Yesterday was a great day and also just a start.
The state of Oklahoma freed 462 inmates from prison yesterday after their sentences were commuted, in what's widely being called the biggest single-day release of prisoners in US history. We should note, however, that the New York Times fastidiously says it's merely "one of the largest," because what about that time Andrew Johnson pardoned all the Confederates? Either way, it's a huge step toward reform for Oklahoma, which the Times notes "continues to vie with Louisiana for the highest per-capita imprisonment rate in the country."
It's your Sunday show rundown!
deployed the "League of Extraordinary Kiss Asses" to middling results last week, it was time to release the Kraken. Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the "president" and Ann Coulter's final wish on a monkey's paw, went to CNN's "State of the Union" and "Fox News Sunday" to do what she does best: try to sell a shit sandwich by "dipping it in chocolate and saying it has no calories."
Let's start at her first appearance of Sunday morning, on CNN. As Dana Bash began, it became clear Conway was gonna bring that same "powerful woman" energy she deploys when talking with female Washington Examiner reporters accidentally on the record:
But at least the Walmart shoplifter is no longer at large.
A federal appeals court ruled this week that a homeowner isn't entitled to compensation after police wrecked his house and left his family homeless. Leo Lech's Greenwood Village, Colorado, residence was the setting of a 19-hour standoff with police in June 2015. An armed shoplifter, who'd scored two belts and a shirt from Walmart, broke into Lech's home and held off pursuing officers with a handgun. The cops fired tear gas into the residence, exploded walls, blew out windows, and finally drove a military-style armored vehicle through the front door.
SWAT officers apprehended the shoplifting suspect, who had nothing to do with Lech, but in their wake, they left behind the climax of an Avengers movie.
"The interior of the Lech Home was a mass of debris and destroyed belongings from the projectiles launched into the home by the Defendants. Chemical munitions or other projectiles were stuck in the walls. The Lech Home was completely uninhabitable and its condition posed a danger to anyone entering the home," one of Lech's attorneys, David Williams, wrote in a federal lawsuit filed in August 2016.
You'd think, under those circumstances, Lech would've won the free house lottery. If he didn't receive a giant novelty check at a public ceremony, the cops could've at least come back on the weekends and helped rebuild like on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." They'd already had demo day. But this was like a bad "Property Brothers" episode where they demolish your house and then tell you to fuck off.
Brazil has its very own very stable genius.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has once again left Brazilians wondering whether he's off his rocker (made of endangered rainforest wood) following an unhinged video in which he ranted and carried on, shaking his finger, crying some, threatening to shut down a TV network, and generally losing his shit. To be sure, the network, Globo, had run a report claiming Bolsonaro was connected to two ex policemen charged with murdering a popular Rio de Janeiro city councilwoman, but if American presidents went all crazy on TV every time someone accused them of murder, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton never would have gotten a lick of work done.
Also somewhat weird: Bolsonaro livestreamed his tantrum from a hotel while he visited Saudi Arabia (at 4 AM Saudi time). But like Donald Trump, when Bolsonaro wants to go on the internet with an opinion, he goes.
As the Washington Post put it -- mildly, at that --
But rather than defuse the explosive claims, Bolsonaro's emotional and profane response appeared to draw greater attention to them on Wednesday, as people in and out of Latin America's largest country openly questioned the president's mental stability.
"He tried to put the flames out with gasoline," said Alexandre Bandeira, a political strategist in Brasilia. "He had blood in his eyes … almost as if he were calling for a duel."
Don't give him ideas, dude.
President compares American city to a war zone.
Donald Trump visited Chicago yesterday for the first time in his presidency. He delivered a speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference, entering the McCormick Place ballroom to the Village People song "Macho Man." Unfortunately, he must've thought he was at a "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast." The president of the United States went on at length about how this great American city is actually an open sewer.
TRUMP: It's embarrassing to us as a nation. All over the world they're talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison. It's true.
It is in fact untrue, but he keeps saying it anyway. According to information not found inside Trump's anal cavity, 2,307 people died in August as a result of violence in Afghanistan. That's significantly more than the 535 people killed in Chicago for all of 2018. Afghanistan is also a country not a city. Its murder rate per million people is an estimated 26.34 compared to the US's 42.01. Trump argues that our homicide rate would decline dramatically if we just "took out" Chicago. The nation's poverty rate would also decline significantly if we ditched the entire state of Mississippi, but that's not how any of this works.
Jennifer Harrison was famously laughed at by 'Green Shirt Guy'
Back in August, Jennifer Harrison of Arizona became part of a viral sensation after her anti-immigration rant at a local town hall caused a mustachioed man in a green shirt to burst into a fit of laughter. Said rant, which was not entirely intelligible, was accessorized with a large sign reading "RESPECT OUR LAWS OR BE DEPORTED!"
Please to recall:
Green shirt guy youtu.be
Trump, naturally, is throwing a conniption fit.
