Morning Ed: Law & Order {2017.05.16.Tu}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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79 Responses

  1. Avatar Dark Matter says:

    [13 more football players]

    We lost a couple of football players last year when they pulled an armed robbery on someone who recognized them. Major U. Full ride scholarship. “Hey, let’s go flush our lives!”Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw says:

      That sounds similar to some U of Illinois football players last week: “The trio . . . apparently wore masks during the alleged break-in early Wednesday morning. When one of the players spoke, though, . . . the alleged victim recognized the voice. At that point, . . the suspect pulled his mask off and tried to make light of the situation, while one of them produced what we now know to be fake firearm and demanded cash.”Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      Accepting money from a willing donor would be a grave violation of the amateur ideal, but does the NCAA care, if the money is taken from an unwilling victim?Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter says:

        I think it’s only at a professional level that they look the other way. Or maybe it’s a State thing. Local Coach kicked them off the team instantly.

        But as often as this happens, maybe it means an athletic scholarship isn’t enough and the U should be giving out spending money?Report

  2. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    We had a very extensive discussion on Gypsy Blanchard in August 2016. Most of the commentariat believed that the situation was very complicated but even evil a-holes deserve the protection of the law and killing them outside of self-defense is still murder. The general consensus was that Gypsy received a relatively appropriate punishment, she is in jail for murder but is suffering a relatively lenient sentence based on the facts of the case. There were a minority of the commentariat that believed Gypsy should not have been convicted based on being an abuse victim in a system that failed.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Thanks. I thought it sounded familiar but couldn’t quite place it.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Gypsy was a lot more complicated than “Politician casts unpopular vote, declines to waste time meeting with every upset constituent”.

      There is no way this is justified, and those commenters who seem OK with it need a reality check.Report

      • Avatar PD Shaw says:

        I don’t think Lee is making an equivalence; just pointing out that the “Lifetime” link was extensively discussed here before.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        I am not sure how you got that through my comment, especially since I did not mention the vehicular assault case in my comment.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

          Assume when I wrote that comment, I had not yet followed the “Lifetime Movie” link & thus had no idea why you were bringing up the Gypsy case except as it relates to “people excusing bad behavior because of X” (which is part of the first set of links).

          My bad, but that was my coffee deprived thought chain.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw says:

      It looks like the trial of the online boyfriend still has not taken place. His defense team has a psychologist to testify to diminished capacity that would preclude a first degree murder charge:

      [Defense Psychologist] Franks said Godejohn is on the autism spectrum and spent most of his time on the internet and playing video games. The psychologist described the murder suspect as more like a child than an adult. He said his IQ is 82 and he functions at the level of a 10- or 11-year-old person.

      The psychologist’s findings could result in Godejohn being found guilty of a lesser charge than first-degree murder, which requires someone to deliberate before killing another person.


      Prosecutors have asked for more time to have their own experts review the defendant.Report

  3. Avatar notme says:

    Hillary Clinton Launches Unlimited ‘Dark Money’ Group

    Didn’t she complain about it during the campaign?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Fight fire with fire, sometimes.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        Just like Obama complaining about the 1% then going on a speaking tour? Having principles when they are convenient suits the Dems.Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          Having functioning brains never seems to suit Republicans.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

          Just like Obama complaining about the 1% then going on a speaking tour?

          What does one have to do with the other, exactly?

          I’m not claiming the speech thing isn’t just a big part of a big corruption machine, but I simply don’t get how the two are connected. Are you thinking that Obama’s position was that making money is bad?Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      I will admit that a cancellation after 2 issues is pretty lame, given how willing Marvel has been to publish crap stories to their conclusion in the past.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw says:

      Actual readers may not have had time to decide whether they liked it or not.

      TNC’s Black Panther #1 sold 286,755 copies to retailers last year (4/16), but those numbers have steadily declined: 35,492 copies of BP # 11 (2/17) and 30,509 copies of BP # 13 (4/17).

      For the new spin-off series, retailers ordered about 35,604 copies of Crew #1 (4/17), which is around how many Black Panther comics were being sold at the time Crew #1 orders had to be placed. We don’t have numbers for Crew #2 yet, but usually a second issue gets around 25% to 30% less than the first issue, and a third issue will drop another 15%.

      It’s quite possible that the decision to cancel the series was inevitable before a reader got to read an issue, and the primary factor appears to be TNC’s diminishing sales on the main title with nobody thinking a spinoff would expand the market.Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        It sounds like Marvel could have given this a bit longer to run to get real numbers. But if you say a second issue would get 25%-30% less that may have been enough to drop it now, as a second issue would only have run approximately 26,700. That being said Marvel can’t make folks buy the comics.Report

        • Avatar PD Shaw says:

          Marvel might have anticipated that the comic book might not sell very well and was ready to pull the plug quickly if certain numbers were not met. If they had offered it initially as a limited series, sales would have been lower as people decided to wait for it to be collected. As of now, they’ll have a collected story ready for Barnes & Noble next year when the BP movie comes out. Everybody will do fine.

