“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Democrats Return to the Confederacy

Kamala Harris: AG Jeff Sessions Has No Credibility to Talk About History of Slavery, Reconstruction or the Civil War

Wednesday on MSNBC’s “All In,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ speech announcing a lawsuit against California for allowing sanctuary cities in which he referenced Confederate states seceding during the Civil War.

Harris said, “Indeed, indeed he did. Listen, as far as I’m concerned, Jeff Sessions should be advised, and I’ll advise him right now, that it’s a bad idea for him to start talking about anything to do with the history of slavery or Reconstruction or the Civil War in the United States. His credibility is pretty much shot on those issues. But on the topic at hand, Chris, I think Jerry Brown is absolutely right and Jeff Sessions, in particular, has clearly put a target on the back of California, and California’s going to fight. And I think that these folks are really mired in rolling back the clock in time, and that’s not going to happen. California represents the future, and they don’t like it, but there you go.”

She continued, “First of all they’re hypocritical. You can look at members of this administration, whether it is the head EPA—when he was attorney general of Oklahoma said that federal emission standards and other standards as it relates to greenhouse gas emissions should not apply to the states. You can look at this attorney general who has said that imposing the terms of the Voting Rights Act on the states creates an undue burden and is meddling with the affairs of each state. It’s hypocrisy at its height. Again, I think there’s a distraction in that they’re trying to suggest that this is about the Constitution when in fact, what they’re doing is playing politics. They’re playing politics, and they’re playing politics with California. This attorney general is doing that, and he’s going to lose.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


  1. California Governor Jerry Brown stepped up his attack on Sessions , accusing him of using “Gestapo” tactics.

  2. Jerry Brown is one of the better arguments for an early stage abortion.

    1. A Seventh Decade Abortion.

    2. Quick, before it turns 80!

      Born: April 7, 1938 (age 79), San Francisco, CA

  3. I demand DNA tests for Fauxcohantes, Harris, and Jerry Brown.

    1. .

      I demand a mental competency test for you.

      What do you think the chances are that either of our demands will be met?


  4. .

    In response to my comment...

    QuirkThu Mar 08, 01:38:00 AM EST

    Here is the Trump Swamp worse than the Old Swamp

    The Denizen's of Trump's 'Drained Swamp', Hundreds of Ex-Lobbyists and D.C. Insiders


    Doug comments...

    DougThu Mar 08, 02:37:00 AM EST
    " In addition, at least 254 groups affiliated with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and at least 125 staffers came from prominent conservative think tanks, many of whom are on teams to repeal Obama-era regulations."


    What's wrong with that?

    ...esp given that you're OK with Mueller hiring Hillary lawyers!

    I can only respond that you have done an editing job consistent with what we have come to expect from you The article I linked to is a long one. It discussed an extensive report pulled together by Reuters that explains the extend of "The Swamp" Trump has created in D.C. starting immediately after taking office.

    Here is the full paragraph that contained the sentence you questioned and the two sentences that preceded it. Removing those sentences also removes all context associated with it.

    Here’s what we found: At least 187 Trump political appointees have been federal lobbyists, and despite President Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp,” many are now overseeing the industries they once lobbied on behalf of. We’ve also discovered ethics waivers that allow Trump staffers to work on subjects in which they have financial conflicts of interest. In addition, at least 254 groups affiliated with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and at least 125 staffers came from prominent conservative think tanks, many of whom are on teams to repeal Obama-era regulations.

    The article explains the extend to which Trump has not only failed to "Drain the Swamp" but has in fact expanded it, another instance of 'promises made promises broken'.

    As to your comment comparing Meuller hiring Democrats for his investigation to Trump's selling out to his doners (another promise broken), big business, the wealthy, the Banks and Wall Street all to the detriment of the American people including and maybe especially his base, it is sometimes hard to know when you are serious and when you are just trying to throw some shit in the game.

    If you are serious about your question, I would first suggest you try to noodle it out for yourself. It will be good practice for you.

    Hint: Think of the roles and actual powers of the people involved.

    If you are still having problems, come back and I'll answer your question.


  5. Security consultant who has worked for the company that compiled the controversial dossier on Donald Trump was close to the Russian double agent poisoned last weekend, it has been claimed.

    The consultant, who The Telegraph is declining to identify, lived close to Col Skripal and is understood to have known him for some time.

    Col Skripal, who is in intensive care and fighting for his life after an assassination attempt on Sunday, was recruited by MI6 when he worked for the British embassy in Estonia, according to the FSB, the Russian intelligence agency.

    1. .

      Meanwhile, Trump still refuses to implement sanctions passed against Russia months ago.

      In fact, he refuses to say much about Russia at all.


  6. .

    About 3 key officials in the Trump administration have been leaving for one reason or another every month since he has become president, around 38 and there are 6 or 7 on the bubble if you count Sarah Sanders.

    Sanders sold her soul months ago when she took the White House press secretary job. Now, because of a slip of the lip regarding Story Daniels she is reportedly on Trump's shit list.


    1. One would have to be nutz to work for Trump.

      I expect a new First Lady before he's done.

    2. Quirk volunteered last week.

  7. .

