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The perfect follow-up to Tuesday!

It’s time to catch up once again with Joan McCarter and Greg Dworkin, who I force to watch the news A Clockwork Orange-style in-between appearances, so we know all the things that are going on that relate to the background garbage we have to sift through on their off days.

What’s been happening? More terrible judges! More stomach-churning testimony! And... pretty much the same rate of derpy lying.

We’ll cover it all! Except for what we don’t!

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For now, how about one on the house? Here’s what we did on our last new show:

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It’s Tuesday and David Waldman is back! Well, not “back”, as he was “here” all along... Not “here”, actually, more like “there”... Although, he’s probably not “there” anymore, it’s lunch time... As a matter of fact, it all depends on when you read this… Trump's judicial nominee Steven Menashi is also hampered by imprecise language. After all, who really knows what a “ghetto party” with toy guns and afro wigs really is? Donald Trump says investigating his crimes isn’t “like” lynching, Donald Trump says investigating his crimes is lynching. David reminds us to not believe anything Trump says until he shows you proof. The Constitution is right there in print, but Donald doesn’t believe it, however. Sometimes, to understand fully what a person is all about, you just have to listen to them. If you can’t take too much of that, skip it, and just listen to David’s Trump voice performance and be thankful you don’t have to attend every meeting with that Dotard. More witnesses come forward to attest Donald doesn’t know the meaning of “no”, “go away”, or “What the fuck are you doing, coming into my room?” He apparently always needs his hands to figure out dress sizes, bra materials, or whether he can lift some woman with one hand. Around the world: Iraq says American troops leaving Syria, some, they assume, are good people, can not stay there. Swiss government usually runs like a very nice watch, but a nationwide referendum was turned back to 2016 on the grounds that voters were not given full information. KITM supporter Parleo tells us that over in Catalonia, which is over in Spain, an American resident faces deportation, accused of terrorism, jihadism and human trafficking, shortly after they caught him with his nuts in a flag.

Thanks to Scott Anderson for the show summary! Please help me pay him more! Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.
Categories: Politics

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: The Mills of Fate Grind Slow…

Balloon Juice - 2 hours 3 min ago

… but they grind extremely fine…

Categories: Politics

C&L's Late Nite Music Club With Vision 3D

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 23:01

Hailing from Belgium and singing in French, Vision 3D concoct a clatter that is reminiscent of the razor-sharp slashings of prime Gang Of Four and the off-kilter pulse of the Raincoats but also have a bounce that is like enjoying a perfect day in some sunshine.

Their recently released debut album, titled LP, is an excursion of jittery movements executed joyously. From that album let's listen to "Faut Le Faire" (and of you dig it, check out another song from the album that I included in my most recent podcast.)

What are you listening to tonight?

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Categories: Politics

Open thread for night owls. Berwick: 'Stop fearmongering about Medicare for All'

Daily Kos - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 23:00

Pediatrician Donald M. Berwick, president emeritus and senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, is a lecturer and former faculty member at the Harvard Medical School and was administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Obama administration. At USA Today he writes—Stop fearmongering about 'Medicare for All.' Most families would pay less for better care:

With costs rising painfully, insurance companies denying care and nearly 30 million people still uninsured, America desperately needs an honest health policy discussion. That’s why it has been so disappointing over the past several weeks to watch multiple candidates parrot right-wing attacks on "Medicare for All," like claiming that it will greatly increase spending on health care or ringing alarms about raising taxes on the middle class.


The truth is the opposite: Medicare for All would sharply reduce overall spending on health care. It can be thoughtfully designed to reduce total costs for the vast majority of American families, while improving the quality of the care they get.

Over my career, I have witnessed the problems with our health care system firsthand. As a pediatrician, I have seen how our fragmented, expensive system hurts children and families. As a researcher at Harvard Medical School, I have studied the causes of waste and overspending in our system. And as President Barack Obama’s head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, I led the existing Medicare system and helped stand up Obamacare. [...]

