Indiana Senate - Messer

Indiana's Trumpy Tea-Baggers don't like The Swamp but for some reason they elected this swampy guy to the house and are now trying to turn him into a Senator.

"Messer left public office to join another of the state’s top law and lobbying shops: Ice Miller.

The fact that Messer became a lobbyist while still finishing his final year in the state House raised ethical concerns about the revolving door, despite Messer’s insistence that he focused on federal issues until his state term was up.

Still, Murphy who was serving with Messer at the time, was among those bothered by Messer walking into the influential lobbying firm soon after a legislative session in which lawmakers worked on issues important to some of Ice Miller’s biggest clients." 
  • Doesn't live in Indiana - How can you be an Indiana Politician and be the Virginia coach of the year?  (from the link above)
"Messer was named fifth grade coach of the year by his Virginia youth basketball league and his hoopsters star in one of Messer’s ads." 
Messer's wife is lawyer who somehow got an out-of-the-norm, $250,000 a year, part-time gig for the city of Fishers, Indiana. 
  • Doesn't live in Indiana part 2 (from Wife link)
the .. "part-time arrangement, which (Mrs.) Messer primarily does from home in suburban Washington"

Pretty Swampy.... yet Indiana Republicans think this guy should represent Indiana to help Trump clean out the swamp? Yeah right...

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Get your War on

A couple good posts from Counterpunch

War and oil make for odd bedfellows. A pretty good post on the political realignment happening in the middle-east. The Great Game Comes to Syria

Several good things in  Jeffrey St. Clair's "Roaming Charges: Mother of War" including....
+ 105 Cruise missiles at $1.4 million apiece: $147,000,000. Nice payday for Raytheon.

+ Who has poisoned more people: Assad in 7 years or Scott Pruitt in one?

+ A narrow majority of Americans now support a single-payer health care system. Unfortunately, a large majority of Democrats will do almost anything to kill it…

+ White evangelical support for Trump has hit record highs. It makes sense. Trump is our King David. He has Bathshebas stashed in bungalows from West Hollywood to West Palm Beach and his Tweets read like the Psalms of Righteous Sinners…
+ In the span of one week, Trump hired John Bolton, pardoned Scooter Libby, bombed Syria and declared “Mission Accomplished.” He’s finally getting his full Bush on…. 

Israel vs Gaza: Like shooting fish in a barrel... or prisoners in a prison camp. Palestinians report four killed, 156 wounded by Israeli fire in fourth Friday of Gaza protests - Palestinians - Haaretz.com:

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Indiana Justice

This week in Merrillville Indiana, a man left a gun laying in his car while he ran into a store. His toddler picked it up and shot the man's pregnant wife. The wife is in the hospital, the man has been charged, so far no one has died but the kids have been placed with children's services.

The police chief interviewed on the case said,
Gun owners have a duty to keep their weapons away from children, the police chief said. 
"This was a careless, senseless, criminal act," Petruch said.
It may be careless and senseless but if you're in Indiana, it depends on who your are as to whether it is a criminal act.

In 2011 and 2014 there were two very similar cases in Indiana.

  • March 2014, Greensburg, Indiana.  A man is arrested and charged with neglect after he leaves a loaded gun around and his kid is accidentally shot and killed. The man eventually received a 3-1/2 year sentence.
  • February 2011, Brookville, Indiana (about 40 miles from Greensburg). A man leaves a loaded gun around and his kid is accidentally shot and killed. The prosecutor does not file charges. No one is arrested.
  • April 2018, Merrillville Indiana, (the case from above)  a man left a gun laying in his car while he ran into a store. His toddler picked it up and shot the man's pregnant wife. The wife is in the hospital, the man has been charged, so far no one has died but the kids have been placed with children's services. 

Three very similar cases, a parent leaves a gun where a child can get to it. The child fires the gun and someone is hit. Two leave a child dead. All leave shaken families.

But,   the Indiana legal system handles one of the cases differently.
  • Greensburg case - charges filed. Man gets 3-1/2 year prison sentence.
  • Merrillville case - charges filed. Kids taken from family
  • .... 
  • Brookville case -  no charges filed. Kids left with family.

What's the difference between the cases?

The gun owner in the Brookville, "no-one-is-arrested", case is a Deputy Sheriff. 


Summaries and links to the cases...

Merrillville case - [link]
A pregnant woman accidentally shot by her 3-year-old daughter who fired a handgun left near a car seat by her father remains in critical condition, Merrillville police said Thursday.

A 9 mm bullet struck Shaneque Thomas, 21, in the upper chest and shoulder, Merrillville Police Chief Joe Petruch said. She was in stable but critical condition at Loyola University Hospital in Chicago.