    Trump: Ignore what I say. Watch what I do.

    Good news for you big-game hunters. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reversed an Obama-era ban on elephant trophy imports. Instead, the FWS will assess each case on an "individual basis."

    The March 1 announcement comes a bit more than three months after President Trump paused a first attempt to loosen the ban after public outcry. The president, seemingly joining the uproar, called the relaxation on imports a "horror show..."

    The Trump boys must have gotten the old blood lust again and rather than have them mope Trump changes the rules.

    Trophy's will be allowed to be taken on an 'individual basis'. Gee, I wonder who would qualify?


    1. Disgusting.

      The day of the white man's safari is past.

      Let it die a dignified death.

      Let the lions die a dignified death.

      Stay at home and read The Green Hills of Africa and remember.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Dr. Guess from Moscow went ahunting in Africa.

      Got a rhino horn right up his arsehole.

      Right way up his asshole.

      Dead center.

      Served him right.

      Took the racism out of him too, as he was saved by some blacks.

    4. Just for the hell of it, continuing the saga of Guess -

      STATE v. GUESS

      No. 39646-2012.
      View Case Cited Cases Citing Case
      300 P.3d 53 (2013)

      STATE of Idaho, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Charles Earl GUESS, Defendant-Appellant.

      Supreme Court of Idaho, Lewiston, April 2013 Term.

      April 25, 2013.

      Attorney(s) appearing for the Case
      Roderick C. Bond , Bellevue, Washington, argued for appellant.

      Lori Anne Fleming , Deputy Attorney General, Boise, argued for respondent.

      EISMANN, Justice.

      This is an appeal out of Latah County from an order denying the defendant's motion to set aside his guilty plea to aggravated assault and dismiss the charge after he had successfully completed his five years of probation. He contends that the terms of his plea agreement entitled him to the relief he requested and, if it does not, that the court abused its discretion in denying the motion based upon the fear of the victim, his ex-wife. We affirm.

      Factual Background.
      On April 26, 2006, during the pendency of divorce proceedings, Charles Earl Guess, his wife, and their respective attorneys agreed
      [300 P.3d 55]
      that Ms. Guess and her attorney would meet Mr. Guess at the parties' residence so that they could walk through the house and look in the vault with Mr. Guess present. When Ms. Guess and her attorney arrived at the house located near Moscow, they walked with Mr. Guess into the basement where the vault was located. Mr. Guess allowed his wife and her attorney to walk into the vault first, and then he pulled out a semiautomatic pistol, pointed it at them, and stated that he was going to kill them. While holding the pistol in his right hand, he struck Ms. Guess twice in the face with his left fist. She and her attorney were ultimately able to talk Mr. Guess into putting the gun down. After Ms. Guess and her attorney were able to leave the house, they drove to Moscow to seek medical care for her and to contact the police.

      The State charged Mr. Guess with two counts of aggravated assault, both felonies, and one count of battery, a misdemeanor. Ultimately, he and the State entered into a written plea agreement. The State agreed to file an amended information charging him with one count of aggravated assault alleged to have been committed against both victims, to which he would plead guilty. The State would recommend that he be sentenced to a withheld judgment and be placed on probation for no more than five years, and he could withdraw his guilty plea if the district court was unwilling to impose a sentence consistent with that recommendation. Mr. Guess pled guilty to the charge, and on August 31, 2006, the court imposed a sentence consistent with the written plea agreement, with the period of probation being five years.

      On March 24, 2009, Mr. Guess filed a motion asking to be released from probation, to be permitted to withdraw his guilty plea, and to have the charge dismissed. In opposition to the motion, the State filed a letter from Ms. Guess in which she described the crime, stated that he had never apologized, and described the physical pain, flashbacks, and fear that she was still experiencing from the crime. After hearing arguments on the motion and reviewing the court file, the district court denied the motion without prejudice. On September 28, 2009, Mr. Guess filed a motion to be transferred to unsupervised probation, which the court granted on January 27, 2011.

    5. On September 7, 2011, Mr. Guess filed another motion pursuant to Idaho Code section 19-2604(1) asking to withdraw his guilty plea and to have the charge dismissed. He supported the motion with his affidavit and fourteen letters of support. The motion was argued to the court, and Ms. Guess made a brief statement in which she said she was still in fear of Mr. Guess. The court again denied the motion without prejudice. It stated that while Mr. Guess had performed as well on probation as any defendant the court could remember, he had committed an abominable crime and Ms. Guess was still in fear.

      On January 19, 2012, Mr. Guess filed a motion to enforce the plea agreement, contending that the agreement provided that he could withdraw his guilty plea and have the charge dismissed if he successfully completed his probation. In the alternative, he again asked for relief pursuant to Idaho Code section 19-2604(1). After hearing arguments of the parties, the district court denied the motion. Mr. Guess then timely appealed.

