10 things you need to know today: June 26, 2014

The Fifth Column

Eyes on the prize. Eyes on the prize. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Week

Boehner says the GOP will sue Obama, the Supreme Court blocks warrantless cellphone searches, and more

1. Republicans threaten to sue Obama
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said lawmakers would vote next month on authorizing alawsuit against President Obama because they believe he has failed to carry out Congress’ laws on everything from health care to energy to foreign policy. The White House said it was “completely confident” Obama had always acted within his authority. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) called the move a “desperate political stunt” to rile up the GOP base. [BBC News]

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2. Supreme Court protects cellphones from warrantless searches
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police cannot search the cellphone of an arrested suspect without a warrant. The sweeping, 9-0 decision marked a major victory for privacy advocates. Chief Justice John Roberts said it…

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Posted on 06/26/2014, in Potpourri, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 44 Comments.

  1. Because #10 was

    10. Lincecum pitches his second no-hitter against the Padres

    I thought I would post this slow motion video of him pitching in order to show his technique:

    He really does a long step leap before he releases the ball!

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  2. Can the GOP get any loopier? Honestly.

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    • mindyme62, Is that a trick question? Of course they can, they strive to be the best at it, too bad they don’t exert as much energy attempting to do the work of the people instead of the bidding of their corporate puppet masters…

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    • towerflower, I read a little desperation and begging in the papers from Zimmerman and his attorney… Amusing that they would be begging so early in the process isn’t it. I wonder if it has occurred to him that the defense also can request discovery up to and including his past history in Virginia, and his social media posts prior to the murder and best of all (I suspect) his text messages that the judge did not allow into the criminal case… Some times we ask for things that we ultimately determine we really did not want that badly…

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      • It is desperation. I found it amusing that they want to talk to Corey. Out of the 4 disputed airings they are suing about, 2 were made before she ever was appointed, 1 was on the day she was appointed by the Governor, and only the last one was 4 days after her appointment. Do they think she was in with NBC to portray Z a certain way? lol. She must have also been psychic since she hadn’t even been appointed yet when they started to air the stories.

        They never mentioned Sharpton in their lawsuit so why the need to talk to him. Yes he had a show, but he isn’t being sued nor was any of his shows mentioned.

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      • I call it the “Spaghetti Defense”, throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.

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        • towerflower, as I lay in bed last night (not sleeping) a question came to mind. It is very apparent that Zimmerman is not able (or willing) to pay this group of attorneys, who is? This case is so weak that I can’t believe that they would be doing it on contingency. Do you suppose when the attorney said they have not had time to talk to or collect information for the trial, they actually mean “unless we know we will actually be able to go to trial, we are not going to expend the money on this case”? Do we know who actually brokered this deal to the law firm? There is someone other than Zimmerman driving this bus, and I am curious to know who and what their motive is. Could it be the NRA (under the table?), could it be ALEC attempting to save their SYG law? This episode of “a day in the life of a child killer”, would make a good day time soap opera…

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          • I don’t believe it is the NRA, they went on record early on that they weren’t supporting him and to leave it to the courts. They know this is not a case they want to be involved in because it goes against the responsible gun owner agenda–especially after his last arrest. I believe the attorneys are taking it on contingency because if nothing else they have now gotten national exposure just like MOM did. The delaying doesn’t make any sense to me, after all Z dropped 2 of his cases just so that this one could proceed and now they are crying they haven’t had time to interview people. If they weren’t ready Z could’ve gone through with at least the State of FL case in which he could’ve had some (not all) of his trial expenses paid after the not guilty verdict.

            It could be that MOM sold them a bill of goods with all the conspiracy theories out there and they jumped on what they thought would be an easy case and now MOM dropped and ran—I think he saw the handwriting on the wall.

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  3. Today, despite the gun-related school tragedies, we still find our legislators NOT doing anything on the gun control issue.

    This is so SAD and this is so INEXCUSABLE!

