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Member since: Mon Apr 22, 2019, 02:26 PM
Number of posts: 18,486

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CNN: Democrats quietly limit House GOP effort to press for probes into Biden administration

House Democrats have quietly moved to restrict the GOP's ability to use its limited power in the minority to press for investigations, an effort that has Republicans crying foul as they seek to pressure their foes over the Biden administration's handling of Afghanistan.

According to publicly available documents reviewed by CNN, Democrats in March began slipping language into House rules that essentially blocks Republicans from using a "resolution of inquiry." That tool allows a lawmaker to formally request information from the executive branch. Once the inquiry is introduced, the relevant committee is required to act within 14 days or else it can be brought up as a privileged resolution on the House floor.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed Sep 22, 2021, 04:15 PM (10 replies)

A mother's plea: "Do You Not See My Son?'"

'Do You Not See My Son?' The Mother of Jelani Day Says Case is Not Getting The Attention It Deserves

The mother of missing Illinois State University graduate student Jelani Day said the discovery of an unidentified body on Sept. 4 seems to have brought her son’s case to a standstill.

“Since they found that unidentified body, it doesn’t seem to me that they are pushing to continue to look for my son,” Carmen Bolden Day said of authorities.

Day was last seen in Bloomington on Aug. 24. He is still considered a missing person and the case is being handled by the Bloomington Police Department. Bolden Day said BPD seems to lack the manpower to devote more than one detective to the investigation.
Bolden Day has drawn attention on social media to the disparity she perceives between her son’s case and that of missing Florida woman Gabby Petito. Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11 after her boyfriend returned to Florida from a road trip without her. The case has garnered national media attention and is being investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies including the FBI.

Bolden Day said in pointing out the differences between Day and Petito’s cases, she isn’t arguing that Petito deserves less, but that Day deserves more. As a mother, Bolden Day said, she understands what Petito’s family is going through and would never minimize their pain.

“But do you not see us? Do you not see me? Do you not see my son?”

Posted by StarfishSaver | Tue Sep 21, 2021, 09:55 PM (11 replies)

We see regular, often harsh criticism of the media for their decisions on what and who to cover

We see criticism of their editorial choices, whom they choose to cover (how tired are we of having to listen to Trump voters babbling in diners and Republican House Members babbling on talk shows, etc.?), how much coverage we give them, whom they are not covering, etc. With few exceptions, that criticism is accepted with complete agreement and very little, if any pushback by people defending their editorial choices or making excuses for them.

So it's been very surprising and odd that the recent criticism of the media's tendency to provide saturation coverage of young, attractive white women who go missing and/or are murdered while giving virtually no attention to Black and brown women who face the same tragic fate, has been met with such vigorous and sometimes hostile and accusatory defenses that we've seen in the past couple of days.

I think this is the first instance in which I've seen folks circle their wagons around the media against allies who are simply pointing out the obvious - that a media we all recognize as deeply flawed and biased in many different ways sometimes allows racial bias to affect its coverage, just as its other biases do.

Not sure why it's fine to go after the press for their other biases that affect what they cover and how they cover it, but discussing how racial bias impacts their coverage - or even mentioning that one of those biases is racial - triggers such a defensive reaction.

Something to think about.

New York state and city prosecutors have been investigating Trump's crimes for years

While investigations aren't normally discussed publicly, we know about these investigations because prosecutors had to go to court to obtain some of the evidence Trump was fighting. And even then, all we knew about the investigation is that they were seeking financial records to submit to the grand jury. Since those court cases were resolved, we have heard and know little else about what's going on with the investigations.

These investigations have been ongoing for years but have not yet resulted in a single indictment. And yet, we've seen very few, if any attacks against Cyrus Vance, Jr. or Letitia James, accusing them of being weak or ineffective or doing nothing because they're not giving us an inside view of what's going on with the investigations we are seeing or hearing nothing about.

But some Democrats are going after Merrick Garland, the man President Biden has entrusted to head the Justice Department, and accusing him of all manner of neglect and malfeasance because his team hasn't, in the 8 months since he took office, indicted a man who's also been under investigation in New York State for years, with no indictment yet forthcoming.

If the New York investigation should tell us anything, it should remind people that investigations like this are long, complicated, and confidential and don't result in instant indictments, regardless how impatient for instant gratification any of us may be.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Sat Sep 18, 2021, 01:28 PM (61 replies)

How would you react if on the morning of January 6th 2022, Merrick Garland announced

criminal indictments against several persons, including Donald J. Trump, for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, fraud, tax evasion, bribery, among other charges, as part of a massive RICO prosecution?
Posted by StarfishSaver | Fri Sep 17, 2021, 12:45 PM (43 replies)

"Here's a Simple but Powerful Way to Understand White Privilege"

Here's an excerpt but I urge you to read the entire essay.

Here’s a Simple but Powerful Way to Understand White Privilege

The difference between the presumption of belonging and the burden of representation

By Tim Wise

When white people hear the term “white privilege,” we often recoil, assuming we are being accused of having led a charmed life without difficulties — or of being rich and powerful, even though, like most, we have faced periods of financial insecurity. We may even be facing such now.

But no one who talks about the problem of racism and white privilege means it that way — literally, no one.

While there are occupational, income, housing availability, and wealth advantages for white people, relative to folks of color, tied to both multi-generational structures of inequity and ongoing bias, these are not the most important part of what we mean when discussing white privilege.