      Did the District Court Err in Holding that the Plea Agreement Did Not Require that Mr. Guess Was Entitled to Withdraw His Guilty Plea and Have the Charge Dismissed?
      Mr. Guess contends that the terms of the plea agreement entitled him to withdraw his guilty plea and to have the charge dismissed if he successfully completed his period of probation. Neither the prosecutor nor the district court could agree to such a plea agreement, and neither of them did.

      a. A plea agreement cannot include a provision that the defendant is entitled to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and have the charge dismissed upon successful completion of probation. A court does not have the inherent power to permit a defendant to withdraw his or her guilty plea and have the charge dismissed upon successful completion of probation.
      [300 P.3d 56]
      State v. Funk, 123 Idaho 967, 969, 855 P.2d 52, 54 (1993). The power of a court to permit a defendant to withdraw his or her guilty plea and have the charge dismissed is controlled by Idaho Code section 19-2604(1). When Mr. Guess and the prosecutor entered into the written plea agreement on June 16, 2006, the relevant portion of that statute provided:

      If sentence has been imposed but suspended, or if sentence has been withheld, upon application of the defendant and upon satisfactory showing that the defendant has at all times complied with the terms and conditions upon which he was placed on probation, the court may, if convinced by the showing made that there is no longer cause for continuing the period of probation, and if it be compatible with the public interest, terminate the sentence or set aside the plea of guilty or conviction of the defendant, and finally dismiss the case and discharge the defendant....
      Ch. 305, § 1, 1989 Idaho Sess. Laws 759, 759.1

    6. In order for a defendant to be permitted to withdraw his or her guilty plea: (a) the defendant must have at all times complied with the terms and conditions of probation; (b) the court must be convinced, by the showing made, that there is no longer cause for continuing the period of probation; (c) the court must find that such relief is compatible with the public interest; and (d) the court, in its discretion, must decide to grant such relief.2 Complying with the terms and conditions of probation is only one of the four requirements for obtaining relief under the statute. The prosecutor did not have the authority to enter into a plea agreement that would eliminate two of the three required findings that the district court must make when presented with a motion pursuant to section 19-2604 and that would eliminate the court's right to exercise its discretion in ruling on that motion. Likewise, the district court would not have had the authority to agree in advance that Mr. Guess could withdraw his guilty plea and have the charge dismissed if he complied with the terms and conditions of probation because the other required findings could only be made at the time the court was presented with the motion. Any such agreement would have been void. Funk, 123 Idaho at 969, 855 P.2d at 54 (when placing a defendant on probation, the sentencing court did not have the authority to promise that the defendant could withdraw his guilty plea upon successful completion of probation where such promise did not comply with section 19-2604(2), and such promise was unenforceable); State v. Branson, 128 Idaho 790, 793, 919 P.2d 319, 322 (1996) (granting a withheld judgment in violation of a statutory prohibition is an illegal sentence).

      b. Neither the prosecutor nor the district court agreed that Mr. Guess would be permitted to withdraw his guilty plea and have the charge dismissed if he complied with all of the terms and conditions of his probation. The prosecutor and Mr. Guess entered into a written plea agreement. Plea agreements are essentially bilateral contracts between the prosecutor and the defendant. State v. Gomez, 153 Idaho 253, 256, 281 P.3d 90, 93 (2012). "If the language of the document is unambiguous, given its ordinary and well-understood meaning, we will not look beyond the four corners of the agreement to determine the intent of the parties." Id. at 257, 281 P.3d at 94. The written plea agreement is unambiguous. It
      [300 P.3d 57]
      does not contain any provision purporting to provide that Mr. Guess was entitled to the relief he requested if he successfully completed his probation. The material provisions of the plea agreement are as follows:

      2. That the State and the Defendant agree that the appropriate disposition of this matter is as follows:
      That the Defendant shall receive a Withheld Judgment and shall be placed on probation to the Idaho State Department of Corrections for a period of no more than five (5) years. Terms of the Defendant's probation shall include:
      A. That the Defendant shall pay a fine in the amount of $1,000.00;
      B. That the Defendant shall serve thirty (30) days local jail;
      3. That any other terms of sentencing and conditions of probation, including (but not limited to) the length of probation and the amount of restitution, are not the subject of this agreement, and both parties are free to make what recommendations they believe to be appropriate.
      . . . .

    7. 6. This plea agreement is based upon the facts and circumstances as they exist at the date of the signing of this agreement. The defendant acknowledges, covenants and agrees that during the period of time between the date of this agreement and the date of sentencing, he will not violate any law nor fail to comply with any conditions of his release on bond or other conditions ordered by the Court, and shall cooperate fully with any presentence investigation ordered herein. Should the defendant in any way breach these agreements and covenants, the State is released from any obligations hereunder regarding an appropriate sentencing disposition, the Court may sentence the defendant up to the maximum authorized by law and the defendant shall not be afforded the opportunity to withdraw his plea of guilty. The defendant expressly agrees that the burden of proof for determining whether the defendant has breached any of said agreements or covenants shall be a preponderance of the evidence only.
      7. This is the entire agreement and understanding between the parties.
      There is nothing in the written plea agreement that addresses whether Mr. Guess would be entitled to relief under Idaho Code section 19-2604(1). During oral argument, Mr. Guess pointed to paragraph 6 of the agreement, but that says nothing about relief under section 19-2604. Paragraph 6 only applies to his conduct "during the period of time between the date of this agreement and the date of sentencing." It provides that if, during that period, he violates any law or fails to comply with the conditions of his release or other conditions ordered by the court, then the district court could sentence him to the maximum permitted by law "and defendant shall not be afforded the opportunity to withdraw his plea of guilty." That obviously refers to an attempt to withdraw his guilty plea before sentencing because he had violated the law or the applicable conditions and the agreed-upon sentence was no longer applicable.

