Morning Links

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
  • Because it’s important to get the story right.
  • The Onion stays a step ahead of the headlines. But only a step.
  • Well of course he does.
  • CBO revises estimated cost of health care reform bill. It’s now over $1 trillion. I expect that number to grow by another 30 percent in the next two years. Any suckers want to bet the under?
  • Tanya Craft has been acquitted on all counts. This is great news. Now, who reimburses for the time, trouble, stress, and money she expended defending herself from this bullshit? Will the DA suffer any professional repercussions whatsoever for bringing this travesty of a case in the first place? These are rhetorical questions. William Anderson has more.
  • Not really sure what to make of this one. According to the article, a Chicago cop allegedly drunkenly fired his gun into the air to win an argument that cops who break the law get the same treatment as regular people. This was according to the guy he was arguing with. The cop was acquitted.
  • A few of my friends in D.C. are on a mission. It is a noble mission. I wish them luck, good times, and a VIP position on the liver donor list, which they’ll need by the time they’ve completed it.
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54 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Professor Coldheart | 

    “Mr. President, we are rapidly approaching a moment of truth. Now, truth is not always a pleasant thing, but it is necessary now to make a choice, to choose between two admittedly regrettable, but nevertheless, distinguishable health care environments: one where you’ve spent $700 billion on health insurance and the other where you’ve spent $1000 billion on health insurance.

    “I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than one trillion dollars over ten years, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.”

  2. #2 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Radley, did you see this piece of shit in Seattle?

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/archives/204990.asp

  3. #3 |  STOP THE PRESSES | Whiskey and Car Keys | 

    [...] Radley Balko) This entry was posted in Food and Drink. Bookmark the permalink. ← Caption Contest! [...]

  4. #4 |  kant | 

    RE: nyc surveillance

    how exactly are more cameras going to “prevent” terrorist attacks? I can’t think of any situation in which surveillance cameras were used as a preventative tools except for the “big brother is watching you!” psychological effect. Cameras are almost always use AFTER the events happened.

  5. #5 |  Marty | 

    I can’t wait for the ‘surveillance porn’- the clowns manning the cameras scan windows in apartments and catch people in ‘private moments’…

    the only good that can possibly come from having cameras all over the place is that cops behave better when they think they’re being filmed.

  6. #6 |  not a viking | 

    Well cameras and expanded police powers in the UK has not only stopped crime but also terrorists! Right? Right?

    New Yorkers might also want to type “hoodies” and “yobs” into google.co.uk . Or live in blissful ignorance. Since they will get the cameras anyway most likely.

    @Marty: Don’t bet on it, see for instance Ian Tomlinson or Delroy Smellie, covered up and acquitted respectively. Or surf for videos of UK climate camp hippies being roughed up. More cameras doesn’t seem to work that well in the UK there, US is likely to be the same or?

  7. #7 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    “Tanya Craft has been acquitted on all counts.”

    These types of cases are the Salem Witch Hunts of our era,
    except many more millions of dollars wasted.

  8. #8 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    If only Goldman Sachs would offer a derivative of Collectivist Health Care that would us to invest in (and short) health care.

    This would allow supporters and believers (we’ll call them “rubes”) to invest heavily in this asset. Of course, every Congressman would be required to place 100% of personal assets behind CHC.

    And, Goldman Sachs is the most trusted name in finance.

  9. #9 |  Michael Pack | 

    When it comes to cops breaking the law I’ve always believed they commit more crimes on average then the public at large.The reason is they are human beings and have far greater access to drugs,money weapons,property and the like.Still there’s this belife they,unlike ‘normal’ people,are immune from the temptations we all struggle with.

  10. #10 |  Joey Maloney | 

    Gee, you mean health care is expensive? Are there no workhouses? (Or for those in Nevada, are there no chicken coops?)

  11. #11 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Michael Pack,
    Add on to that list the fact that most of the LEO assholes have a serious hatred for everyone not a cop and you’re real close to the truth.

