidentally, this is another reason to look askance at allowing the public to elect party leaders. It’s not clear a party would do to someone a Prime Minister Corbyn (with something of a party mandate) what the Liberal Party did to Abbott. And if they did, Corbyn could just be reinstalled by the Labour rank-and-file.

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        • I’m kind of in a middling position – it makes sense that you don’t need to choose the Labor or Conservative party leader because you’re not directly electing the PM anyway.

          OTOH, if you’re directing voting for a President, it makes sense to directly vote the people who are going to run for President.

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  5. Speaking of Trump if everything in this article is true, we are already in the public whistleblower part of the Trump admin and not even half a year in.

    http://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/conservative-erick-erickson-claims-source-who-leaked-latest-russia-bombshell-was-a-trump-supporter/

    I gotta say that I think Trump will survive until 2020 though unless he dies in office. He is still wildly popular with the GOP base, more so than Congressional Republicans and so far the GOP hasn’t really cared about what Trump does as long as they get their legislative priorities (permanent upper class tax cuts) signed and into law and a repeal of the ACA. McConnell more or less admitted this today or yesterday.

    We have a child in office and the response is not unity but a third of the country expressing glee that it annoys Democrats/Liberals and another 1/3 saying “Trump is bad but a college student was mean to a trucker once so Democrats are worse!” and some vague hopes for libertopia because tax cuts and no welfare state.

    On my side I do hear a lot of Pollyanna levels of hope that sensible GOPers will bandy with the Democrats any day now. This day is not coming. Yesterday there was some derp about a sealed indictment. Last week it was deep Kremlinology about how three GOP senators joining to save one Obama environmental regulation is a sign of the #Resistance winning.

    The only thing saving this country now is Trump’s deep incompetence and short attention span.

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    • Along those lines, if Dem voting liberals advocate Trump’s removal on purely partisan grounds, I think they’re making a mistake. From a partisan pov, the longer Trump stays in office the more inclined folks will be to vote D in the next election. On the policy side it’s equally bleak: Pence is actually politically and institutionally savvy and he’ll rubberstamp whatever legislation that freshly oiled machine passes to his desk.

      Granted, there’s a catch to all this…

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      • Pence is a right-wing culture warrior and a bit of a coward but he understands how to be a basic politician and not be offended or slighted by every little thing. As does Ryan.

        As it is, Impeachment itself is a largely partisan act because of how the system is designed and failed to account for partisanship, even though political parties developed quickly after Washington said no to a third term.

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        • I’m hoping for the best of both worlds: Trump is reduced to a crazed, crisis-inducing figure head and VP Pence takes over foreign policy. A sorta mini-coup, like what happened to Reagan in his decline. Or Bush while he was still young. There’s precedent!

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        • When you get right down to it, Pence would be an awful President, but he’d be a President.

          Trump can’t do the job.

          He can’t even do parts of the job we never thought of as part of the job because everyone else has always done them without there being a big fuss.

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