    I am saddened that now we see businesses advertising bullet proof blankets and shields for schools….profiteers are at it again! There is an article entitled “Sales Of Bulletproof Blankets Beat Maker’s ‘Wildest Expectations’ by Kevin Short of the Huffington Post.

    Mr. Short posts the following video describing it with these words:

    “A melodramatic video for Bodyguard appears to capitalize on the disturbing trend of school shootings, warning viewers that “crazed gunmen have entered our schools prepared to kill our children and teachers.”

    With Congress and State Legislatures NOT responding to peoples’ request for more gun control legislation, we are witnessing schools like the following Oregon school now considering the idea of bullet proof protection for their students:

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  4. This article on today’s pretrial hearing for Ted Wafer was posted this morning at 6:19 AM:

    ” Evidence in question as man accused in porch shooting returns to court”

    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014306270040

    Excerpts:

    A Dearborn Heights man accused of fatally shooting Renisha McBride on the porch of his home is scheduled to return to a Detroit courtroom today where lawyers will make arguments about what jurors they want to hear during his trial.

    Theodore Wafer’s attorney, Cheryl Carpenter, said she will ask the judge to admit pictures and texts from McBride’s phone.

    The defense argues the evidence helps bolster the claim that Wafer, 55, was in fear for his life that night and shot the 19-year-old in self-defense.

    Meanwhile, prosecutors want them excluded from the trial.

    “The defense would like evidence admitted that we believe is not relevant or legally admissible,” said Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
    Wayne County Circuit Judge Dana Hathaway will determine what jurors will hear during the trial scheduled for July 21.

    Carpenter also wants the judge to allow crime trends in Wafer’s neighborhood to be shown and plans to ask the judge not to allow prosecutors or witnesses to say McBride was looking for help that night, calling it speculation.

    Today’s hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. today at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit.

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    • This article reports on last week’s pretrial hearing:

      “WILL RENISHA MCBRIDE’S FAMILY GET JUSTICE IN CASE AGAINST HER KILLER THEODORE WAFER?”

      http://voiceofdetroit.net/2014/06/21/will-renisha-mcbrides-family-get-justice-in-case-against-her-killer-theodore-wafer/

      Excerpts:

      Judge Hathaway heard five motions filed by the defense and prosecution, with remaining motions to be heard Thursday June 28.

      “The jury pool’s minds have been poisoned by arguments that aren’t the facts,” Wafer’s defense attorney Cheryl Carpenter contended, arguing for a jury questionnaire to be sent out prior to the trial opening July 21, 2014. Hathaway denied the motion, ruling that it would duplicate “voir dire” questioning of the jury in person.

      She granted a motion by the prosecution in which the defense concurred, to have a jury pool of at least 200 instead of the 50-60 usually empaneled. The trial is expected to last three weeks and include at least 35 witnesses.

      Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Terry Anderson argued strongly against an unusual defense motion to have their expert witness, Dr. Werner Spitz, testify immediately after Wayne County Assistant Medical Examiner Kilak Kesha. Kesha gave lengthy testimony during Wafer’s preliminary exam that Wafer “pulpified” the teen-ager’s brain, from a likely distance of three feet, with numerous shotgun pellets, shooting through a screen door.

      “It is our case, and our burden (of proof),” Anderson said. “We should not have our case interrupted with the defense’s strategy. It would be overwhelming to the jury to have two technical witnesses testify back to back. Dr. Spitz should testify as part of the case in chief of the defense.”
       
      Judge Hathaway discounted a defense argument that Spitz’s time was constrained due to the limited availability of his office manager, who Carpenter said accompanies him everywhere. Judge Hathaway said she would rule on the motion at the hearing June 28.

      Spitz, now 88, is a world-renowned forensics pathologist but did not participate in the initial autopsy.

      Judge Hathaway granted the prosecution’s motion to admit video/audiotapes and transcripts of three 911 emergency calls, two from Carmen Beasley of Detroit, who called 911 after McBride’s car crashed in front of her house, and the one from Wafer after he shot the teen.