    It is an extension of the premise discussed yesterday on libertarian vs big government hubris. People are horrible, so we need cops with lots of power! Uhm…aren’t cops people?

  12. #12 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    LOVE the attitude of Every Bar in DC. It drives me nuts when businesses (presumably spending $$$$ to get me in) are undone by some moron employee on a power trip. Plus, “type of skank” and “type of douche bag” are awesome!

  13. #13 |  Michael Pack | 

    Boyd,I have to agree,The more temptation we are exposed to the more people will cross the line.It’s human nature.Hell,even with DUI, look at the tens of thousands of false arrests uncovered the last few years.Many cops get awards and massive overtime pay for large arrest numbers.They are,in essence,bounty hunters.

  14. #14 |  Sean L. | 

    RE: Health reform bill costs…

    “But a Democratic leadership aide on Capitol Hill said the Congress will have to stay within the budget.”

    Hahahahahahahahaha…..

    “The figures represent estimates as to how Congress will decide to spend money. The CBO cautions that lawmakers could decide to spend less.”

    BAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  15. #15 |  Aresen | 

    CBO revises estimated cost of health care reform bill. It’s now over $1 trillion. I expect that number to grow by another 30 percent in the next two years. Any suckers want to bet the under?

    Radley, in my health care betting pool, that additional 30 percent IS the under.

  16. #16 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “CBO revises estimated cost of health care reform bill. It’s now over $1 trillion. I expect that number to grow by another 30 percent in the next two years. Any suckers want to bet the under?”

    Does “betting the under” include betting that the health care reform bill is never implemented due to state nullification or constitutional challenge?

    If so, this sucker will take the under. No way this shit sees the light of day.

  17. #17 |  Mario | 

    Regarding the cop in Chicago acquitted of firing his gun into the air, do I understand this correctly? The cop is arrested, at which point another off-duty policeman testifies that he saw someone fire the gun who does not match the officer’s description. The cop is then let off.

    However, at the time of the arrest the non-cop that he had made the bet with is also arrested for possession of pot!

    Any guess as to what’s going to happen to that poor unlucky bastard?

  18. #18 |  Charles Curran | 

    Whitchhunt? This is just as bad as the three Navy Seals that were acussed of punching that Iraq dirtbag.

  19. #19 |  BSK | 

    On the Bloomberg article, I thought you were spoofing the headline and that he was really talking about hosting the television show in NY for money reasons or something. But, no, he ACTUALLY wants Big Brother. Sigh.

  20. #20 |  BSK | 

    Can someone link to more info on the case involving the teacher? As a kindergarten teacher myself (and a male to boot), I’m interesting in hearing more. On the one hand, if she was inappropriate with children, she should have the book thrown at her. If she wasn’t, then this is a damn shame because all it takes is one allegation, no matter how false, to end a teacher’s career. Radley seems to imply this was nothing more than an unsubstantiated witch hunt, but I’m having trouble finding anything one way or another.

  21. #21 |  SusanK | 

    Given the fact that the cop was acquitted by a judge, I believe the officer lost the argument.

  22. #22 |  Dave Krueger | 

    CBO revises estimated cost of health care reform bill.

    Yeah, yeah. You always view news like this in a negative light. Instead of looking at it as added cost, you should look at it as unexpected surprise profits for the medical industry.

    You do the same thing when you talk about the drug war. You measure it in depressing terms like loss of freedom, financial cost, the number of innocent families terrorized, the number of dogs killed. A more upbeat way of reporting on it would be to emphasize the number of jobs created for people with no discernible abilities, the economical recycling of military equipment, the chance to form stability-inducing alliances with important foreign powers like Mexico and Afghanistan, the cost benefit of seizing private property for government use (keeping taxes low), and the opportunity provided to hone the skills of the government in the area of detecting contraband, building and operating prisons, cultivating friendships in low income minority communities, and encouraging citizens to report illegal activities.