          Coates’ success at writing does not appear to translate to comics though. Going from 286,755 units sold to 30,509 in a year means that roughly 90% of the people who read Black Panther #1 are no longer reading the series.Report

  4. Avatar notme says:

    Will, you don’t understand that running him off the road is okay bc no one was hurt and it starts a discussion, or something along those lines.Report

  5. Avatar notme says:

    FBI arrests Tucson man over threats to U.S. Rep. Martha McSally for supporting Trump.

    If the roles were reversed I’m sure Dems would be on every talk show babbling about violent Repubs.Report

  6. Avatar Kazzy says:

    “Running him off the road” feels like an inaccurate description of decidedly bad behavior.Report

  7. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    “running off the road” gonna be hella funny when it turns out that her car wasn’t within a hundred yards of his and never exceeded the speed limit, and the “running off the road” was akin to the “threatening gestures” black men make that justifies shooting them 47 times.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Not that we can trust the news, but the news says this:

      After the congressman wrapped up his May 8 meeting at the university, Wright allegedly tried to stop him on campus and talk to him about her grievances, Plunk said. When the congressman drove away in his car, “that’s why she began following him,” Plunk said, adding that it was for about five miles before the congressman pulled into the driveway of a farmer he was familiar with.

      When Kustoff’s vehicle entered the driveway, police said Wright got out of her car and “began screaming and striking the windows” of his vehicle. At one point she allegedly reached inside his car and then tried to block the vehicle from moving, police said.

      Turning this into an argument over whether she ran the guy off the road is probably in her best interest. That way, we can make the point that “she didn’t run him off the road!”

      That said, the story also mentions this:

      Someone called 911 during the encounter, but Wright left before police arrived. Authorities later identified her after she posted about the incident on Facebook, the sheriff’s department said, but declined to provide details about her post.

      There are a lot of things that her post might have said.
      Given that the sheriff department declined to provide details, I imagine that the post will be read to a jury at some point.

      Her best bet is to go for something like jury nullification by way of “she was acting in self-defense” and making this a national trial rather than a local one. Turn this interaction into a national argument over health care (with a smattering of “representatives’ responsibilities to constituents”) rather than over felonious reckless endangerment.

      And her lawyer should hammer “she didn’t run him off the road!” like it’s a mantra. “They’re going to argue that my client ran this guy off the road. She didn’t run him off the road!” (Shows evidence of felonious reckless endangerment) “See? Even the prosecution agrees that she didn’t run him off the road!”Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        “Turning this into an argument over whether she ran the guy off the road is probably in her best interest.”

        It is also, ya know, in the truth’s best interest that things are reported and described accurately.

        The identified behavior, assuming it is true, is bad enough that mischaracterizing it serves no interest beyond, well, mischaracterizing it for someone’s gain.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          It is also, ya know, in the truth’s best interest that things are reported and described accurately.

          I can’t claim to speak on behalf of the truth.

          I’m only gaming out what’s likely to happen when it goes to trial.

          If they keep this local and small and quiet, she’s going to jail for a felony. This guy is a congressman, for crying out loud.

          If it turns into a national case that explains how much insecurity people are feeling over health care and the lengths that ordinary people have to go to in order to exercise their First Amendment Right to Petition the Government for Redress of Grievances and isn’t it true that by ignoring this poor woman this congressman was violating her First Amendment Rights… she might get off with a slap on the wrist.

          And that’s the truth.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        The thing is…

        I would not be at all surprised to learn that someone had, in fact, pursued a member of Congress who they felt had ignored their concerns and attempted to flee. Or that they actually had banged on car windows and attempted to stick their arms into the car.

        But. I also would not be at all surprised to learn that these things hadn’t happened, that (as I said) the person doing the “pursuing” was following but wasn’t anywhere near the congressman or his car. That this is, as I suggested earlier, one of those times where threatening behavior was identified ex post facto the response to it.

        Because both of those kinds of stories are happening now, and I guess all I can say is what I say for everything else like this–“camera first”. If you see something happening, get out that smartphone and start recording.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Oh, indeed.

          Which makes her facebook post somewhat important.

          God help her if her post is one that makes everybody say something like “oooof, glad I’m not her lawyer”.Report

          • Avatar Burt Likko says:

            Oh, I’ve dealt with more incriminating statements by my clients than that.

            …Usually by reaching a settlement outside of court, but yeah.

            Sometimes your client hands you some really crappy cards and you play them as best you can. Lawyering: if it were easy, everyone would do it.Report

  8. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Re saving the internet… Charlie Stross’s version of a rejection notice from a publisher based on a hypothetical novelization of the events as we know them. Clearly should have included a group of internet freedom fighters blowing up fiber optic links… :^)Report

    • Avatar aaron david says:

      Call them Mr Robot Wrench Gang?Report

    • Avatar J__A says:

      I cry plagiarism

      There’s a very good novel about courageous freedom fighters blowing up wind generators to save the Plains from the tyranny of blue states paying market rates for the electricity.

      You should be ashamed of yourself, @michael-cainReport

  9. Avatar Jesse says:

    Scenes from an Alternate Universe –

    “Heritage and Conservative Action party officials confirmed with CNN they were withdrawing support from Prime Minister Trump’s coalition government. It’s expected that John McCain will lead a caretaker minority government that will lead with Liberal supply and confidence until new elections later this year…”Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      This seems not really so very different from what happened in the UK not too long ago, IRL.

