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Post-Racial America

Eric Garner's Death To Go Unpunished Forever Not With A Bang But With Bill Barr

When Civil Rights Division attorneys and the EDNY disagreed, Bill Barr knew which side to come down on.

The day before the fifth anniversary of Eric Garner's death, the United States Department of Justice announced that there will be no justice for Eric Garner's family or NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. Attorney General William Barr personally stepped in to override the recommendation of career lawyers in the DOJ's Civil Rights Division and ensure that Pantaleo would face no charges, because god forbid a white cop ever faces accountability for murdering a black man.

On July 17, 2014, NYPD officers went to arrest Eric Garner for selling loose cigarettes to people who can't afford to buy a whole pack. As the world saw after a video taken by a bystander went viral, Pantaleo took Garner down from behind and then struggled with him until his arms were wrapped tightly around Garner's neck. Other officers put their weight on Garner's back, pushing his chest against the ground. Garner, who had asthma, said "I can't breathe" 11 times before going into cardiac arrest. New York City's medical examiner ruled Garner's death a homicide. Garner's death caused nationwide protests, and his last words became a rallying cry for the Black Live Matter movement.

Tuesday's announcement was the culmination of nearly five years of investigations and infighting among DOJ officials about whether Pantaleo should be charged with a federal crime for Eric Garner's death. Prosecutors and FBI agents in the Eastern District of New York, who regularly work with the NYPD, were wary of prosecuting Pantaleo. Officials in the Civil Rights Division, however, believed they had a strong case. ThinkProgress described what happened:

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lawsplainer

Ninth Circuit Kills Clean Water Act Conviction To Save Clean Water Act

You know those Montana juries, just constantly oppressing septuagenarian veterans for violating environmental laws!

In the final installment of a rather bizarre turn of events, last week the Ninth Circuit vacated the conviction of a Montana man who had destroyed government property and polluted streams and wetlands, in violation of the Clean Water Act. But in doing so, they just might have saved the Clean Water Act for the rest of us.

In 2016, Joseph Robertson was convicted of polluting US waters and destroying government property for building illegal ponds and ditches. He claimed that he built them to help fight fires. Robertson was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined $130,000.

At first glance, that sounds like a pretty harsh penalty for digging some ditches. But let's look at the details -- and also remember that Robertson was a 77-year old military veteran. Convicted, by a Montana jury, of violating nanny state environmental laws. In Montana.

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Featured

Michael Flynn Cooperates With Feds By ... Blowing Up Their Case Against His Partner!

I beg your pardon!

This is probably not what Judge Emmet Sullivan meant when he told Michael Flynn to go back and cooperate a whole lot more with federal prosecutors. Last week, Flynn appeared to blow up his carefully negotiated plea deal when he suddenly realized that he'd never known he had been lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government in 2016. And this week he's torpedoing the trial of his former colleague Bijan Rafiekian for conspiracy and violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). It's a bold strategy, Cotton, especially for a guy who already pissed off the Judge by blaming the FBI for letting him lie to their faces. Let's see if it pays off!

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News

​SDNY, Are You OK? Blink Once For 'Yes,' Blink Twice For 'Bill Barr'

Guess Trump is 'exonerated' AGAIN!

Here's some weird news that is probably bad and probably tells us just what an un-American wad of dogshit Attorney General Bill Barr really is -- like, even more than we already thought he was, which is saying something.

CNN reported on Friday that the massive Southern District of New York (SDNY) investigation into Donald Trump, his children, and his business is probably almost over and will probably result in no indictments, which probably would make no goddamned sense if you consider that Trump has already been named as co-conspirator in the hush money porn payoff scheme to pay off women Trump had had affairs with while married to Melon.

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Post-Racial America

Alex Acosta, You Are GET THE F*CK OUT

BUH-BYE.

Let's say one nice thing about Labor Secretary Alex Acosta as he packs up his office to GTFO of DC. At least the guy spared his wife and kids the humiliation of watching him walk around with an arrow through his head for another two weeks -- although he could have done it before painting a target on his back at that press conference yesterday, inviting every reporter in America to dig in and factcheck a mountain of, ummm, mischaracterizations about his prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein when Acosta was US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in 2008. But eventually, he read the writing on the wall. Knowing that his hinky plea deal with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was going to sink him, Acosta jumped before he could be pushed. SLOW FUCKING CLAP.