    I think this it’s time we remember JFK’s immortal words: Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. Translated, that simply means instead of bitching about what it’s going to cost, you should be asking who to make the check out to.

  23. #23 |  MikeL | 

    So a cop can’t get convicted even if he tries? That sounds about right.

  24. #24 |  Nick M. | 

    BSK, go to William Anderson’s site via the link in Radley’s post, it has the details and history. It’s a lot of reading, but it will give you all the information.

  25. #25 |  flukebucket | 

    “Tanya Craft has been acquitted on all counts.”

    I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when I heard that this morning.

    I once sat on a jury and heard a case about “child abuse”. The only thing they had was the child’s word and the child was testifying against a stepfather that she did not like and the supposed abuse happened the day after the children had been told at school about child abuse and how if they reported it they could get the person that did it in trouble.

    Man it had bullshit written all over it but here sits this poor guy brought before a jury of his peers and his life in their hands. Even the mother of the child got on the stand and said, “I knew my child would lie but I never knew she would take it to this extreme”

    I was horrified that it was possible to be brought into a court of law based only on the say so of a 7 year old child. And that was absolutely all they had and the judge explained to us that that was all that was needed. I could not believe it.

    And to top things off the jury hung with 8 not guilty and 4 guilty votes.

    The simple fact of the matter is if you go into a public restroom to piss and there is a child in there that runs out and screams that you have just molested them it is your word against theirs and all you can do is hope that the jury sees things your way.

  26. #26 |  Stephen | 

    Does Tanya Craft have ANY options to get anything she spent back? Is a civil suit even an option? Or are the judge and DA’s protected by immunity?

  27. #27 |  flukebucket | 

    #26
    Damn good question. I heard this morning that her parents had mortgaged their house and spent all of their savings and the 401K. I think they said that the family had sunk over $500,000 on this shit.

    It is horrifying and sickening. After my education on child abuse and the justice system I was never, ever under any circumstances alone with any of the children that my children would have over for sleepovers and stuff like that. Never under any circumstances would I take any of the children home unless my wife was with me. I made damn sure that accusing me of child abuse would be damn near impossible but no matter what you do there is still a chance that it can happen to you.

    It is awful when you really realize the thin ice that separates you from freedom and years in prison.

  28. #28 |  Marty | 

    #26 | Stephen |
    ‘Does Tanya Craft have ANY options to get anything she spent back? Is a civil suit even an option? Or are the judge and DA’s protected by immunity?’

    her reward is her freedom. DA’s and judges are protected by immunity.

  29. #29 |  MacGregory | 

    #25 flukebucket

    That’s a very good point. These days I avoid children with the same fervor as I do LEOs. Much for the same reasons: they are both known to lie and it’s their word against mine.

  30. #30 |  Kristen | 

    Speaking of cops, it’s Police Week here in DC. Fuck.

  31. #31 |  Stephen | 

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/37103478#37103478

    Video of Tanya talking about the case.

  32. #32 |  lunchstealer | 

    I expect that number to grow by another 30 percent in the next two years. Any suckers want to bet the under?

    I’ll take that action. I can’t imagine that it will take two years to reach the +30% mark. I’d guess no more than 18 months, probably closer to 8 months.

  33. #33 |  Sean L. | 

    Dave,
    “You always view news like this in a negative light.”

    One to add: Keeping the city pounds clear by ‘encouraging’ people to adopt new pet dogs.

  34. #34 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    “Office of Professional Accountability” (#2′s Seattle story)

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    The fact that an office like this exists, and exists with such a name, shows that police accountability will never be achieved.

  35. #35 |  Stephen | 

    “I expect that number to grow by another 30 percent in the next two years. Any suckers want to bet the under?”

    Is that in inflation adjusted dollars? If not, then my bet is 300 percent.