      Mr. Guess argues that during the colloquy between him and the district court before he pled guilty, he expressed his belief that he would be entitled to have his guilty plea withdrawn if he complied with the terms of his probation and the prosecutor did not disagree. He contends that such silence resulted in a modification of the plea agreement.

      Prior to accepting Mr. Guess's plea of guilty, the district court asked him questions to determine whether he was knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily pleading guilty. During that dialogue, the court asked Mr. Guess whether he understood what a withheld judgment was. The dialogue was as follows:

    8. The Court: Do you know what a withheld judgment means?
      Mr. Guess: Yes.
      The Court: Why don't you explain to me what you're understanding is.
      Mr. Guess: Well, I mean that — I guess, I'd explain that — my understanding of the entire agreement is that I — that I am pleading guilty to this charge and that I will spend — my punishment will include 30 days in incarceration in the Latah County jail. I will pay a $1,000 fine. And I'm pleading guilty to one of the — one of the felony charges. I'll have a year period of probation, and if I fulfill the period of probation without any problems in that period of time, that the felony charges would — would be dropped.
      Mr. Guess's Attorney: Judge, if I might?
      The Court: Yes
      Mr. Guess's Attorney: I may have misunderstood my client. Or I thought — I understood him to say that he — he thought that he would have a year period of probation. And I — I now understand him to have said that he understands that he will have a period of probation and he knows that will be determined by the Court.
      Mr. Guess: Okay.
      The Court: Well, Mr. Guess, the — I think you understand what a withheld judgment means. It means that if you comply with your terms and conditions of probation that at the conclusion of the period of probation, which is for a period of no more than five years, according to the agreement, that you could come in and petition to have your guilty plea, which you tendered today, withdrawn and the charge against you dismissed. Do you understand that?
      Mr. Guess: I do, yes.
      The court's statement as to what a withheld judgment means was accurate. If Mr. Guess complied with the terms and conditions of his probation, he could come in and petition to withdraw his guilty plea and have the charge dismissed. Mr. Guess argues that after he stated what he thought a withheld judgment was, the district court said, "I think you understand what a withheld judgment means." Mr. Guess contends that this shows that the court agreed with his understanding. However, the court then correctly stated what a withheld judgment is and asked Mr. Guess whether he understood that, to which he replied, "I do, yes." In its statement, the court stated that Mr. Guess could petition to have his guilty plea set aside, not that he would be entitled to have it set aside. Because the court's statement was accurate, there was nothing to which the prosecutor should have objected. Therefore, the alleged failure to object cannot constitute an agreement to amend the written plea agreement. The colloquy does not show either an oral amendment of the written plea agreement or a promise by the district court to allow Mr. Guess to withdraw his plea of guilty and have the charge dismissed if he complied with all terms and conditions of his probation.

    9. III.
      Did The District Court's Refusal to Permit Mr. Guess to Withdraw His Guilty Plea Indefinitely Extend His Period of Probation or Violate Due Process?
      The district court placed Mr. Guess on probation for a period of five years. He argues that by refusing to permit him to withdraw his plea of guilty and have the charge dismissed, the court has extended probation indefinitely beyond the maximum period set forth in the plea agreement. That argument is simply incorrect. A sentencing court cannot indefinitely withhold judgment in a criminal case. Ex parte Grove, 43 Idaho 775, 779, 254 P. 519, 520 (1927). Idaho Code section 19-2601(3) (Supp.2012) states that a sentencing court may "[w]ithhold judgment on such terms and for such time as it may prescribe and may place the defendant on probation." (Emphasis added.) Here, the district court's order stated that "it is ORDERED THAT THE ENTRY OF JUDGMENT BE WITHHELD and that the defendant be placed on PROBATION to the Idaho State Board of Correction FOR A PERIOD OF FIVE (5) YEARS COMMENCING AUGUST 31, 2006." Thus, judgment was withheld and Mr. Guess was on probation for five years. His period of probation was not extended by the denial of his motion. Once Mr. Guess completed the five years of probation, his probation terminated.

      Mr. Guess also argues that the failure to permit him to withdraw his plea of guilty and have the charge dismissed violates his right to due process because he was induced to plead guilty pursuant to the understanding that he would be permitted to withdraw his plea of guilty and have the
      [300 P.3d 59]
      charge dismissed if he complied with the terms and conditions of probation. In support of his motion, he stated:

      Had I known before I executed the Rule 11 Plea Agreement that after I completed the terms and conditions required under the Rule 11 Plea Agreement and the Order Withholding Judgment that I would not have the right to set aside my guilty plea, have this action dismissed and have my civil rights restored, I would never had executed the Rule 11 Plea Agreement or pled guilty to any of the charges against me. I would have proceeded to trial.
      The issue on appeal is not whether Mr. Guess should have been permitted to withdraw his plea of guilty on the ground that he did not knowingly or intelligently plead guilty. Likewise, it is not whether his attorney was ineffective in failing to properly advise him that the relief he now seeks could be denied even if he complied with all terms and conditions of his probation. The issue is whether the dialogue when he pled guilty modified the terms of the written plea agreement. It did not do so, nor could it have done so.

