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Archive for June, 2021

Whether you support Donald Trump or hate him, please watch this 40- minute documentary produced by The New York Times. Please watch it all the way through to the end:

Day of Rage: An In-Depth Look at How a Mob Stormed the Capitol – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Your personal opinion of Trump or The New York Times is inconsequential.

Set aside your personal feelings about illegal immigration, abortion, foreign relations, jobs and the environment and concentrate on the scene that unfolds in this video.

What matters is that you take a candid, objective look at this presentation, absorb the visual content, try to comprehend the mentality of the participants and then ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you agree with Rep. Andrew Clyde who equated the events of Jan. 6 to a “normal tour visit”?
  • Do you agree with Sen. Ron Johnson who said he never felt threatened during this event?
  • Do you really think this was no more serious than the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Portland?
  • Do you actually believe that these people were patriots trying to save democracy?
  • Do you believe in your heart of hearts that Donald Trump’s rhetoric did not contribute to this event?
  • Do you believe this is an accurate portrayal of support for police?
  • Superimpose yourself into this crowd and ask yourself: “Would I be proud for my grandchildren to see me there?”
  • Do you seriously believe that this was a proper way to display love for one’s country?
  • Do you subscribe to the position that Donald Trump does not owe the country an apology?

If you answered in the affirmative to even one of these questions, then you are part of the problem.

Period.

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“I am deeply troubled that some of our student-athlete parents were subjected to racist slurs during last night’s game. This is absolutely unacceptable and disgraceful behavior, and such hateful language has no place anywhere in our society.”

—Vanderbilt Athletic Director Storey Lee, on the behavior of redneck white trash at the College World Series Monday night. (Vanderbilt was playing Mississippi State, so go figure.)

“You know the system is broken when Republicans only needed 51 votes to cut taxes for the rich, but we need 60 votes to defend the fundamental right to vote.”

—US Sen. Alex Padilla (D-California)

“Trump sent the National Guard to the border, denied them to the nation’s Capitol when it was under attack (by him), and tried to invoke the Insurrection Act to put tanks on the streets against Americans. That’s what coups looks like.”

—Anonymous tweet

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The political fallout over the beating death of Ronald Greene at the hands of Louisiana State Police (LSP) continues with the reassignment of the state’s top law enforcement agency’s legal counsel, as reported last week by Baton Rouge TV station WBRZ’s investigative reporter Chris Nakamoto.

The removal of FAYE MORRISON from her appointive unclassified position to that of a classified civil servant follows a shakeup in Troop F in Monroe where Greene was tased, dragged and beaten in May 2019 was the latest attempt by the LSP high command at mitigating legal liability in his death. To date, three troopers have been FIRED and two resignations at the command level have taken place pursuant to Greene’s death with one of the three fired troopers DYING of an apparent suicide in the days following his termination. The problem with that termination last September was that it did not take place until last September – 16 months after Greene was killed.

Kevin Reeves, who was LSP superintendent at the time of Greene’s death, RETIRED  on Oct. 1 just as the long-delayed investigation of Greene’s death was heating up and his second in command, Chief of Staff Col. MIKE NOEL, also chose retirement rather than subject himself to expected intense questioning in his confirmation hearing as Gov. John Bel Edwards’ appointee as chairman of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

But Morrison’s demotion is of particular interest. Like the attempt by Bobby Jindal to make former director of the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control MURPHY PAINTER a scapegoat years earlier, these types of events rarely occur in a vacuum. There’s always a back story.

Morrison may have given legal advice but ultimately, she took her orders from the LSP brass and those top two administrators (Reeves and Noel) are already gone, leaving only one outside of Troop F – or perhaps more appropriately, F-Troop – who may have known the details of the attempted cover-up in Greene’s death.

Rather than termination, Morrison was given something of a soft landing – if a 36.5 percent pay cut can be considered soft. An Attorney 3 classified employee from August 2010 until July 2017, when she was promoted to the unclassified appointive position of Assistant Secretary, she went from making $93,500 a year to $150,000 before getting a salary bump to $156,000 last July. With her reassignment back to Attorney 3, her pay was slashed to $99,000.