Framing this debate by fearmongering over “higher taxes” ignores that this money is already coming out of American families’ pockets. Right now, these costs actually amount to a regressive tax that every family pays no matter whether their wage-earner is a CEO or a secretary. We can discuss whether a Medicare for All program that uses our money to fund Medicare instead of financing private insurance companies is a good idea. But it is deeply misleading to pretend that this shift is an increase in family health care costs. It is not.

And no one should buy the myth that Medicare for All represents a “government takeover of health care.” It does not. Medicare for All is about paying for care, not providing it. [...]



"There are frightening implications for the future of our country if we do not impeach the president of the United States ... If we fail to impeach, we have donned and left unpunished a course of conduct totally inconsistent with reasonable expectations of the American people. The people of the United States are entitled to assume that their president is telling the truth. The pattern of misrepresentation and half-truths that emerges from our investigation reveals a presidential policy cynically based on the premise that the truth itself is negotiable."
                ~~Rep. M. Caldwell Butler, July 24, 1974 (Butler was a Republican from Virginia, and after making those remarks, he stated that he would vote to impeach Richard Nixon.)




At Daily Kos on this date in 2010An update from the front: 

The war in Afghanistan? Not going all that well.

The war on drugs? Um, move along please.

The war on poverty? Are we still even fighting that one?

But don't despair. There is a battlefront where there's been significant progress—the war on reality.

In case you think that the general Tea Party lunatic positions on taxes, health care, and Aqua Buddha have distracted them from the battle lines of this engagement, Southern Fried Science has compiled a series of Tea Party statements where candidates and supporters reaffirm their allegiance to non-science. Whether it's O'Donnell's fury over mice with human brains, Sharron Angle's angle on the "hoax" of global warming, or the near universal disdain on the right for evolution, the Tea Party has not surrendered one inch to research and reason.

The editors of the journal Nature have declared that

The anti-science strain pervading the right wing in the United States is the last thing the country needs in a time of economic challenge. ... The [Tea Party] movement is also averse to science-based regulation, which it sees as an excuse for intrusive government.

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On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: A teen pageant creeper, a military #dotard & a rambling dick walk into a bar. Bartender says, “The usual, Mr. Trump?” Spanish gov’t targets American caught with his nuts in a Catalan flag. Switzerland calls a referendum do-over, saying voters had faulty info.

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Categories: Politics

Ukraine Ambassador: Yes, There Was a Direct Quid Pro Quo

Kevin Drum - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 22:45

Bill Taylor, our ambassador to Ukraine—i.e., our actual ambassador, not one of the many hangers-on who screwed around there like callow children—testified before Congress that, hell yes, President Trump held up aid to Ukraine until they agreed to investigate Joe Biden’s son:

In a 15-page opening statement, obtained by The Washington Post, Taylor repeatedly expressed his shock and bewilderment as he watched U.S. policy toward Ukraine get overtaken by Trump’s demand that newly elected president Volodymyr Zelensky “go to a microphone and say he is opening investigations of [Democratic presidential candidate Joe] Biden and 2016 election interference.”

“ ‘Everything’ was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance,” Taylor said he was told by Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

If Republicans want to keep on pretending that this didn’t happen, I suppose there’s no way to make them stop. But obviously it happened. The evidence is overwhelming.

Categories: Politics

The New York Time Botched Their Reporting on Secretary Clinton’s Remarks About a Democratic Primary Candidate Being Groomed

Balloon Juice - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 22:16

If you can remember back to last week, The New York Times ran a story that Secretary Clinton had stated that the Russians were grooming one of the female Democratic primary candidates for a third party run as a spoiler to ensure the President’s reelection. She also took a justified and accurate swipe at Jill Stein. It turns out that The New York Times made an error in their reporting. And they’ve corrected it. But, as appears to be standard operating procedure for The New York Times, they didn’t announce the correction.