    10. ....Ch. 134, § 2, 1919 Idaho Sess. Laws 428, 429. (Emphasis added). The statute did not require that the defendant complete the term of probation in order to have the charge dismissed, unless the term of probation was shorter than the minimum sentence prescribed by statute for the crime. In 1948, the statute was codified as Idaho Code section 19-2604. In 1951, it was amended to delete the time restrictions for seeking relief under it and to add the requirement that relief be compatible with the public interest. The amendment also deleted the provision that the defendant could obtain a "discharge" at the end of the longest period for which he or she might have been originally sentenced by the court. As amended, section 19-2604 provided as follows:

      If sentence has been imposed but suspended, or if sentence has been withheld, upon application of the defendant and upon satisfactory showing that the defendant has at all times complied with the terms and conditions upon which he was placed on probation, the court may, if convinced by the showing made that there is no longer cause for continuing the period of probation, and if it be compatible with the public interest, either upon motion of the prosecuting attorney or of its own motion, terminate the sentence or set aside the plea of guilty or conviction of the defendant, and finally dismiss the case and discharge the defendant; and this shall apply to the cases in which defendants have been convicted and paroled by the court before this law goes into effect, as well as to cases which arise thereafter. The final dismissal of the case as herein provided shall have the effect of restoring the defendant to his civil rights.
      Ch. 99, § 1, 1951 Idaho Sess. Laws 224, 224. In 1970, the legislature removed the requirement that the motion for relief under the statute had to be on motion of the prosecuting attorney or the court's own motion. Ch. 143, § 4, 1970 Idaho Sess. Laws 425, 429-30.

      The issue of whether relief under the statute is available after the period of probation has expired has never been raised to us, and therefore we have not addressed the issue. Neither party has raised it in this case, and so we do not address it here. We note that this year the legislature amended section 19-2604 to expressly provide for relief after the period of probation has expired, although the relief granted is only the reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor. Ch. 256, § 1, Senate Bill No. 1151 (effective July 1, 2013).

    11. Lesson of the Case:

      If one has a choice between fighting one's wife, or a rhino, by all means choose to fight the rhino.

  8. Canada continues its deep dive into shitdom -

    Canadians protest Jewish school buses, defend wearing color Nazis used to mark Jews....DRUDGE


  9. March 8, 2018
    Scientists find Amelia Earhart remains, still can't explain her celebrity status
    By Ed Straker

    Scientists have found bones that they believe with "99% certainty" are those of lost pilot Amelia Earhart.

    Richard Jantz, an emeritus anthropology professor at the University of Tennessee, argues that bones discovered on the Pacific island of Nikumaroro in 1940 were likely Earhart’s remains.

    Earhart, who was attempting to fly around the world, disappeared with navigator Fred Noonan on July 2, 1937, during a flight from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island in the Pacific.

    Jantz looked at the pelvis bones and claims he recognizes them as Amelia's. Whatever.

    Amelia Earhart is held up as a celebrity. But she disappeared because either she didn't fly where she planned to or because she crashed. Either way, that is not the mark of someone who should be idolized for her piloting skills.

    And yet every child is taught in school about how brilliant Amelia Earhart was.

    Earhart is so embedded in the popular culture that she even appeared in a Star Trek: Voyager episode where she had some kind of relationship with Captain Janeway. Earhart blamed space aliens who had no respect for feminist icons, not her own pilot error, for her mishap......

  10. More Keystone Cops -

    Huh? Two SWAT Officers Suspended For Responding To Parkland Massacre
    ED MORRISSEYPosted at 2:01 pm on March 8, 2018

    One sheriff’s deputy has “retired” for not running to the fire during a mass shooting at a Parkland high school. The Miami Herald reported yesterday that two other police officers got suspended from their SWAT assignments because they ran to the fire. Jeffrey Gilbert and Carl Schlosser were working in Coral Springs when they heard about the incident and wanted to help — and that may end their SWAT careers:

    As word spread that an armed attacker was shooting up a Parkland high school, two members of the Miramar Police Department’s SWAT team responded to the scene.

    They had been training in nearby Coral Springs earlier that day and wanted to help end a deadly mass shooting that claimed 17 lives.

    But their own commander said he didn’t know they were going. And the Broward Sheriff’s Office — worried about over-crowding a chaotic scene with law enforcement officers — didn’t ask for them to show up. BSO already had its own SWAT team in motion.

    Eight days after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the two Miramar officers, Det. Jeffery Gilbert and Det. Carl Schlosser, were temporarily suspended from duty with the SWAT team. They remain on active duty with the department, according to a Miramar police spokeswoman.

    This sounds ridiculous at first, and it still might be an overreaction. However, it’s not completely unhinged, either. Be sure to read the entire article from the Herald’s Nicholas Nehamas, because it raises some pertinent issues that make this more than just a Bureaucrats Gone Mad story.