  36. #36 |  CRNewsom | 

    Regarding the child abuse accusations, this is what scares the shit out of me about what someone else might accuse me of with my own kids. Anyone remember the grandmother who had bathtub pictures? Wasn’t there a story recently about some guy watching his kids at a playground and some other person called the cops on him for looking at kids. Not to mention the story of the guy filming cheerleaders from the stands…

    This went full retard a long time ago.

    /Never go full retard.

  37. #37 |  flukebucket | 

    #29 MacGregory

    they are both known to lie and it’s their word against mine.

    True. The primary difference being that kids that young just honestly do not realize how much their lie can screw a person over. They do not understand the gravity of the situation.

    Regarding the case I sat on it was crystal clear to me less than half an hour into it that the little girl simply wanted to get her stepfather in trouble. Her entire family testified on behalf of the stepfather and every one of them stated that the little girl lied and lied often.

    Still the jury hung and I will never forget the 4 people who insisted on the guilty verdict just because the little girl said he did it.

    It still gives me cold chills thinking about it.

    The day I went back to work after my stint in the jury box I had a co-worker ask me what kind of case I sat in on. I told him it was a child molestation charge and the first words out of his mouth were, “well, did you hang the bastard?”

    To so many people child molestation = guilty if accused.

  38. #38 |  Mark R | 

    @Yizmo Gizmo

    I thought we got this out of our system in the early 80′s.

    Leave it to georgia to be 20 years behind the rest of the country in EVERYTHING.

    Like that woman Miriam Boyd who’s trying to tell Today that “little girls do not lie..about things like this.”

    Oh, right I forgot. Kids are robots who recount events exactly as they happened every time and completely and fully understand the ramifications that their fantasies can have on the lives of others.

    100% true statement.

  39. #39 |  Kristen | 

    I never understood all those proverbs or idioms about kids always telling the truth (“out of the mouth of babes”, et al)…I lied like a fricken rug when I was little.

  40. #40 |  SJE | 

    From the story on the cop who wanted to prove that he isnt treated differently to non-cops:

    “Gunshot residue tests from both men came back negative and an off-duty officer who saw the gunfire described the shooter as a Hispanic man in a hoodie, according to court testimony. Lancaster [the cop], an African American, was wearing a button-down shirt at the time of the incident.”

    The other guy was arrested for possession of cannabis. I’m glad to see we have the priorities right.

  41. #41 |  Cynical in CA | 

    A minor’s testimony should be inadmissable as evidence in a court of law.

    Unless the witness is subject to laws against perjury, it is unjust to allow someone to testify.

    This is such a simple concept that I cannot believe how primitive the American just-us system is.

  42. #42 |  ceanf | 

    got to love bloomberg’s reasoning…

    “… if the perpetrator knew there were cameras, he might not have tried to come into Times Square, …”

    let me clue ya into something there mikey… terrorists, islamic terrorists especially, could care less about being caught on video camera. their only goal is to kill as many people as possible.

  43. #43 |  MDGuy | 

    Is it cop week in DC already? Damn, good to know. Stay off the roads. Those bastards drive around drunk as hell and you know who’ll be found at fault if one of them hits you.

  44. #44 |  Andrew S. | 

    So, if NYC were to blanket the city with cameras, I wonder what the odds are, if the camera were to show anything, say, incriminating with respect to police conduct, or that might show that certain suspects were innocent, that the camera footage for that time in that place would mysteriously be lost.

    (yes, that was rhetorical)

  45. #45 |  Chuchundra | 

    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/dispelling-confusion-about-new-cbo-letter-on-health-reform-law/

    In short, the CBO did not revise the cost of the health care bill. It updated the table attached to its report on the bill that covered estimated costs of possible, future, discretionary spending related to the bill. The cost of the the bill itself has not gone up.

  46. #46 |  Clark | 

    Radley, I haven’t seen you mention this on your site, but what about the Philadelphia officer who shot himself, then blamed it on a fictitious black man. In the AP article, it stated that no charges would be brought against the officer “because granting immunity was the only way to obtain his confession.” That is a legal strategy I think more people should take advantage of.