This really significant error set off days of commentary slamming Secretary Clinton, which included the President weighing in both on Twitter and in remarks to one of the press gaggles he has every day. It also allowed Congresswoman Gabbard who was not named by Secretary Clinton to use this for fundraising. And Congresswoman Gabbard did so using terminology and verbal imagery that is usually only directed at Secretary Clinton by Republicans, conservatives, and Russian bots and trolls! Secretary Clinton is, of course, correct in her analysis. Some of Congresswoman Gabbard’s biggest promoters, especially on and through social media, are the various neo-nationalists, neo-fasicsts, neo-NAZIs , and white supremacists that are collectively labeled the alt-right and conservative media figures, as well as a host of Russian backed and funded bots and trolls.

This also led to a number of people, including several other Democratic primary candidates, coming to Congresswoman Gabbard’s defense because she’s a veteran. As if current or former US military personnel haven’t unintentionally aided foreign actors from allies to peer competitors to hostile foreign actors, as well as deliberately selling out the US. And the same goes for civilian, non-uniform US personnel. Names like Pollard, Manning, Snowden, Hansen, and Ames come right to mind. Just because one has served the US, in uniform or out, in a war zone or in much more permissive environments, doesn’t automatically confer some sort of special protection from doing the wrong thing, intentionally or unintentionally, at a later date.

While Congresswoman Gabbard pledged several months ago that she wouldn’t run as a third party so as not to spoil the election for the Democratic nominee and throw it to the President by allowing him to once again lose the popular vote while eking out a narrow Electoral College victory, this has been a concern for almost 10 months. I delineated this concern last January in a discussion of whether Senator Sanders might be pushed to run third party if he didn’t get the nomination (emphasis mine)!

Sanders, no matter what he does, has the potential to function as a super spoiler for the Democrats in 2020. Think Jill Stein’s effect on the electoral college on steroids. And if he decides he’s going to be a team player and not do so, his trusted agents won’t play ball and you’ll have the same problem regardless. And we can now add Congresswoman Gabbard to the potential spoilers category emanating from Sanders orbit.

Regardless of what Congresswoman Gabbard may or may not do next year, The New York Times made a huge error here. They misreported what Secretary Clinton said, which sparked several days of controversy and negative reporting, and then, when they realized they’d inaccurately transcribed the quote, they corrected it without announcing they’d made the mistake and the correction. This isn’t responsible. We are currently living in the fifth or sixth year, depending on when you want to date its start, of an unconventional Russian war against the US that uses information warfare to influence Americans to destroy ourselves. The US is not doing a particularly good job of fighting Russia as the US government and most Americans don’t seem to have figured out that we are at war. One of the major effects the Russians are trying to achieve is to influence Americans through the weaponization of information, misinformation, disinformation, and information for provocation in order to enflame American political; ethnic, racial, and religious; rural, urban, and suburban; sexuality/gender; and economic differences so that Americans destroy ourselves. In order to do this they have to use weaponized information for effect. And the effect they are trying to achieve is to make it impossible for Americans to both agree on what is true, factual, and accurate and, in many cases, even know what is true, factual, and accurate. The objective is to make it so that for Americans nothing is true and, therefore, anything and everything is possible. The New York Times needs to stop doing this. Not least of which because they do it over and over and over again and that pattern leads to an ugly conclusion: that as an organization they’re doing it on purpose. But even if they aren’t doing it on purpose, what they’re doing only assists the Russian’s information war against the US.

Open thread!

Categories: Politics

Cooking With Kamala

Balloon Juice - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 20:55

Thank you lamh36 for sending this my way.

I, of course, am terribly excited about this video. Come for the cooking lesson, but stay for the poignant story of caucusing for Obama in 2007.

I was a bit teary at the end.

Open thread

Categories: Politics

Very Exciting Tree News

Balloon Juice - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 19:58

I am very excited to report that the maple out front, in the last 24-28 hours, has had its leaves change, and I can look forward to many years of a deep majestic red tree:

I am so excited for it to grow big and tower over everything.

