Sidebar: Civil Forfeiture and the Temptation to Seize – Institute for Justice
1) The Demands of their Party
2) The requests of their Corporate Donors & Generates more Donations
3) What looks good in media & is responsive to the major polls, helps with their next reelection campaign
4) The process of dealmaking & wheeling & dealing, trading legislative favors.
5) The governance of the country.
6) The needs of their business constituents
7) The needs of their individual constituents, especially the influential and politically connected ones within their community.
The fact that the individual constituent is last on this list is the opposite of how the founders intended our representative republic to work. The fact that they place party over country is akin to treason, since the Republican Party is not much different than the allegiance to a foreign power in that it does not place US & Governance first.
In this light – with partisanship overruling common sense and patriotism, with the fact that Republicans are defending even the most egregious and well, stupid, behavior by an elected president that seems determined to destroy the hard won network of alliances and trade relationships that help keep the United States firmly straddled atop the peak of the free world. His short sighted thinking & ideas that sound good after a couple of beers in a bar, but when executed in the complex, real world, where there are both easily predicted and unforeseen unintended consequences that always crop up are, and will serve to permanently damage America’s tactical & strategic military, economic, and diplomatic world interests.
His worldwide business ties, which are not fully known or understood – provide a wealth of conflicts of interests, and myriad of conflicting motivations which have never been revealed – much less understood; while his propensity to lie more often than he tells the truth mean we can not believe anything he says about these business ties and conflicts – and of course – he continues to hide those tax returns.
So, while Republicans continue to blindly defend this, putting party over country – they have no credibility to investigate, but neither do democrats, because they would be equally blind on a witch hunt. An independent prosecutor is the only solution.
This was a great panel discussion about Peter Wallisen’s book “Hidden in Plain Site” which is about the cause of the recent financial crisis, and how we are likely to be headed back into one. As a dissenting member of the congressional inquiry commission he presents staring data that it was caused by Federal Policies forcing Fanny May & Freddy Mac to buy mortgages serving certain target affordability classifications- which they in turn responded to by turning off their underwriting standards and buying scads of sub-prime mortgages (previously they had been famous for buying only prime mortgages).
This single policy began inflating the bubble in the mid 90’s
The Supreme Court has handed down its decision in Elonis v. United States, a case that had sweeping implications for free speech on the Internet. The Obama Administration sought to establish a low standard for criminalizing speech based on a reasonable person standard that would have gutted the requirement of scienter or intent in establishing a criminal threat. The Court adopted the narrowest basis to remand the case but it clearly rejected the lower standard sought by the Administration. In doing so, free speech dodged a bullet today and the Obama Administration came perilously close to rolling back on protections for free speech on both the Internet and social media.
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There is an interesting development in the case of North Augusta (S.C.) officer Justin Craven in the alleged murder of 68-year-old Ernest Satterwhite. Despite public disclosure laws, the police are refusing to release the videotape because the describe it as shocking and disturbing. Some would argue that that is precisely why it should be available to the public.
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Yet another reason to be worried.
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor
You may not have heard of it before, but the government has the ability to shut off cell phone service at any time, under the guise of National Security. The Department of Homeland Security has an operating procedure known as Standard Operating Procedure 303( SOP 303) and it has been labeled as the cell phone “kill switch”.
I knew very little about the “kill switch” before today, but according to a recent Al Jezeera America article, the kill switch authority is being currently debated in Federal court.
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When the government protects itself from the most heinous, morally reprehensible and negligent acts of its agencies and agents in clear violation of the Constitution (here taking both life and property without due process) then the result is that none of us can feel secure from it, none of us have redress through the courts because that redress has been made moot. And boondoggles like this and Fast and Furious become common place, bad ideas that nobody stops before people die because they know neither they nor their agency will in any way ever be held responsible.
Yes – This is what the War on Drugs, and Yes, even the War on Terror net you. Ideas that sounded good on paper, but ultimately were just excuses for overreaching Executive police powers, the loss of Liberty, and the erosion of Civil Rights.
Once these things are gone they can not be reclaimed.
There is a troubling case out of Houston that shows the continuing immunity of the government from even lethal acts of negligence. In Patty v. United States, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54871A, Plaintiff Steven Craig Patty sought damages in a bizarre case where the DEA paid one of his drivers, without his knowledge, to participate in a highly dangerous drug sting with one of the most violent Mexican drug cartels. Lawrence Chapa, 53, (right) the driver, (who had been arrested in 2010 for possession of a controlled substance) was shot eight times. The sting went badly and resulted in the killing of Patty’s driver and shooting up his tractor-trailer. He claimed conversion, abuse of process, and constitutional torts, but U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal ruled that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is not liable to him even for the repair of this tractor-trailer. It is all an example…
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