    1. First, the two skipped a critical step in failing to contact their own police department, who had no idea that they might be going into a dangerous situation. Had they contacted their chain of command, they might have been able to coordinate into the response from either the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, which had their own SWAT team on the way, or with Coral Gables police, who actually made first entry into the building. Without knowledge of their whereabouts, their commander would not have been able to coordinate that response, or more importantly let the other agencies know of their presence. The report does not say whether the two detectives were in uniform for their training, but if not, their unannounced presence could have caused more confusion in a very deadly environment.

      Second, Miramar had already sent over additional uniformed officers and a victim advocate after hearing of the mass shooting, coordinating that with BSO command. They also placed their SWAT team on standby, which is likely where Gilbert and Schlosser would have been directed to go had they contacted their command as required.

      Notably, their suspension only applies to their SWAT assignment, not to their active-duty status. SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics, and the latter means coordination as a team rather than individuals. The courage of the two men in wanting to run to the fire is undeniably commendable, but going outside the chain of command is a poor tactical choice, especially in someone else’s jurisdiction. Nehamas spoke with retired Miami Beach detective Pat Franklin, who emphasized this point:

      “This is not their area, this is not their jurisdiction,” said Franklin, who consults with law enforcement agencies on internal affairs investigations. “You don’t want to let those guys loose into something that’s chaotic where they might take inappropriate action. It is prudent to have them stand down unless there is a plan.”

      It’s a valid point, and reinforcing the chain of command is a vital point in law enforcement. Miramar PD has to enforce that chain of command in order to maintain proper discipline, and proper discipline in law enforcement is something we all should value.

      It’s not the only value, though, which is why this still rankles. It appears that the BSO response was insufficiently assertive and that might have cost lives, so having two men demonstrate this kind of bravery and dedication provides an even starker contrast to the apparent failures of the official response. We want to reward that kind of dedication and bravery rather than punish people for it. Hopefully, Gilbert and Schlosser will get reinstated to SWAT duty after an appropriate reminder of the need to act within the chain of command, which seems like the most just outcome.

  11. Jeff Sessions ‘Seriously Considering’ a Second Special Counsel

    The second special counsel would investigate indications of bias at the Justice Department and FBI.
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he is “seriously” weighing the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate possible abuses of power by the the FBI and Justice Department in the investigation of Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election.

    Two Republicans, House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte and Representative Trey Gowdy, demanded on Tuesday that Sessions make the move. Their letter to Sessions requests that the new special counsel investigate “evidence of bias,” the “decisions to charge or not charge,” and the use of political opposition research in court filings by “former and current” officials at the DOJ and FBI during the last two years. The Justice Department inspector general is not capable of conducting such an investigation because the scope of the crimes is too wide, they later told reporters.

    “I have great respect for Mr. Gowdy and Chairman Goodlatte, and we are going to consider seriously their recommendations,” Sessions told Fox News on Wednesday night. He revealed that he has appointed someone outside of Washington with “many years at the Department of Justice” to look into the concerns raised by the House Judiciary Committee members. And while admitting that the inspector general is “not very strong,” he said the IG’s office has almost 500 employees, most of them lawyers and prosecutors, looking at the alleged abuses.

    The FBI and DOJ came under fire earlier this year for allegedly failing to inform the FISA court that their application to spy on Trump campaign official Carter Page was supported by Democratic opposition research.

    “I am well aware that we have a responsibility to ensure the integrity of the FISA process,” Sessions assured. “We are not afraid to look at that.”

    1. Good as far as it goes but it doesn't go far enough.

      We need a special counsel to investigate Hillary, Inc.

      Though this might slop over into it.

    2. Then there's the issue of a 4th Special Counsel to investigate how Quirk got his name on the Presidential ballot.

  12. Time for the stage cane to yank Nan offstage for good.

    ‘Um ... um ... um’
    Mar 8, 2018

  13. My first reaction to the Korean news is that when Fatso Kim III steps into the Peace House, which is in South Korean territory the South Koreans ought to arrest him, then shoot him.

    That's my first reaction.

    On second thought.....

    1. ....Maybe give the North Koreans Dennis Rodman in exchange.


  14. Can't wait to hear what Quirk has to say about The Donald getting Little Rocket Man to a meeting.

  15. President Donald Trump said he would meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un by May to achieve denuclearization, South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-Yong said Thursday in a short statement outside the White House.


    Asked about the developments earlier this week, Trump expressed optimism, saying he believed overtures from the North Koreans were "sincere," attributing them to "very, very strong" sanctions and increased pressure from China.

  16. Another breathtaking Trumpian triumph.

    Will anything come of it ?


    1. We do know Rocket Man would just laugh at Jill Stein.


  17. Turkey's military alongside Free Syrian Army allies have seized control of the second most populated town in the district from Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters after capturing a hill overlooking the town a day earlier, it said on Thursday.

    Jandaris is about 20km away from central Afrin, the last major YPG outpost.