In other news, I remain consistently horrified by the random thoughts that run through my head. I saw a pumpkin today and my thought was “Oh god when do those little fuckers dress up and come mugging for sweets I need to get candy bars in 50 years I don’t want to be remembered as the guy with the shitty candy.” I can do nice things and pretend to be civil but the monster on the inside is terrifying to me.

Speaking of terrifying, I just finished reading the Taylor intro that Adam linked to. Jesus christ.

Categories: Politics

Elizabeth Warren Joins Chicago Teachers On The Picket Line

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 19:54

The Chicago teachers strike seemed to move further from resolution late Monday and teachers at the Passages charter school also went on strike, while the striking teachers got support from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who joined them on the picket line on Tuesday. Monday night, Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey sent out a statement saying that negotiations had stalled, seemingly on orders from Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Sharkey said that progress had been made to that point—in the first days of the strike, the teachers and the city had reached “tentative agreements on staffing to support homeless students, on staffing for Pre-Kindergarten classrooms and naps for those young students, on letting counselors work with children instead of random assignments like substitute teaching. We won an extension of the charter moratorium and support for programs to address the teacher shortage, especially among teachers of color.”

read more

Categories: Politics

Susan Rice: Lindsey Graham 'Is A Piece Of Sh*t'

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 19:53

Pretty hard to disagree with her assessment here, especially after Lindsey Graham's antics this week where he's been described as a Trump apologist and "Olympian Bootlicker", siding with Trump's worst impulses at every turn. And even with a faint whiff of criticism of Trump turning his back on a former ally The Kurds, Graham offered up the suggestion of stealing oil as the silver lining.

Source: The Hill

Susan Rice, who served as national security adviser during the Obama administration, referred to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) as a "piece of shit" during the taping of an episode of the "Pod Save the World" podcast this week.

She made the remark after Tommy Vietor, another former Obama adviser, first used the term to refer to Graham during a discussion about the 2012 Benghazi attack in Libya.

"You have to understand Benghazi to understand [President] Trump," said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration who is a host of the podcast.

"Right, because Lindsey Graham isn't just a piece of shit now," Vietor said before Rice interrupted.

"He's been a piece of shit," she said. "He's a piece of shit."

Graham's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Categories: Politics

Impeachment news: U.S. ambassador testifies Trump demanded explicit Ukraine 'quid pro quo'

Daily Kos - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 19:40

Today saw Ambassador William Taylor's testimony before the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump. In a written statement, Taylor made it clear that Trump, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, and others explicitly tied the withholding of $400 million of U.S. military aid to Ukraine to a demand that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky publicly go to a microphone and say he is opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference.

Taylor's performance was devastating not only to Trump, but to Sondland, who had attempted to deny in his own House testimony that he was aware that Trump was specifically targeting Biden. Taylor is said to have kept extensive notes on his interactions with Trump's team as the scheme unfolded, notes that clearly demonstrate both that Trump withheld military aid as a means of securing a Biden "investigation" and that Trump subordinates conveyed those demands to Ukrainian officials. Taylor also emphasized that the withholding of aid had happened even though Ukraine was "fighting the Russians and counted on not only the training and weapons, but also the assurance of U.S. support."

It was a high crime, by any credible definition, and one that now implicates multiple members of the White House and Trump’s Cabinet.

In other impeachment inquiry news:

House Democrats have released a "fact sheet" outlining the Ukraine scandal and Donald Trump's actions, providing a rough draft of what eventual articles of impeachment may look like.

The Washington Post reported today that Trump was prodded to take a "hostile view" of Ukraine in calls with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Hungarian white nationalist Victor Orban.

• But a May 1, 2019 New York Times story credulously promoting conspiracy theories on Joe and Hunter Biden shows the scheme was well underway days before those calls.

• In a morning tweet, a pouting and still-racist Donald Trump complained that the impeachment inquiry was "a lynching," without "due process or any legal rights." His outburst was widely condemned, though Sen. Lindsey Graham was quick to pipe up to support him.