On Friday night, Kamala Harris announced that she would be pulling out of a criminal justice reform forum at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, an HBCU, in protest of the fact that the organizers of said forum, the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, gave Donald Trump a "Bipartisan Justice Award" on Friday in a ceremony that only seven students were even allowed to attend.
Harris' team sent out the following email on Friday night:
As Trump Is Awarded Despite Decades of Shameful Actions on Justice Issues and Students Are Excluded From Participating, Kamala Harris Pulls Out Of 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum
Harris will instead discuss criminal justice reform at open event with students and the broader community in Columbia
Tomorrow, October 26, Senator Kamala Harris will join students and the broader Columbia community to discuss criminal justice reform instead of participating in the 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum at Benedict College.
"As the only candidate who attended an HBCU, I know the importance that these spaces hold for young Black Americans," said Harris. "Today, when it became clear Donald Trump would receive an award after decades of celebrating mass incarceration, pushing the death penalty for innocent Black Americans, rolling back police accountability measures and racist behavior that puts people's lives at risk, and then learned all but ten Benedict students are excluded from participating, I cannot in good faith be complicit in papering over his record. Instead, I'll host students from all campuses as well as the broader Columbia community to come and discuss this critical issue that I've worked on for my entire career.
"Donald Trump is a lawless President. Not only does he circumvent the laws of our country and the principles of our Constitution, but there is nothing in his career that is about justice, for justice, or in celebration of justice."
It's your Daily Chucklefux!
Oh, Lord, we are sick of Rudy Giuliani and those Chucklefuck assholes Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. One day, the Dunning Kruger Gang will stop criming so that we can write about something else. Sadly, that day is not today. Because yesterday the Chucklefucks got arraigned, and Rudy seems to have finally realized that he might be in a wee spot of trouble. So, let's do this, kids!
Executive Privilege? WTF Are You Talking About?
Yesterday the Chucklefucks stood up in a New York federal court and said they were NOT GUILTY of committing approximately one million campaign finance crimes, give or take. They never nohow accepted a million dollars from "Foreign National-1" to grease the skids for their marijuana business with campaign contributions, despite the "table of political donations and contributions" describing a "multi state license strategy" for their business. They definitely did not claim that their natural gas business with zero income made a $325,000 contribution to a pro-Trump PAC. And Fruman absolutely didn't exceed the campaign finance limit by fronting his buddy Parnas cash to donate to then-congressman Pete Sessions, nor did Parnas fraudulently claim that he was donating out of his own personal funds.
Now, to the untrained eye, it might sound like Johnny Law has 'em by the short and curlies, particularly since the feds had a dozen warrants covering multiple cell phones and social media accounts, in addition to 50 bank accounts. If they've got the bribe table, they've got everything. BUT! What if none of that is admissible because of "privilege"? Not just attorney-client privilege to cover ... whatever it is they were doing with Rudy Giuliani. But executive privilege, too, because sure why not!
Black people should be safe in their own homes.
Atatiana Jefferson was shot dead in her own home Saturday in front of her eight-year-old nephew. Fort Worth, Texas, police officer Aaron Dean killed the 28-year-old black woman, senselessly and callously. Dean was responding to a wellness check from one of Jefferson's neighbors, who was concerned that the doors to her house were open late at night. I don't know why he called the police. "Protect and serve" does technically apply to black people, but it's not always worked out in practice.
Shockingly, Dean was charged with murder Monday. He'd resigned earlier that day, and interim Police Chief Ed Kraus said he would've fired Dean anyway for several policy violations. It's encouraging that it's against policy to murder black women in their homes. It's in the manual and everything.
Dean and another officer responding to the nonemergency call entered through Jefferson's backyard. When Dean saw Jefferson through her bedroom window, he shined a flashlight at her like a common pervert and shouted, "Put your hands up! Show me your hands!" He didn't identify himself as a police officer and didn't wait more than a few seconds before shooting her. This was not an effective wellness check.
Didn't see that one coming.
If you had John Bolton pegged as one of the good guys in the Ukraine debacle, please award yourself 10 points. Zero points will be awarded for predicting that Rudy Giuliani would be the criminal wunderkind who brings down the whole administration -- you can smell that idiot coming a mile off. Because of the scotch, and cigars, and pungent arrogance.
The New York Times was first to get the money quotes from former chief Russia advisor Fiona Hill's House testimony yesterday. Hill described then-National Security Adviser John Bolton as livid that Trump had outsourced America's Ukraine policy to Rudy Giuliani to manipulate for Trump's personal benefit. Calling the President's private attorney "a hand grenade who's going to blow everybody up," Bolton told Hill that she needed to report Rudy's shadow foreign policy role to "White House lawyers," making sure to add that he himself had nothing to do with their illegal schemes.
Welcome everybody to the wild wild west!
California is doing nice things again!
