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All that traffic, and no jail time for the man behind it?

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That is the argument federal prosecutors will make tomorrow when the man behind the infamous Bridgegate lane closures at the George Washington Bridge nearly four years ago is sentenced by a federal judge.

Federal prosecutors have recommended no jail time for David Wildstein, the Governor Christie-appointed Port Authority official behind the “Bridgegate” lane closures in September 2013 which reduced the customary three toll booths allocated to traffic from the Fort Lee entry point just south of the toll booth plaza to one booth. This caused epic, infamous traffic that gridlocked Fort Lee traffic for hours each of four weekdays, while the rest of bridge traffic into New York was apparently normal and unaffected.

Wildstein pleaded guilty to two federal felonies, both conspiracy counts (one to misapply federal funds, received by the Port Authority, and one to deprive residents of their civil rights) involving hard to define crimes which, in some corners, may be emblematic of the negative trend of overcriminalization.

(One wonders whether Wildstein’s former boss, Governor Christie, could be prosecuted for a recent state shutdown on similar charges; the fact such arguments could be made shows the peril any decision maker, in any field, faces at the hands of a vengeful prosecutor.)

At sentencing, expect both the prosecutors and defense counsel to cite various mitigating factors to argue that Wildstein should receive credit for his help to prosecutors. “Cooperating” witnesses like Wildstein almost always secure prosecutors’ agreement to recommend “leniency” if they testify truthfully and otherwise assist in ongoing prosecutions of others (sometimes, they are “co-conspirators”) in a related case, or even in unrelated matters, in exchange for agreeing to plead guilty and “accept responsibility.”
Wildstein’s slap on the wrist recommendation is not unusual, because he fulfilled his plea agreement with prosecutors. His testimony led to the convictions of two other Christie appointees: fellow Port Authority official Bill Baroni, and the Christie deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, who wrote the infamous “time for some traffic problems” email that led to both state legislative and federal criminal investigations.

These are what’s called “mitigating factors” which help prosecutors decide to recommend a lower sentence than the time “range” suggested (but not required) by federal sentencing guidelines. In this case, federal prosecutors cited Wildstein’s “substantial and very useful assistance” in the investigations and his testifying for the prosecution in last fall’s criminal trial of Baroni and Kelly.

Baroni, a former state senator, was sentenced to 24 months and Kelly was sentenced to 18 months jail time earlier this year. Both of them have had their sentences stayed while they appeal their convictions before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Conservative corporate lawyer, commentator, blockchain technology patent holder and entrepreneur. Headquartered in a red light district in the middle of a deep blue People's Republic.

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Guns and Crime

ICE gets media beating for taking illegal immigrant into custody over Mexican homicide warrant

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ICE gets media beating for taking illegal immigrant into custody over Mexican homicide warrant

It’s the type of story the media craves. An illegal immigrant, Joel Arrona-Lara, who “hasn’t done anything wrong” was detained by ICE agents while transporting his pregnant wife to the hospital. She ended up having to drive herself the rest of the way before delivering their son.

The spin is predictable. They skim over the fact that he has an arrest warrant in Mexico for homicide while putting all the focus on his wife’s dilemma. They even attempt to cast doubt on the warrant because the lawyer for the family says he couldn’t find a record of the warrant. This last part is most peculiar because it would be simple for a major media outlet to confirm the existence of the warrant. They did, of course, but they won’t report that when they have a better quote from the lawyer denying its existence.

Eventually details will emerge about the warrant, but not until the media inflicts as much damage as possible on ICE and anyone in favor of legal immigration being the proper way to enter the country.

Here’s the story. If you click through, you’ll even get a link at the bottom to the family’s new GoFundMe page:

ICE Detains Man Driving Pregnant Wife To Deliver Baby, Says He Is Wanted For Homicide In Mexico

https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2018/08/18/joel-arrona-detained-by-ice-san-bernardino-driving-wife-to-deliver-baby/Her husband Joel Arrona-Lara was driving his wife to the hospital for a scheduled Cesarean section Wednesday afternoon when they had to stop to get gas. That’s when their car was approached by two SUVs. Maria said they were officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The mother of five was then asked to show her identification and complied. When the agents asked Arrona-Lara, the couple said he didn’t have the ID on him, but that they lived nearby and could go get it for them. The agents then asked Arrona-Lara to exit the vehicle, searched the car for weapons, and put Arrona into custody, leaving Maria alone at the gas station.

My take

There’s no doubt the circumstances surrounding all of this are unfortunate. Pregnant wives should not have to drive themselves to the hospital for a scheduled C-section. On the other hand, suspected murderers shouldn’t be entering the country in the first place. That point won’t be mentioned by mainstream media.

ICE has a responsibility to take people like Arrona-Lara into custody so it can be determined whether or not they should be deported. There may have even been a certain degree of leeway given had there been no records other than his status as an illegal immigrant, but being a suspected murderer with an arrest warrant took away any chance at leeway. The ICE agents did the right thing.

As a legal immigrant, I have no sympathy for those who cheat the system and break our laws. Blaming the ICE agents for doing their job correctly in order to keep us safe is the type of insanity mainstream media loves to sell us.

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Democrats

The real reason Ocasio-Cortez is afraid of the press

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The real reason Ocasio-Cortez is afraid of the press

For at least the second time, reporters were barred from covering an event featuring Socialist Democratic darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The campaign’s reason: we want attendees to feel comfortable since there’s so much national press covering her.

This is an absolutely ridiculous excuse, of course. Nobody goes to a campaign event without knowing the press will (should) be there. It doesn’t make them less comfortable and may actually give some a sense of security knowing the answers to their questions will be judged by more than the audience at hand. That’s one of the reasons for the press in the first place, to give information about an event to people who cannot attend.

Instead, the press is getting another roadblock:

Ocasio-Cortez bans press from covering campaign event

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/08/17/ocasio-cortez-bans-press-from-covering-campaign-event.htmlAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic socialist star running for New York’s 14th congressional district, is facing criticism after her campaign banned journalists from covering a town hall meeting with voters this week.

The Queens Chronicle, a local news outlet, reported that the campaign for the 28-year-old progressive prevented reporters from attending a campaign event in Corona on Sunday, even though it was open to the rest of the public. The campaign reportedly barred reporters from a prior event as well.

It’s conspicuous that a local publication was barred because it runs contrary to the narrative the campaign is trying to sell. So why is she being hidden from reporters at these types of events?

My Take

It’s clear that her exposure is her best friend and worst enemy. Being talked about is a politician’s best friend on the campaign trail, but it also offers a risk of failure. This is most common in events like the town hall meetings she is holding because she’ll be forced to think on her feet.

What if she can’t think on her feet? What if her answers when placed in an unscripted situation the type of answers many would expect from an inexperienced socialist?

Until she’s ready to handle the pressure of having press cover these events, she won’t be ready to hold public office at this level. The House of Representatives isn’t for people who need to be protected from their own answers.

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Culture and Religion

Ken Ham on how science confirms the Bible

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Ken Ham on how science confirms the Bible

One of my biggest pet peeves is the attempt by atheists to use “science” to disprove the Bible. It’s unfortunate on many levels, not the least of which being Pascal’s Wager, but the strangest part is how much of science must be ignored in order to make the claim a Biblical worldview runs counter to modern science.

Some may object to this topic being part of mostly political news site, but it’s been more widely covered in recent years by liberal sites attempting to paint the Biblical worldview in a negative light, so it’s good to give equal time to the counterarguments.

There are better videos than Ken Ham’s discussion on the topic, but few are more easily understood. It’s well worth the hour.

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