Morning Links

Thursday, April 30th, 2009
  • Minnesota trying to force ISPs to block access to gambling and poker sites.
  • Speaking of Minnesota, Rep. Michele Bachman is an idiot. No, really. She’s a huge idiot.
  • Bill that would make it more difficult to discipline misbehaving police officers unanimously passes Florida legislature, despite strong opposition from the state’s sheriffs and police chiefs.
  • New York family sues after aggressive, mistaken raid by U.S. Marshals and BATF agents.
  • Illinois attorney general trying to shut down naughty sections of Craigslist. Must have all that violent crime, property crime, and political corruption under control.
  • Chicago cops captured on video beating up patrons playing pool at a bar acquitted on assault charges.
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  • 33 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  dave smith | 

      Wow. I picked the wrong profession. I thought “college professor” was the best job.

      Who knew I could have become a cop and received the training and authority to beat the crap out of people.

    2. #2 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      “And after doing all that, I have come to the conclusion that the state failed to meet its burden of proof on any of the charges”
      A jury of peers would NOT have thought so..

      “There was basically a pushing and shoving match between two groups of grown men, all of whom should have been behaving differently,” Tom Needham, Planey’s attorney, said after the hearing. “But every time someone’s pushed in a bar or every time there’s an argument in a bar, that doesn’t mean that a crime has been committed.”
      -Double-standard city

      And to Rachel Weiner:
      Farther refers to length or distance. It is the comparative form of the word far when referring to distance.
      Further means “to a greater degree,” “additional,” or “additionally.” It refers to time or amount. It is the comparative form of the word far when meaning “much.”

    3. #3 |  ClubMedSux | 

      I’ll leave the hooting and hollering over Rep. Bachmann accidentally switching two consonants to the HuffPo crowd. It’s a mistake we’ve all made before, and is it really that much worse than, say, misspelling somebody’s name when you can easily look it up (as you did with Rep. Bachmann)?

      On the other hand, I’ll gladly concede that Michele Bachmann is an idiot for blaming the swine flu “epidemic” on Obama. That clearly goes beyond slip of the tongue to fail of the brain.

    4. #4 |  Edmund Dantes | 

      Actually it’s not the switching of two consonants that has everyone hooting and hollering. She also moved the timeframe of the bill three years from the Hoover Administration into FDR’s administration. Kind of convenient mistake there (if you believe it was a mistake).

      I’m shocked the chihuahua survived the mistaken raid in NY. Those dogs are always the meanest sons of bitches and have a tendency to be really territorial when you go near the human they’ve claimed as their own.

    5. #5 |  David | 

      If her Smoot-Hawley mix-up was confined to consonants, that’d be one thing. But it was passed before Roosevelt was elected.

    6. #6 |  ClubMedSux | 

      Ah… that is indeed an important distinction. My apologies for 1.) not taking the time to look that up before commenting and 2.) assuming that the Huffington Post would post something so superficial. On second thought, I’ll take back that second apology and just stick with the first one.

    7. #7 |  Boyd Durkin | 

      Michelle Bachman: she’s everything the Republicans wanted in a RILF, but didn’t get from Palin. She also had bacon for breakfast so she’s an expert on Swine Flu.

    8. #8 |  Hamburgler007 | 

      The only thing left to do in the case of the Chicago officers is to have the judge disbarred/impeached. Either the judge is (unlikely) too incompetent to reasonably interpret the law or (more likely) too unscrupulous to enforce the law when it is an officer breaking it. I hate that the officers got to waive their right to a trial by jury.

    9. #9 |  Marty | 

      I loved this from the ny raid: ‘Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Landau contended the agents acted on information “checked and confirmed with many sources,” and denied Lillian was used as a human shield. “Nothing forceful, excessive or extreme occurred that morning,” Landau said.’

      Nothing excessive or forceful occurred to the cops!