      The prosecution also moved to admit audio/videotapes and transcripts of Wafer’s conversations with Dearborn Heights police while he was in their car after the shooting, and of a statement he made to them at their headquarters that night. Carpenter objected to admission of the transcripts.
       
      Anderson said the prosecution would likely use the evidence to impeach Wafer if he testifies. The prosecution objected to the admission of the police headquarters videotape during the preliminary exam on the basis that Wafer himself was present and could be cross-examined.

      Twentieth District Court Judge David Turfe agreed, and barred the showing of the videotape at that time.

      Carpenter said, “I strongly object to the admission of the transcripts . . .this case is about what Theodore Wafer felt like at the time he shot [McBride]. In the police car he kept saying “Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod.”
       
      She claimed the transcripts would not show the fear in his voice. Then she asked that the jury only review any tapes in the courtroom itself, not the jury room.
      Judge Hathaway admitted both the transcripts and audio/videotapes. She said, “The jury will have the opportunity to look at and hear the tapes and review the transcripts as often as they want.”

      Daily media coverage of the hearing focused largely on Carpenter’s claim that Wafer feared for his life, including a Detroit Free Press headline, “Dearborn Heights porch shooter’s defense says case is all about fear.However, testimony at the preliminary exam showed that Wafer had to go into a back bedroom to get his shotgun, return to the front door, open it, and then shoot McBride in the face although there was no evidence she was armed.

      In binding McBride over on charges of Second-Degree murder, Manslaughter – Death By Weapon Aimed with Intent But Without Malice, and Felony Firearms, Judge Turfe questioned why Wafer didn’t call 911 BEFORE opening the door if he feared for his life.

       Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy had to order the Dearborn Heights police, who first released Wafer without charges, to do a more thorough investigation of the case. They did a second crime scene review Nov. 11, during which they discovered a key piece of evidence, the perforated front door screen, in Wafer’s basement.

      To date, Wafer has not spent a day in jail for McBride’s killing, despite the fact that bond is not normally issued in such cases. Second-degree murder is a capital charge carrying up to life in prison.

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    • Yahtzee, Thanks for the links and updates. I have been having a hard time finding a reliable news source that my slow I-net could access at will.. Hopefully the judge will rule today that the defense can not use the “MOM” style of defense in this case…

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  5. “More Dudes Go Shopping at Target Carrying Semi-Automatics:
    Patrons with guns just showed up at stores in Virginia and Oklahoma.”

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/target-guns-open-carry-oklahoma-virginia

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  6. More proof that people need guns and guns prevent crime…

    http://news.msn.com/world/shootings-rise-after-china-gives-its-police-guns

    Hmmm, even with a lot of training they are having this problem? Maybe we could export the NRA to China, they could straighten out the problem by putting a gun into the hands of each and every citizen of that nation, that would eliminate the crime problem totally, right?

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  10. May you rest in peace, Bobby Womack.

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  11. Here is a more detailed update on the Theodore Wafer pretrial hearing yesterday:

    “Judge won’t allow teen’s text messages in fatal porch shooting case”
    8:04 PM, June 27, 2014

    http://www.freep.com/article/20140627/NEWS05/306270040/renisha-mcbride-porch-shooting

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  17. “UPDATE: Former Dallas officer who beat handcuffed suspect found guilty of official oppression”

    http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2014/06/jurors-hear-other-side-of-story-in-trial-of-former-dallas-officer-who-beat-handcuffed-suspect.html/

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  22. Retweeted by ShannoninMiami

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  24. From May 13, 2014

    “Judge Orders Hold on Civil Lawsuit Against CMPD Officer Randall Kerrick”

    A civil lawsuit against CMPD officer Randall Kerrick is on hold for sixty days while his criminal trial proceeds.

    U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen made that decision Tuesday in response to a request by the city of Charlotte.

    The civil suit was filed by the family of 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell who was fatally shot ten times by Kerrick in September.

    Ferrell was unarmed.

    Has anyone here heard any info about the trial?

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  25. Always have loved watching beach volleyball:

    However, it is tiring to walk the five blocks uphill afterward 🙂

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