Gun owners have a duty to keep their weapons away from children, the police chief said.

"This was a careless, senseless, criminal act," Petruch said.

The girl's parents, who live in Michigan City, had finished a medical appointment when they stopped at Plato's Closet in the 300 block of 81st Avenue in Merrillville shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Her father, Menzo Brazier, stuffed a 9 mm Glock handgun between the seat and the center console and then went into the store to buy a pair of jeans, Petruch said.

The girl was in the back seat. She picked up the handgun and fired one shot, Petruch said. The 9 mm bullet traveled through the driver's seat and struck her mother.

"People take on responsibility by carrying a weapon," Petruch said. "You don't leave it in a car with a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old.

Lake County prosecutors on Thursday charged Brazier with two counts of criminal recklessness and two counts of child neglect, according to a Merrillville Police Department press release.

Brazier remained held in the Lake County Jail, Petruch said.

The Glock in this incident was equipped with an extended magazine, Petruch said.

Many guns have a safety lever located above the grip. The lever must be moved out of safe in order to fire.

The Glock's safety is built into the trigger and automatically disengages when the trigger is pressed.

 Link to more on Brookville and Greensburg cases. Tuesday Night Buzz: Indiana Justice?:

Greensburg case:
GREENSBURG, Ind. (AP) — A southeastern Indiana man faces felony charges alleging that he left a loaded rifle unattended shortly before a 13-year-old boy was fatally shot by a sibling who picked up the weapon. 
Thirty-four-year-old Jason L. Forshee of Greensburg was arrested and charged Friday with neglect of a dependent resulting in death and dangerous control of a child. 
The Greensburg Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1nNTYAZ ) Craig A. Roberts died March 11 after his 6-year-old sibling picked up the weapon, pointed it at him and it accidentally discharged. 
A bullet in the rifle’s chamber struck Craig in the chest and he was later pronounced dead.
Court documents state that Forshee told police he was cleaning the weapon and had removed its magazine, but did not realize a bullet was in the rifle’s chamber.

Brookville case
BROOKVILLE, Ind. -- Criminal charges will be not filed in the shooting death last week of the 4-year-old son of a Franklin County deputy. 
Franklin County Prosecutor Mel Wilhelm announced Tuesday through the Indiana State Police that his office would not seek charges in the Feb. 16 accidental shooting death of Aiden Mehlbauer. 
The preschooler's funeral was held Tuesday at the St. Louis Catholic Church in Batesville.
Last week, Aiden and twin brother Mason were playing in the basement when they found a loaded, .40-caliber semi-automatic Glock handgun in the "office" area where their father, Deputy Greg Mehlbauer, kept his uniforms and other law enforcement equipment. 
The boys were handling the gun when it discharged, striking Aiden in the abdomen, Indiana State Police Sgt. Noel Houze said. 
Aiden's mother, Shavonne, was upstairs helping her 6-year-old daughter with her homework and Greg Mehlbauer was on duty when the shooting occurred. Aiden died about 2 hours later at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. 
Indiana prosecutors often recuse themselves from cases involving local police officers with whom they work on a regular basis, but Wilhelm told the state police the circumstances surrounding the incident did not meet the elements of a crime under Indiana code. 
Wilhelm said he had carefully reviewed the state police reports and spoken at length with investigators concerning their findings in the case

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Israel vs Gaza

Propaganda like this might work if the Palestinians couldn't clearly see that it is Israeli soldiers firing the guns,... and Israeli planes dropping the bombs,... and Israeli ships enforcing the blockade.

Ahead of border protests, IDF drops leaflets warning Gazans: 'Hamas endangers your lives' - Palestinians - Haaretz.com:

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Why they hate us?

A pretty good list of reasons "Why They Hate Us"... hint.... It ain't "our freedoms".

Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not:

The real kicker, though, is Baker’s notion that Washington’s foreign policy elite (falsely conflated with “the American public”) has been “trying to solve other people’s problems in the Middle East.” That’s a remarkable take on recent U.S. Middle East policy, including: 
+ The U.S. invasion of Iraq, which led to the premature death of more than a million Iraqis and displaced millions more while devastating Iraqi infrastructure, blowing up civil society and government, and tipping Iraq into ethnic and sectarian strife that helped give rise to the mass-homicidal Islamic State. 
+ The U.S.-led destruction of Libya, also turned into a chaotic, jihadist Hell hole by Superpower and its Western allies. 
+ U.S. funding and equipping of its arch-reactionary ally Saudi Arabia’s sadistic crucifixion of Yemen, home now to one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in recent history. 
+ Continued U.S. backing and equipping of Israel’s openly racist and murderous apartheid state and its sadistic torture of the Palestinian people. 
+ The ongoing criminal and bloody U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. 
+ Continued U.S. backing and support of despotic and arch-reactionary regimes across the region: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, Djibouti, Turkey, Morocco, and Kuwait. 
+ U.S. support of the epic Civil War in Syria (with a staggering death toll over 500,000 since 2011), consistent with Washington’s longstanding desire to remove the Baathist Party from power in Damascus. 
+ Washington’s long “twilight war” with Iran ever since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. 
+ I could go on. 
Saying that the U.S. has been trying to “solve problems in the Middle East” is like saying that the German Third Reich was trying to fix things for the people of Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Soviet Russia. It’s like saying that Richard Speck was trying to help increase the demand for nurses in Chicago in the summer of 1966.