    "The entire city of Jandaris was liberated from the secessionist gangs. The fight will continue until the whole of Afrin is cleared of them,"

    The Montengard Redux

    The USA dishonored once again

    Promises Made - Promises Broken


  18. Followers of the ecologically dubious and largely pointless Cadiz water project in the Mojave Desert might have pricked up their ears last week at reports of a possible conflict of interest involving Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law, and the investment firm Apollo Global Management.
    That's because Apollo is a sizable investor in Cadiz, which has received favorable regulatory treatment from the Trump administration after years of thumbs-down rulings under the Obama administration and from local and state officials. Apollo and Cadiz announced the $60-million investment, along with a "conditional" $240 million in construction financing, on May 2.

    Most. Corropt. Administration. Ever

  19. And just last month, at the surprise of state and federal officials and desert communities, the Department of Interior reopened the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. The plan was the result of an exhaustive and science-driven eight-year process between federal, local and state government, energy producers, conservationists, and recreationists.


    We must stand up and work together to protect our desert. This means fighting the Cadiz project, keeping full protections intact for our national monuments, and speaking out against the national park fee increases and the plan to reopening the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.

    It is our generation’s responsibility to protect what has been given to us, and to safely deliver it to the generations to come.

    California Desert

  20. Trump should cut a deal with Erdogan: The YPG will sever all support for the PKK in return for the Turks pulling back. As long as the YPG sticks to this bargain, the United States will use its airpower and advisers to defend the Syrian Kurdish enclave east of the Euphrates River, just as it committed after the 1991 Gulf War to defend the Iraqi Kurds.


    Leaving Assad in control of three-quarters of Syria will be a bitter pill to swallow. He is not only a war criminal but also a threat to Israel — as long as Assad remains in charge, Iran will attempt to establish military bases in Syria.

    But Israel can defend itself, and we missed our best opportunity under Obama to oust Assad. Now we have no choice but to accept the grim reality — Assad is going to win — while trying to ameliorate the worst excesses of his murderous reign.

    Let Assad Win

  21. .

    Most corrupt administration ever?

    Hmmm. Since the statement has the words 'most' and 'ever' in it, Trump might even agree.

    If from force of habit if nothing else.


  22. .

    Speaking of which...

    DougThu Mar 08, 03:40:00 PM EST
    I have a problem.


    Admittedly so. However, at this point, that can hardly be considered [[ Breaking News! ]].

    Perhaps, if you and the other Twin could somehow muster up one or two brain nodes apiece, by rubbing them together you could generate enough synaptic activity to come up with some basic, primordial thought like say ...fude...


    Answer the question.

    My. You sound a little grumpy, son, but all right.

    As I noted above, your basic question is mere diversion since you obviously ignored all context. The article I posted pointed out that Trump had once again broken a key promise made to his base, in this case, that he would 'Drain the D.C. Swamp', remove the lobbyists and special interest that inhabit the place. Instead of draining the swamp, Trump has expanded and stocked it with even more predatory species.

    The article goes on at length explaining the degree to which he has done this, more lobbyist than ever, meeting with big-money doners (something he said he eschewed during his campaign), nepotism, ethical waivers, conflicts of interests, refusal to fully divest of much of his empire, using the office of president for personal gain, the list goes on. Trump has turned his administration into a giant money making scheme, not for the country but for him and his friends and families. And this is all in just year one. By the end of his term, there is little doubt Trump will finally be telling the truth when he says he has accomplished something nobody else has.

    Doug's reflection on the article?

    What's wrong with that?

    I would argue that the answer is obvious to anyone with a brain and a flicker of morality.


    1. {...}

      But defying logic, something we've come to expect from the Dougster, he then conflates perverse behavior in the Trump administration with...

      ...esp given that you're OK with Mueller hiring Hillary lawyers!

      While it may seem obvious to anyone with a modicum of commen sense, let me first point out that Mueller did not hire any 'Hillary lawyers'. He hired lawyers to accomplish the job he was given. The only case that would justify Doug's question would be if it could be shown that any personal biases they might have actually created a conflict of interest that affected their work.

      To everyone who has in the past claimed that being a Dem would negatively affect the way these lawyers approach the job they've been asked to do, I've asked (on numerous occasion) for them to give me some examples to prove it. Show me one thing from the Mueller investigation that shows they have done anything that is illegal or even unethical. To date, I've received no answer whatsoever from Doug or any of his friends.

      As special counsel, Mueller runs an 'investigation'. At the end of that investigation, he will present his report to Rosenstein who will determine whether he will make the report public or not. Mueller will also present recommendations based on his investigation. If he recommends indicting and prosecuting anyone, Rosenstein will determine whether he lets Mueller proceed and only then will Mueller be allowed to prosecute the case. There is no guarantee anyone would be found guilty of anything.

      Collusion is one of the more difficult crimes to get a conviction on. Obstruction of justices is also difficult to prosecute (though 'The Mouth' probably makes it easier). The chances of bringing a criminal case is small. If the resuslts revolve around ethical violations, then the issue of impeachment may be raised. But just as with the criminal case, getting an impeachemnt through Congress would be nigh impossible given the political make-up there.