On Tuesday night, California Governor Gavin Newsom, seen above some amount of years ago with your editrix and some chick, signed 25 criminal justice reform bills into law. The laws cover everything from rape kit testing to abolishing private prisons to reducing sentences and incarceration.
Besides smashing good looks, see above again, what have we got? Let's crimjustreformsplore!
Border Patrol Not Bringing Their Best. Like This (Alleged) Rapist. Who Was Allowed To Retire After Arrest.
The Very Best People, part infinity.
The Border Patrol has always been full of assholes. We know we shouldn't generalize. Some, we suppose, may be good people. But just in the last few months, there was the Border Patrol guy who pleaded guilty to running down a migrant with his truck, and the agent accused of raping multiple women he'd met online. Not to mention the Border Patrol agent charged with murdering four women in Laredo in 2018 -- he preyed on women he figured wouldn't be missed because they were prostitutes. And that's on top of the regular human rights violations, but that's when they're on duty.
So good news for the Border Patrol: Its latest accused isn't a serial killer, at least. But Gus Zamora, the husband of one of the agency's top commanders, was indicted by a grand jury in July for raping a female agent, who had considered him a mentor and friend. As the New York Times notes in its story on the case, the Border Patrol has a lot of difficulty recruiting and retaining women, who make up only about 5 percent of its 20,000 agents. Can't imagine why.
Maybe shout "feces and used needles!" a little louder.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to Austin Mayor Steve Adler threatening a state crackdown on homeless people in the city if Adler doesn't eliminate homelessness in Austin by November 1. The letter comes amid a Republican backlash to changes in city laws aimed at treating homeless folks as people who need housing, not criminals.
At issue is a June decision by the Austin City Council to modify three ordinances that had banned sitting, lying, or camping in public, and which had criminalized panhandling. Republicans and some businesses responded with predictable fury, because don't you stupid liberals understand that homelessness can only be addressed by Getting Tough? Under the revised law, sitting and lying on sidewalks is legal as long as the person doesn't pose a threat to "the health or safety of another person or of themselves" or make "usage of such area unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous." Clearly, that's intolerable, because the real solution to homelessness is to drive them to places where decent people don't have to see them. And to talk about local control until a local government does something Republicans don't like.
It's the Sunday show rundown!
After a week where Trump was exposed by a whistleblower for keeping aid from Ukraine to extort them for political help, confirming all the facts himself with the transcript of the call, involving the Attorney General in the scheme, and revelations of a secret server ("But HER EMAILS!!!), Trump's liddle' defenders have had such a hard time, they even made Chuck Todd do journalism! But that doesn't mean the clown car of sycophants didn't try on ALL the Sunday shows. So let's take a look at these idiots in chronological order.
We begin with Ohio congressman and proof that dumb jocks in high school just get dumber with age, Rep. Jim Jordan. Appearing bright and early on CNN's "State of the Union," Jordan tried his best to steer the conversation away from Trump's many impeachable crimes over to the bullshit Ukrainium One story that the GOP has settled on. After listening on and on to Jordan spit lies, Jake Tapper finally facted check Jordan and left him sputtering like a the moron he is.
Yes, it's from the Intercept, and yes, it's some fascinating reporting on what finally flipped the Democrats to impeachment.
Patience also wore thin as the politics of passivity no longer seem to be benefiting even frontliners, as the demobilization of the Democratic base began to look like an existential electoral concern. And the arguments some frontliners [members repping districts that had flipped from Republican] were making on behalf of doing nothing had gotten increasingly strained. "It's not hard at all to demand impeachment," one argued to colleagues. "What actually takes courage is not demanding impeachment."
The same frontliners who had been the most vocal against pursuing impeachment had also generally been the ones most hostile publicly and internally toward the Squad. As more of the caucus began to see passivity rather than radicalism as the party's bigger problem, the caucus moved away from the idea that the Squad was going to be their death knell, and even some frontliners grew less patient with internal attacks on them. Rep. Angie Craig, a freshman frontliner from Minnesota, made the case privately to her frontline colleagues that if they have a problem with the Squad or anybody else, they should feel free to say so publicly back home, and use the contrast to set themselves apart. But, she argued at a private meeting just before the August recess, members should stop battling internally to have the Squad shut down. Each member, she argued, has a district to represent, and that's the case too with Ocasio Cortez, Omar, Tlaib and Pressley.
Supreme Court can't save you now.
States are doin' it for themselves. If the federal courts are going to let Trump stonewall congressional Democrats on the release of his tax returns -- although, for the record, we're still confident that no court in the land is going to let Trump piss on the plain meaning of the statute and defy the Ways and Means Committee -- then New York will step up to the plate.
And so Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has gotten a grand jury to subpoena eight years of Trump's personal and business tax returns from Mazars USA, the accountants who prepared them. The New York Times first reported the subpoenas, which are part of an investigation into the Trump Organization's reimbursement payments to Michael Cohen for fronting the $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about her adventures with Mario Kart Yeti Pubes.
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