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Immigrants

Ahead Of ICE Raids, Nancy Pelosi Says KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

THE CONSTITUTION COVERS EVERYONE, JACKHOLES.

With mass arrests of immigrants apparently going forward this weekend, immigration rights groups are ramping up efforts to advise immigrant communities that they have legal rights and don't have to open the door to ICE unless the officers have a warrant from a judge. This really pisses off law-and-order types, because how can you have any order if people know their "rights" under the law? After all, "rights" are for people like national security advisers who weren't explicitly warned that lying to the FBI is a crime.

Now the wingnuts have another thing to freak out about, and it is a little thing called "Nancy Pelosi."

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lawsplainer

Judges: Who Can Sue Trump? How About Nobody? Does Nobody Work For You?

If the Constitution falls and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?

The Trump kleptocracy is alive and well and no one can stop it! Despite constitutional prohibitions on federal officials profiting financially from their positions, so far no one has been able to successfully sue Trump to stop him from doing that.

Trump doesn't just still own his businesses; he regularly uses his position to promote them. Since taking office, he has referred to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach -- where you too can gift the president hundreds of thousands of dollars -- as "the winter White House," and spent millions of taxpayer dollars to travel to Florida, all the while encouraging politicians, lobbyists, and people seeking influence to join him. Not to mention that small hotel in our nation's capital where every foreign despot seems to have rented the ballroom or a whole floor to pay tribute to the businessman in chief.

This is exactly the type of thing the emoluments clauses of the Constitution are meant to stop. But if no one has standing to enforce the Constitution, does it even really exist?

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Post-Racial America

Trump On Census Will NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER, NEVER ... Mind

Welcome back to a week ago, everybody!

Mark your calendars, the Constitutional crisis is scheduled for 5 p.m. ... PSYCH! ABC is now reporting that the Trump administration caved to reality and will acknowledge that their plan to add a citizenship question to the US Census is dead. So, either ABC is wrong and Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr will forge ahead and announce their Totally Legit Not At All Racist New Plan to defy the Supreme Court and ratfuck the Census this afternoon, or Trump will sign an Executive Order mandating that Wilbur Ross make a list of all those pesky illegals some other way. Spokesman Higglesford Giblets declined to comment on ABC's report, but said Trump "will do everything within his legal authority to determine and make public who is in the United States legally and who is not," according to Reuters, so at least we've got that whiff of fascism to look forward to. But are the Census cases finally, really dead? Or will they be resurrected like Dick Cheney to haunt us forever?

We believe this takes us back to exactly where we were a week ago. Happy Groundhog's Day, everybody!

After Chief Justice John Roberts held that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was patently full of crap when he testified that the citizenship question was added to the Census to ensure a complete count of minorities and comply with the Voting Rights Act, lawyers for the Justice Department conceded defeat and assured courts that the forms would be printed without it. But then ...

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popular

Who Need To Come Forward? GIRLS!

Alex Acosta's Jeffrey Epstein press conference, for an audience of one.

If Alexander Acosta wanted to pull a Kavanaugh, he should have just shouted incoherently about beer at yesterday's press conference. Instead, the Labor secretary -- who a decade ago was the United States Attorney stroking secretive billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's hair while negotiating his plea for molesting what the FBI alleged were dozens of girls -- told a series of easily disprovable lies and then bizarrely blamed Epstein's victims for their own abuse. Cheers!

"The message is you need to come forward," Acosta burbled from the podium. "And as victims come forward, these cases can be brought and they can be brought by the federal government, they can be brought by state attorneys, and they will be brought."

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News

Trump's Twitter Account Is Creating A Constitutional Crisis, Because Of Course It Is

Just another week in the living nightmare that is the Trump presidency.

If you use Twitter for government business, you can't block your constituents. Says who? Well, the First Amendment and the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

On Tuesday, a unanimous panel of the Second Circuit ruled that Donald Trump can't block people on Twitter just because he doesn't like what they're saying. Yes, this is a real lawsuit that the free speech watchdogs at the Knight Institute had to bring. Because the president is a fragile, petty little man.

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