In many ways, white privilege is less about those material advantages per se than the psychological edge it provides to white people — an edge that can then translate into other forms of advantage, including material ones.

I’ve written about this previously as the privilege of having one less thing to sweat in any number of daily interactions. It’s knowing that no matter how stressful your work, loan application process, classroom experiences, or interactions with police, your race will not signal to the boss, banker, teacher, or cop something negative about your intelligence, work ethic, creditworthiness, or law-abidingness.
When it comes to having one less thing to worry about, perhaps the best example is being able to take for granted that others will likely see you as belonging in the spaces where you find yourself ... For the Black and brown, rather than a presumption of belonging, there is a burden of representation. By this, I mean a feeling that they must hold it down and prove themselves, not only as individuals — a pressure we all feel — but for their group as a whole, lest their failure or inadequacy reflect poorly on others like them.

Posted by StarfishSaver | Thu Sep 16, 2021, 09:20 PM (10 replies)

If this doesn't make you smile

I don't know what will:

Posted by StarfishSaver | Wed Sep 15, 2021, 01:12 PM (24 replies)

Something to consider about prosecuting Trump

Many people here and elsewhere are expressing frustration that DOJ hasn't yet charged Trump with any crimes. Some of these folk insist that there is already more than enough evidence just based on the public record that Trump is guilty of some crimes and the lack of indictments by DOJ for those crimes at this point is proof of negligence, malfeasance and worse on DOJ's part.

Setting aside the fact that what may be sufficient to convince dedicated rank-and-file Democrats of Trump's guilt is very different than what prosecutors will have to prove in a court of law to convince 12 jurors of his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, there is also another very important fact to consider:

In high profile, high stakes, complex cases like this one, prosecutors almost always prefer to pull all of the charges together into one indictment, rather indicting in dribs and drabs, bringing a charge now, and then later adding another charge, and later adding more charges. And while prosecutors may already have enough evidence to support an indictment for some charges that are easier to prove, they are likely to hold off on indicting on those charges until they have wrapped up their investigations of other acts and included those charges in the comprehensive indictment.

In short, prosecutors aren't likely to bring any indictment while the investigations of other crimes are ongoing.

Along those lines, it's also very likely that the more serious charges are dependent upon the lesser charges - the wrongdoing is meshed together and built upon and must be presented together as a big picture made up of a continuous pattern of related activity. This is probably very much like - or is - a RICO case that doesn't simply focus on individual acts of wrongdoing but proves a larger series of interactive, interlocking crimes resulting in a major criminal undertaking.

And when building this kind of case, prosecutors do not publicly discuss their progress - or even disclose whether an investigation is underway. Public disclosure at this stage can land a death blow to a successful investigation and prosecution.

So, while some folks are impatient and feeling as if the lack of indictments at this point is a sign that DOJ is not actively pursuing Trump and/or no indictments will be forthcoming, it is important to understand how these kinds of investigations tend to develop. In this instance, DOJ's silence is NOT any indication of inaction and, in fact, suggests the opposite.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Tue Sep 14, 2021, 10:45 PM (12 replies)

A modest proposal

I'm offering a suggestion - folks can take it or leave it, of course

When seeing the Democrats do something that one of us doesn't understand, instead of rushing out a "WTF are the Democrats DOING?! What is WRONG with them?!?!" OP that implies to readers that the writer is assuming the Dems are complicit, stupid or cowardly, it might be a good idea to instead just ask what the reasoning behind the Dems' action could be.

I suggest this because when other posters challenge such OPs as too harsh, appearing to bash Democrats, etc., the response is often something along the lines of "I was just asking a question."

If any of us are really interested in understanding why the Democrats are taking a particular course of action and think others here might know a good reason, framing the question as suggested, instead of within what many read as an accusation, could go a long way toward tamping down unnecessarily angry and divisive back-and-forths.

As I said, just a suggestion. Do with it what you will.
Posted by StarfishSaver | Mon Sep 13, 2021, 04:08 PM (20 replies)

Can you pass this law school pop quiz on the Constitution?

Be sure to read all the way to the end ...



I gave my law class a pop quiz today.

10 questions.

Go ahead and take it.

1. Which of the following is a right guaranteed by the Bill of Rights?
_____Public Education _____ Employment ____ Trial by Jury _____Voting

2. When the Constitution was approved by the original colonies, how many states had to ratify it in order for it to be in effect?

3. If a person flees from justice into another state, who has authority to ask for his return?

4. Money is coined by order of: __U.S. Congress ___The President’s Cabinet ___State Legislatures

5. A U.S. senator elected at the general election in November takes office the following year on what date?

6. Name the man who runs the FBI

7. Name two of the purposes of the U.S. Constitution.

8. Name the Attorney General of the United States

9. Name two things which the states are forbidden to do by the U.S. Constitution:

10. If it were proposed to join Alabama and Mississippi to form one state, what groups would have to vote approval in order for this to be done? _____

10 questions.

How’d you do?

Now imagine 55 more questions like this.

If you got 7 wrong total (out of 65), you would not have been allowed to vote in Alabama in 1965.

This was the “literacy test.”

(And no class I’ve ever taught, 2Ls and 3Ls, has ever passed).


Posted by StarfishSaver | Fri Sep 10, 2021, 09:11 PM (28 replies)
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