Categories: Politics

TN County Official Goes Off On Homophobic Rant: 'We've Got A Queer Running For President'

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 18:51

A Sevier County Commission meeting to consider becoming a gun ownership sanctuary degenerated into a homophobic, racist rant after Commissioner Warren Hurst went off on an offensive rant, broadcast by WVLT News.

"It's time we wake up people, it's time, it's past time," Hurst began.

read more

Categories: Politics

Open Thread: Zuckerberg Just Wants A President He Can Work With

Balloon Juice - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 18:39

This is not fair to Buttigieg; Zuckerberg is most comfortable treating politics as another form of boutique consumerism, and his social circles overlapped with Buttigieg’s back in college. From CBS:

… “This shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement. We have several mutual friends in college who introduced me” several years ago to the future presidential candidate, Zuckerberg said…

Zuckerberg also had been asked by CBS News whether he made similar overtures to other presidential campaigns, but he did not answer that question.

News of Zuckerberg’s outreach to Buttigieg was first reported Monday by Bloomberg News, which reported that Zuckerberg, 35, and Buttigieg, 37, attended Harvard University at the same time and had mutual friends. While at Harvard, Zuckerberg developed the now omnipresent social media platform, originally just for Harvard students. Buttigieg was one of Facebook’s first 300 users…

A campaign spokesperson said the recommendations were unsolicited and that the campaign received 7,000 resumes over the course of a month from Buttigieg’s CNN town hall in March to the campaign’s April launch…

It has been widely reported that Zuckerberg regards Elizabeth Warren as a serious threat to his control of Facebook’s monopoly. It is also obvious that Biden’s frontrunner status has made him a primary target of Russian bot activity on social media, including Facebook — no point duplicating efforts, right? The Sanders campaign doesn’t seem to have drawn much attention from Zuckerberg, for whatever reason (my best guess would be unsympathetic). Under the circumstances, it’s hardly surprising that Zuckerberg is casting around for a more sympathetic Democratic frontrunner-in-waiting… and it’s hardly Buttigieg’s fault that Jeff likes his potential.

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
Categories: Politics

Reporters Rattle White House Flack Over ‘Lynching’ Tweet

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 18:10

White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley asserted on Tuesday that President Donald Trump was not talking about the “dark times” of slavery when he compared the ongoing impeachment inquiry to a “lynching.”

Gidley made the comments to reporters minutes after he defended the president’s remarks on Fox News.

During a press gaggle outside the White House, Gidley was asked if he understood why Trump “could not possibly be a victim of a lynching.”

“The president is not comparing what happened to him to one of our darkest moments in American history,” Gidley insisted. “He’s just not. What he’s explaining clearly is the way he’s been treated by the media since he announced for president.”

“The president is not hanging from a tree,” a correspondent told Gidley.

Categories: Politics

William Taylor's opening statement is out, and it provides everything needed for impeachment

Daily Kos - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 16:38

On Tuesday, Ambassador William Taylor, who has headed up the U.S. diplomatic mission in Ukraine since Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was forced out with a collection of lies and conspiracy theories, appeared before the House impeachment inquiry to provide his testimony. Representatives who left the session at breaks throughout the day have described that testimony as powerful, and those who were present for his opening statement have said gasps came from the assembled committees as Taylor made his opening remarks.

Taylor’s opening remarks have now been made public, and they are at least as powerful, if not more so, than any charges leveled in the original whistleblower complaint. As usual, Taylor begins by outlining his own years in service. While many of those testifying can offer accounts of years of national service, few have a background that matches Taylor’s. His personal history includes being a West Point cadet, service in Vietnam, and six years as an infantry officer. His extensive service with the State Department includes working in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as in Ukraine. But Taylor made it clear that Ukraine service was the one he considered the most vital, for a particular reason.

“Ukraine is, right at this moment while we sit in this room, and for the last five years, under armed attacked by Russia,” wrote Taylor. “The security assistance that we provide is crucial to Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression.” Taylor spoke directly to the role of Ukraine as both a strategic and a symbolic partner, one whose success in fending off Russia is being closely observed by every other nation threatened by the Russian military.