      With the difference being that the placeholder PM smelled something good in the wind for herself, and called a snap election. Which she’s probably going to win. One wonders just how much of the IRL zeitgeist would have to carry over into your Earth-2 scenario for PM McCain to be able to pull off a snap election after your headline.Report

    • Avatar James K says:


      Yes, that could happen, but if the governing party was about to lose its coalition backing due to the PM’s conduct, it’s far more likely that the party would roll Trump and replace him with a new leader the coalition parties found less objectionable.Report

      • Avatar Jesse says:

        Yeah, I did some bad writing by not mentioning that Trump was a member of a different party (American).

        I was running with the idea that Trump’s party (American) were as off their rockers as Trump supporters are IRL, so the other two coalition partners had to do something drastic to get Trump out of power. I thought about using Pence as a stand in as well, but McCain stood out as the old established respected pol brought in to keep things in order.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Incidentally, this is another reason to look askance at allowing the public to elect party leaders. It’s not clear a party would do to someone a Prime Minister Corbyn (with something of a party mandate) what the Liberal Party did to Abbott. And if they did, Corbyn could just be reinstalled by the Labour rank-and-file.Report

        • Avatar Jesse says:

          I’m kind of in a middling position – it makes sense that you don’t need to choose the Labor or Conservative party leader because you’re not directly electing the PM anyway.

          OTOH, if you’re directing voting for a President, it makes sense to directly vote the people who are going to run for President.Report

  10. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Speaking of Trump if everything in this article is true, we are already in the public whistleblower part of the Trump admin and not even half a year in.

    I gotta say that I think Trump will survive until 2020 though unless he dies in office. He is still wildly popular with the GOP base, more so than Congressional Republicans and so far the GOP hasn’t really cared about what Trump does as long as they get their legislative priorities (permanent upper class tax cuts) signed and into law and a repeal of the ACA. McConnell more or less admitted this today or yesterday.

    We have a child in office and the response is not unity but a third of the country expressing glee that it annoys Democrats/Liberals and another 1/3 saying “Trump is bad but a college student was mean to a trucker once so Democrats are worse!” and some vague hopes for libertopia because tax cuts and no welfare state.

    On my side I do hear a lot of Pollyanna levels of hope that sensible GOPers will bandy with the Democrats any day now. This day is not coming. Yesterday there was some derp about a sealed indictment. Last week it was deep Kremlinology about how three GOP senators joining to save one Obama environmental regulation is a sign of the #Resistance winning.

    The only thing saving this country now is Trump’s deep incompetence and short attention span.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Along those lines, if Dem voting liberals advocate Trump’s removal on purely partisan grounds, I think they’re making a mistake. From a partisan pov, the longer Trump stays in office the more inclined folks will be to vote D in the next election. On the policy side it’s equally bleak: Pence is actually politically and institutionally savvy and he’ll rubberstamp whatever legislation that freshly oiled machine passes to his desk.

      Granted, there’s a catch to all this…Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Pence is a right-wing culture warrior and a bit of a coward but he understands how to be a basic politician and not be offended or slighted by every little thing. As does Ryan.

        As it is, Impeachment itself is a largely partisan act because of how the system is designed and failed to account for partisanship, even though political parties developed quickly after Washington said no to a third term.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy says:

        I worry the damage Trump could do would be to fundamental aspects of our nation and society, far exceeding what even extended “normal” GOP rule could do. I’d take 7.5 years of Pence over 4 of Trump.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          I’m hoping for the best of both worlds: Trump is reduced to a crazed, crisis-inducing figure head and VP Pence takes over foreign policy. A sorta mini-coup, like what happened to Reagan in his decline. Or Bush while he was still young. There’s precedent!Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          When you get right down to it, Pence would be an awful President, but he’d be a President.

          Trump can’t do the job.

          He can’t even do parts of the job we never thought of as part of the job because everyone else has always done them without there being a big fuss.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      Saul Degraw: The only thing saving this country now is Trump’s deep incompetence and short attention span.

      Well, until someone took advantage of that and wrote a memo for the record.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Trump (if he was remotely hinged): “I get one mulligan on this course, right?”Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        I find the timing of this release curious as well. With the WH engulfed by Russia-intel-sharing flames Comey’s people call the NYT to tell em about a little Russia-related memo they might be interested in.Report

  11. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Well it looks like Trump also asked Comey to end the Flynn investigation:

    • Avatar gregiank says:

      I’ll just game this out.
      Today: out right denials this happened. Defenders blame the media.
      Tomorrow: Trump tweets that he did and his defenders say it was in his power so what’s the big deal.

      But you gotta admit this might be just the thing to take LooseLipsSinkShipsGate off the front pages.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      Just a regular day at the WH: McMaster lied about the risk-level of intel shared with Russia; Israeli intelligence was outed as the source of the intel shared with the Russians and they’re pissed; and Comey wrote a memo implicating Trump for directly obstructing the Russia investigation.

      Hmmm. Is there a connection between those three things?Report