If her performance as the LSP legal counsel was so abysmal, why not fire her like the three troopers involved or force her into retirement a-la Reeves and Noel?

Without appearing too conspiratorial, it could just be that she knows too much about the machinations of the attempted spin control over Greene’s death and the beating and tasing of ANTONIO HARRIS, another African American man by some of the same F-Troopers a year after Greene’s death.

Of course, certain information would be protected under attorney-client privilege but there could well be other information outside that protective realm that Morrison is aware of that LSP would be embarrassed over or perhaps even find itself exposed to further legal liability should it be revealed.

As Lyndon Johnson once said in explaining why he wouldn’t fire FBI director J. Edgar Hoover: “It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”

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“My wife says that roads and bridges are a woman’s problem if you will. Because oftentimes it is the woman – aside from commuting to work – who’s also taking children to schools or doing the shopping. And the more time that she spends on that road, the less time she spends doing things of higher value.”

—Louisiana’s own Repugnantcan US Sen. Bill Cassidy, on Meet the Press Sunday. A throwback to barefoot and in the kitchen? You can file this under “WHAT THE HELL WAS HE THINKING?”

“My attitude was: it was put-up or shut-up time. If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bulls**t.”

—Former Attorney General William Barr, in interview with The Atlantic on his finding there was no election fraud as the former guy insisted.

“Campaign accounts are not personal slush funds. They must be used for campaign-related activities. Attempting to overthrow and election you just lost is not a proper campaign activity.”

—Jordan Libowitz, communications director for campaign finance watchdog organization Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW), on failed congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden’s use of leftover campaign funds to finance his participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

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A rogue judge in Missouri had teenaged siblings ARRESTED, cuffed and STRIP-SEARCHED  by sheriff’s deputies in Farmerville in Union Parish last November even though he didn’t have jurisdiction to order their arrest, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled has since ruled.

Kadan, 15, and sister Brooklyn Rockett, 13, had refused to go with their mother who lives in California. The teens, aspiring stage magicians who have appeared in films and commercials and have performed in more than 40 countries. They finished in the Top 14 of America’s Got Talent in 2016. They claim their mother desires to sabotage their budding careers as entertainers, court records indicate.

Their parents divorced in 2009.

That didn’t seem to matter to Associate Circuit Judge ERIC EIGHMY, who held them against their will in October 2019 when they were 14 and 12 after he first confronted the children outside the Taney County courtroom after they declined to visit with their mother. The incident occurred after hours and without any attorneys or parents in attendance, which is against the law.

Eighmy was not wearing his robe, legal proceedings had concluded and the children had broken no laws, their attorney claimed in the lawsuit filed against the judge, who berated Kadan and Brooklyn and threatened to send them to a juvenile facility and foster car if they did not go with their mother.

Eighmy had represented the children’s mother as an attorney before he was elected to a judgeship. Because of that, he should have recused himself from the custody battle altogether.

Instead, he had them arrested a second time last November while they and their father were visiting relatives in Farmerville.

Judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers enjoy qualified immunity, which is a shield against legal liability when they act in accordance with their respective job descriptions. There have been sporadic efforts to eliminate qualified immunity because of the protections it affords officials who get carried away with their jobs.

A classic example was the case of John Thompson of New Orleans who spent 17 years on death row at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola for first degree murder he did not commit. The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office had withheld exculpatory evidence that would have exonerated Thomas and his court-appointed attorney never saw the evidence.

It was only after the Innocence Project discovered the hidden evidence that Thompson was freed. He sued DA Harry Connick and was awarded $17 million – a million dollars for each year he spent on death row. Connick appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court where Clarence Thomas was the swing vote that overturned the award, citing qualified immunity. Bottom line: John Thompson lost 17 years of his life on death row and got nothing for Connick’s deliberate actions.

The case with the teenagers is a little different in that Judge Eighmy is being sued individually and not as a judge. His removal from the case by the Missouri Supreme Court should lend strength to the Rockett children’s case.

Regardless hos this legal battle plays out, it should serve to illustrate how judges – and prosecutors – have a tendency to be power hungry, a hunger fed by huge egos. It should serve as an impetus to pass legislation to rein the growing number of abuses in places where people are supposed to be able to go to obtain justice.

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