  47. #47 |  Doug | 

    Radley,

    How can you entice people with gambling? Don’t you know that gambling is evil and wrong, not to mention illegal? Unless, of course, the State get’s their cut. Then it’s unicorns and rainbows.

  48. #48 |  Andrew Williams | 

    As a public service, I think the individual(s) who persuaded Tonya’s daughter to falsely accuse her of molestation should be named, and then pilloried.

  49. #49 |  TimTomato | 

    It seems weird that somethin like this could happen!

  50. #50 |  BamBam | 

    #46, it’s called police wanting their Garrity and is only available to them. See wikipedia for what Garrity is all about.

  51. #51 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    the only good that can possibly come from having cameras all over the place is that cops behave better when they think they’re being filmed.

    Not if “the recording was damaged” or “the camera was down for maintenance”, as it often is when cops are involved. And if a privately-owned security camera got it down, you can be assured the owner of the camera would gladly erase the incriminating evidence in trade for not having the building inspectors there every week, or cops shaking down customers as they enter and exit.

  52. #52 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    @26 and 27: Years back I taught the basic theory and regulations needed to obtain a ham radio “novice” license. I stopped doing this when a member of our radio club (and father of 3) was accused of “exposing himself” to a boy in a public restroom during a break from class. Yeah, some exposure. They were all using one of those long-trough style urinals. Fortunately, a local attorney and “ham” (amateur radio operator) took the case pro bono, and the trial lasted all of 20 minutes because the judge had common sense.

    As for me, I am single, always have been, and so am automatically suspected of being one of those evil child molesters. After that case, there was no way in the world I would teach radio or anything else unless I had a lot of adults around me, and that I always had at least one other in any location where the kids were.

    It’s a wonderful hobby, I enjoy teaching, and if I say so myself, I am darn good at it. But it just isn’t worth it. Between the schools teaching the kids the details of how to ruin an adult’s life, warnings about how loners like me are automatically some sort of “prevurt”, and closet-case clergy pointing fingers, I have decided the risk does not match the reward of seeing a happy kid waving his new ham license around.

  53. #53 |  Cyto | 

    Friendly Grizzly: I have had similar experiences – I used to coach girl’s middle school basketball. My team and their parents loved me and the other coaches. We really enjoyed making a difference in kids lives. But the pressure of maintaining an artificial distance from the kids eventually drove all of us to quit doing it.

    The kids would get upset about some random event, as kids will, and would need a hug. Can I give her a hug? I don’t know. So I didn’t, even though I knew it was the right thing to do. You never know who is watching and what they are thinking. The locker room was located down a secluded hallway. No way in hell I was going down there to fetch my wandering players. So I sent other kids to fetch the tardy returnees. On every issue the number one consideration was “how is this going to look to some child molestation seminar attendee”. That kind of person has ruined many lives on evidence that is obviously unreliable. Just look at the ‘Little Rascals’ case. A social worker attending a seminar was able to get an entire town amped up about abuses that never happened. Better to avoid any possibility of a false accusation than to attempt to clear your name. It is really sad and certainly not good for the nation or our children.

  54. #54 |  random guy | 

    On the child molestation thing, wasn’t the whole premise of the Salem witch trials that children could not lie? It was my understanding that they were coached by parents and others to lie to judges in order to make political or monetary gain off of many of the accused. And because they were children their testimony was given significant weight due to their ‘innocence’.

    From personal experience I go with the South Park theory of Children are Bastards, they do whatever they can get away with because society hasn’t yet forced them to experience repercussions for their behavior.

    The sad thing about flukebucket’s case is that at some point a prosecutor thought it would be a good idea to take the case to trial. Nothing to go on but a little girls word, no physical signs of abuse, no history of abuse from the accused, no supporting evidence from anyone in the family. That is all it took for him and 4 jury members to decide he was a child molester.

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