      The IG investigation regarding the FBI investigation of Hillary would follow the same track except if the IG makes recommendations (political or criminal), instead of the guy heading the investigation becoming the guy who prosecutes the case, it would be someone else assigned by DOJ. That's why the GOP claim that the IG investigation is faulty because it doesn't have prosecutorial powers is silly.



    2. {...}

      So while Doug sees no difference between the swamp created by Trump and the Mueller investigation given that he has hired lawyers with a Dem bent, there really is a big one.

      In one case, you have an ongoing investigation by career professionals who have given no hint that they have done anything wrong or unethical despite speculation and innuendo sans proof from the usual suspects insinuating they 'must have'.

      On the other hand,

      You have an administration containing an ethically challenged cabinet a full 1/3 of which are currently under investigation for ethical (if not criminal) violations. You have an administration with cabinet and agency heads whose past experience and philosophies are inimical to those of the agencies they run. And before you say, "Ah, I told you so," remember that unlike the Mueller team where no accusations have been proven, Trump's team are the guys who 'have' already written new rules, that 'have' already changed mission statements and put policies in place, that "have' already begun through their actions sticking to the American people.

      And it's not just the headline grabbing stuff, the $400k for first class airfares, the $140k for new doors to the Secretary's office, or the boondoggle tours with the wife on the taxpayers dime. Sure Ben Carson was going to spend $31,000 on a dining set for his office, but more meaningful is he had HUD's mission statement modified to eliminate the 'nondiscriminatory pledge'. Sure the fact that Ryan Zinke's wife Lolita is using Interior Department personnel to help with her planning and travel arrangements is tacky at best but much worse is that until stopped by an uproar from the GOP he was selling off that property he recently removed from the national monument list to private individuals. And sure Scott Pruitt at EPA may spend $ hundreds of thousands on first class airfare and another $25k for a 'soundpoof booth' in his office (I'm not fucking kidding) but more important is the fact he has gutted the EPA, reversed rules and regulations on air quality, clean coal emissions, clean water, toxic clean-up, and took other actions that will end up seriously affecting everyone in the US including Trump's base.

      And Doug and the Trumpkins say, 'Thank you, sir, may I have another?'


    3. No proof whatsoever that the FBI leadership is corrupt.

      (Letting Hillary off is proof of their honesty and integrity.)

      Career professionals like Mueller and Comey: What's not to like?

    4. Fox News contributor Sara A. Carter reports former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele knew that the Clinton campaign was footing the bill for the anti-Trump dossier, yet the FBI never included this information in its FISA court application for Carter Page.


      Mueller's best buddies and ethical cousins.

    5. The Department of Justice ignored Congressional requests to turn over the transcripts of the FISA court hearings on Carter Page.


      Career professionals!

      What corruption???


    6. .

      The Inspector General will get to the bottom of this, he's a career professional.


    7. Two dozen witnesses have left the department: Horowitz now has no jurisdiction.

    8. .

      Diversion thy name is Doug.

      What's any of this have to do with your comment about the lawyers on Mueller's team. You have been whining about it since day one. I have asked you for evidence of wrongdoing at least half a dozen times and every time I ask you withdraw into your lava tube and disappear for a day. If you have something to share please do it. Otherwise your whine is simply an another piece annoying white noise in the background.


    9. .

      If Sessions want's another special counsel to investigate the handling of the Clinton emails or the FISA warrant, that's fine but don't try to confuse those issues with the Mueller investigation.

      Even your buddy Trey Gowdy says there is no connection.


    10. .


      Otherwise your whine is simply another piece annoying piece of white noise in the background.

      (It was worth saying twice anyway.)


  23. How about some examples, five examples ?

    1. Trump has turned his administration into a giant money making scheme, not for the country but for him and his friends and families.

    2. .

      Get your nose out of American Thinker and read some real news.

      Try and keep up.


    3. Knew you couldn't come up with anything.

    4. .

      Damn, Bob, not only do you not watch or read legitimate media, you don't even read the stuff that's put up here. The rat has put up examples. I have put up a few myself. You simply ignore them.

      Trump has run the gamut on the conflict of interest list, from the macro (millions of tax breaks for himself and billions for family and friends) to the micro (an immigration policy that hurts industries right and left but never his) to the absurd and tacky (putting the presidential seal on ball markers sold at his resorts). They are constantly in the news. You have to go out of your way to avoid them that or hole up in your fake news universe. Here's an article from the Atlantic listing about 40 or 50 of them.

      If you want to find anything critical of Trump it's down right stupid to expect you will find any reference to it in AT or jihadwatch. Are you that stupid, Bob? Really?


    5. .


  24. TRUMP, the man that stared down Kim Fatso III.

    1. .

      BobThu Mar 08, 09:21:00 PM EST
      Can't wait to hear what Quirk has to say about The Donald getting Little Rocket Man to a meeting.

      If this turns into something positive I will be the first to give Trump the amount of credit he's due. Well, not the first since you've already done it months before anything is scheduled to happen.

      And as with most things, I can wait for results. As to this apparent move towards rapprochement, I trust what Kim says almost as much as I trust what Trump says. That should tell you where my skepticism meter sits at the moment.

      I hope I'm wrong. As it stands, talking about meetings is more encouraging than talking about war.