    10. #10 |  Dave Krueger | 

      “Officers who packed the courtroom started to clap…”

      Maybe I’ll have a whole bunch of my biggest meanest looking friends pack the courtroom if I ever go to trial for something like that.

      Oh, wait. That doesn’t work for me. I don’t have any friends who would show up if I randomly beat the shit out of someone in a bar.

    11. #11 |  ParatrooperJJ | 

      Check your html formatting.

    12. #12 |  Cynical in CA | 

      Re: stupid Congressmen

      Glad to see the Dept. of Redundancy Dept. is burning the midnight oil.

      Dog bites man. Yaaaaaaawwwwnnn.

    13. #13 |  Cynical in CA | 

      “I’m shocked the chihuahua survived the mistaken raid in NY.”

      Small target. I guess NYPD left their automatic weapons and grenades in the APC.

    14. #14 |  claude | 

      When you see michelle bachmann on video for some news program, take a good look at her eyes. She has that certain look of lunacy that shows in her eyes. Ive seen that look b4 in the eyes of manson followers and others who were involved in cults. Seriously, look at her eyes. And yes she is the rep. of my district. How do we deal with it you might wonder? Its simple…whiskey, shame, and lots of denial.

    15. #15 |  Mattocracy | 

      I read somewhere that some prominent Republicans are meeting to discuss rebranding the GOP, or at least come up with a new way of marketing the party. I think Bachmann is prime example of the problems they need to address. The GOP has more elected officials discrediting their party than otherwise.

    16. #16 |  Mike H | 

      “I don’t have any friends who would show up if I randomly beat the shit out of someone in a bar.”

      Dave, that pretty much sums up my outrage.
      I would love to try out the defense’s claim that “pushing and arguing” are not crimminal offences the next time I’m pulled over.
      I’m sure this judge would acquit me just as summarily.

    17. #17 |  KBCraig | 

      As for the Florida law, I can’t comment if it’s good or bad. I have seen some internal LE “investigations” that were designed to railroad innocent officers who had offended the wrong administrator. In those cases, an independent review panel would be sorely welcome.

    18. #18 |  Tokin42 | 

      #10: Dave, you need better friends. If you feel it necessary to smack someone in the mouth during an argument in a bar, I’ll go to court with ya.

      I’m not going to argue the cops were “innocent” but if that video was supposed to prove something then I missed it. I saw someone get pushed up against a wall, that was it.

      I have a friend who has taken court ordered anger mgmt classes 6 times (3x as many as I have). The last time he had to go to court for his sentencing he asked the judge, who now knows him by name, why he has to take classes and the ass he punched doesn’t have to take a “don’t piss people off” class. I felt that was a very good point.

    19. #19 |  carpundit | 

      But she’s preeettty…

    20. #20 |  Aresen | 

      Speaking of Minnesota, Rep. Michele Bachman is an idiot. No, really. She’s a huge idiot.

      Considering that Minnesota also elected Hubert Humphrey, this is not a surprise.

    21. #21 |  Bob | 

      Chicago cops:

      Saw the video. Not exactly the brutal beating you might think based on the hoopla.

      The altercation was clearly initiated by the cops. They probably figured they could teach those civilians a lesson with impunity for whatever perceived slight they may have done.

      And, with the help of a judge who’s balls are probably owned by the Fraternal Order of Police, they could!

      It wasn’t a fight, it was a band of thugs trying to get a felony response. BLATANT abuse of authority. Fire them all.

    22. #22 |  MikeS | 

      “Speaking of Minnesota, Rep. Michele Bachman is an idiot. No, really. She’s a huge idiot.

      Considering that Minnesota also elected Hubert Humphrey, this is not a surprise.

      And Al Franken!

      Bachman was also caught saying that global warming is fake because CO2 is natural. You know, just like sulphuric acid.

    23. #23 |  Aresen | 

      And Al Franken!

      Almost.

      Bachman was also caught saying that global warming is fake because CO2 is natural. You know, just like sulphuric acid.