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Paul Ryan

If We Had a Liberal Media We Wouldn't Have Had a Paul Ryan:
 His entire career exposed the concept of the “liberal media” as a fiction. Because if “the media” were meaningfully liberal—if the vast majority of editors, producers, reporters, anchors, correspondents, and executives at large, corporate-owned press outlets were “liberal” in any but the most superficial sense—Paul Ryan would never have established the reputation has been accused of betraying.

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Medicare Buy-In Bill

I watched this a long time thinking it was an SNL skit.

Sens. Jeff Merkley And Chris Murphy Offer Expanded Medicare Buy-In Bill | Crooks and Liars:

I'd rather have Medicare For All but still, it's better than any R plan.

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America Can’t Be Trusted Anymore

He's not making America Great"

America Can’t Be Trusted Anymore – Foreign Policy:
"Which brings us to Donald Trump. The world is now dealing with a U.S. president who appears to have no firm convictions or beliefs, the attention span of a hummingbird, and who apparently makes important national security decisions on the basis of whatever fairytale he just saw on Fox & Friends. As near as one can tell, he never saw a treaty or agreement signed by his predecessor that he liked, even though he has trouble explaining what’s wrong with any of them. He just likes to talk about “tearing them up” no matter what the consequences may be. 
Trump is also a serial fabulist who lies with facility and frequency yet has yet to pay any political penalty for his disinterest in truth. Determined to outdo his predecessor in every way, Trump uttered six times as many falsehoods in his first 10 months as president as Obama did in his entire two terms. Add to that the frenetic pace of turnover within the White House and the cabinet, and you have an environment where no policy utterance can be expected to have a shelf life greater than a week or two"

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Bolton dealing to build an Arab military force in Syria - CNNPolitics:  Because building a South Vietnamese army worked so well in the 60's.

About those Chemical weapons in Syria: The Search for the Truth in Douma  and Eight Takeaways on Boss Tweet’s Latest Syrian Missile Spasm

Also... Two Minutes of Truth on Syria (Jeffrey Sachs Nails it)

On Tax Day. TurboTax: Don’t file your taxes with it - Vox: yep. Indiana once had a great little free online tax program but it disappeared during the Mitch Daniels reign. I'm guessing a tax lobbyist got to him.

Hannity  I'm guessing that Hannity didn't have any real legal relationship with Cohen. I'll bet Cohen was just the pipeline between the Trump administration and Hannity/Fox News.

Everything is politicized.

Syria: Obama -Trump

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Low wages

How the American economy conspires to keep wages down | Gabriel Winant | Opinion | The Guardian:

Basically, workers need more power. We've spent the last 40 years with governments that favor business over workers and low wage growth just goes with that. Give businesses more power and wage growth will lag. Give the people more power and more freedom in their work lives and we'll see some wage growth.

Unions, health-care that's not tied to employment, more support for people moving to where jobs are and less support to keep people where jobs aren't, etc.. all would help.

Hell, a few articles that instead of saying "businesses can't find qualified help" would say "businesses can't find qualified help at the wage they want to pay" would help.

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Fox News

Every news organization's front page today is about the Syrian bombing except Fox who punches on the  Conservative world's enemy of the moment. Nice link to HRC too.

Fox News - Breaking News Updates | Latest News Headlines | Photos & News Videos:

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Mohammed bin Salman

John Bolton and .....

The Coming Crisis with Iran:
The always precarious state of US relations with Iran, and with the Middle East as a whole, will be blown apart should Trump nix the nuclear deal.  Iran is likely to immediately resume production of nuclear-weapon grade materials. US relations with its European allies will be deeply unsettled, another bitter pill will be added to relations with Russia and China (both of which endorsed the nuclear deal), the Israeli far right will be emboldened to join in pressuring (and perhaps attacking) Iran, and the Saudis and others will be encouraged to produce their own nuclear weapons.

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17 Years of War ..

.. and most Americans don't have a clue.

Operation Flailing Empire:
"For the sake of truth in advertising, let’s rename this ongoing conflict Operation Everlasting Quagmire."

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