Taylor spoke to how he was offered the role of chief of mission in May by Mike Pompeo. It was a post he had held under the Bush administration, and one he considered vitally important, but he took it reluctantly after seeing how Yovanovitch had been treated. Taylor says he took on the role only after securing from Pompeo a promise of “strong support” for Ukraine and after expressing concern about the interference being generated by Rudy Giuliani. 

However, once he was in Kyiv, Taylor found himself facing what he described as a “weird combination” of circumstances in which, even as he attempted to initiate formal contacts with the new government of President Volodymyr Zelensky, his efforts were being undercut by “an irregular, informal channel of U.S. policy making” that included special envoy Kurt Volker, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland. Even before Taylor arrived in Ukraine, that irregular channel had been at work, and it was clear that its goals were not strong support for Ukraine and regular diplomatic relations. 

What the group wanted was Ukraine to announce investigations into Joe Biden and into conspiracy theories around the 2016 election. That was made clear to Taylor, as well as to Zelensky, and the group made it clear that the status of the U.S.-Ukraine relationship hung on giving Trump that announcement.

Categories: Politics

In His Own Words: Ambassador Taylor's Statement About Trump's Quid Pro Quo

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 16:35

Here's some of what we've learned from the statement Ambassador William Taylor made to congressional investigators today. The entire statement is embedded below.

By mid-July it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelenskyy wanted was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. It was also clear that this condition was driven by the irregular policy channel I had come to understand was guided by Mr. Giuliani.

He decribes his slow realization that there was both a regular and an irregular policy channel -- the latter, made up of Trump's donor Sondland and Rudy Giuliani.

read more

Categories: Politics

CNN poll: Half of Americans now support removing Trump from office through impeachment

Daily Kos - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 16:25

In a new CNN/SSRS poll, half of Americans now support removing Donald Trump from office through impeachment. That is a new high. As usual, opinions are divided on party lines, with Republicans supporting Trump doing crimes by a nearly nine in ten margin because Republicanism is at this point an organized crime ring with a national convention attached.

The poll was taken before Ambassador William Taylor testified to Congress that Trump indeed explicitly linked his hold on U.S. military aid to Ukraine to a requirement that the Ukrainian president publicly "go to a microphone and say he is opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference." It is almost certain that those statements, once widely reported, will further tip public opinion toward impeachment and removal.

Categories: Politics

Ambassador Taylor’s Opening Statement to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Balloon Juice - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 16:18

The Washington Post has obtained and published Ambassador Taylor’s opening statement to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The link to it is here. And the pdf can be directly accessed from Balloon Juice below.


Open thread!

Categories: Politics

Lawmakers need to stop protecting killer cops

Daily Kos - Tue, 10/22/2019 - 16:03

by Cat Books

 On February 20, 2017, Inglewood police discovered an unconscious couple in an idling car. It was 3 a.m. Kisha Michael was a mother of three, Marquintan Sandlin a father of four. The police shot them 20 times after what they have described only as “an unknown exchange.” Two years later, after media questions and persistent inquiries by the grief-stricken family, the reasons Michael and Sandlin were killed remain shrouded in secrecy.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s investigation into their murders is dragging into its second year. And inside the police department, hundreds of records are being destroyed.

These records were destroyed to circumvent public access under SB 1421, the new state law that gives families the ability to know, finally, what happened to their loved ones.

The information SB 1421 provides isn’t just critical to give families closure. Prosecutors build their cases on the word of officers like those involved in the Inglewood shooting. And a public accounting of officers who break the public trust is essential to supporting calls for reform. In Los Angeles, activists have demanded that Lacey implement a “Do Not Call” list, to insulate the public from misconduct and the dishonesty of known bad cops by refusing to prosecute cases that rely on their testimony. But Lacey and other chief prosecutors refuse.

Categories: Politics