      I remember a story about a confrontation between an anti-nuclear activist and an nuclear engineer.

      The anti-nuke activist trotted out the old chestnut about “plutonium, which is man made, is the most deadly substance in the universe.”

      The engineer replied that he would ingest exactly the same amount of plutonium that the activist was willing to swallow of botulinin toxin, a completely natural substance.

    24. #24 |  Ben | 

      To slightly derail, (but not really, because it’s about a dumb congresscritter) I’m amazed we haven’t seen anything here about Virginia Foxx (R-NC) saying:

      “. . .the hate crimes bill that’s called the Matthew Sheppard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay. this — the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.”

      Good job keeping the Republicans mainstream Ms Foxx.

    25. #25 |  Brigid | 

      I just want to say that I practiced in front of the Judge in the Chicago cops case almost every day for about three years, and he is a truly fair man. It may sound shady at first glance, but I can guarantee you that anyone who ever practiced in front of him knows that he’s neither incompetent nor unscrupulous.

    26. #26 |  ManM | 

      Minnesota trying to force ISPs to block access to gambling and poker sites.

      About time! Those poker players brought down Bear Stearns and General Motors!

    27. #27 |  qwints | 

      Although I am quite a bit offended by the impropriety of the officers packing the courtroom and applauding the verdict (it seems similar to scenes with the Mafia), not every failure to convict police officers is a travesty of justice. I know quite a few people who’ve been in similar situations and gotten their charges dismissed or been let off with a little community service. Without knowing more, I can’t say that the story represents a double standard.

    28. #28 |  anarch | 

      Every single flu-epidemic in the entire past century has left an incumbent President of one of the major parties! Not insisting that’s causation, but it sure is damn interesting, wouldn’t you say?

    29. #29 |  Bob | 

      quints,

      Here’s the problem with that.

      The people you know that got into scrapes like that probably don’t carry guns and have specific power to arrest.

      An off duty officer is just an ordinary joe with a gun until he witnesses a felony, at which point he has the full authority of law.

      You get in a fight with a guy that happens to be a cop? And swing a punch? Oops! Felony Assault! His gun goes in your face and his 5 buddies jump you.

      Had those guys done anything to resist, it would have gone down a lot differently.

      Those cops intentionally tried to start a fight. I believe it was to goad one of them into taking a swing. When that failed, they took their aggression out by slamming one guy against a wall, and punching the other in the vestibule. It’s bad cops all the way down.

    30. #30 |  supercat | 

      I just want to say that I practiced in front of the Judge in the Chicago cops case almost every day for about three years, and he is a truly fair man.

      Without knowing how the case was prosecuted, it’s impossible to know whether the judge issued a reasonable verdict. If a prosecutor throws a case, a fair judge MUST acquit, no matter how guilty the defendant might be.

      That having been said, I wish there were a procedure by which private citizens could hire their own prosecutor to supplement the state prosecutor’s efforts, at least in cases involving government officials. To avoid double jeopardy, there would only be one trial, but after each witness examination by the state prosecutor the private one would be allowed to ask his own questions.

      To be sure, rules would have to be carefully written to handle a number of tricky situations, but having a private prosecutor ask questions the state’s prosecutor might prefer to avoid would make it harder for the government to deliberately lose cases against its own officials.

    31. #31 |  Richard Largess | 

      I saw Michelle Bachmans mistake and I think the only thing left to do is call Andy Sullivan and Chris Mathews and see if we can drum her off the public stage. Clearly someone that gets their words messed up while speaking can’t be trusted. Sure Joe Biden makes a mistake now and then, but he’s reliably pro-choice and only pretends to be a Christian.

    32. #32 |  thorn | 

      RE: Poker website blocking.

      It might be amusing for all 11 ISPs to rewrite their user agreements, and completely block all traffic to all state, local, and federal government-domain sites.

    33. #33 |  TomMil | 

      and punching the other in the vestibule.

      That’s gotta hurt!

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