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No whataboutism: Trump pardoned a scumbag

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We’ve all had our “walking tall” stories of local corruption. We’ve all seen various petty local officials caught with their hands in the till, their zippers down, their kingdom-building fiefdoms exposed. Some of these have been sent to prison.

One well-known case is the former city manager and other officials of Bell, California, who bilked this tiny city of millions. Robert Rizzo got 12 years, and nobody pardoned him. I’ve seen some local scumbags avoid prison, and even frame up others who got sent away. Politics is a blood sport and a lot of vampires play the game.

In what would have been just another high-profile petty political scumbag getting his comeuppance, former Sheriff Joe Arpaio was awaiting sentencing for contempt of court charges in a politically charged case on how Arpaio defied DOJ orders on immigration enforcement. If that was all “Sheriff Joe” had done, I’d have been happy to see the octogenarian walk free.

But I was uninformed, like most people. I follow politics as part of my living, and I missed the back story here. Imagine how ignorant people outside of Maricopa County are about Arpaio’s corruption and scumbagginess.

Jon Gabriel, editor of Ricochet, whose pieces frequently get shared here at The New Americana, penned a scathing takedown of Arpaio in USA Today. Imagine if the local Boss Hogg in your community teamed up with President Trump, glommed on to the Trump Train in various public and sycophantic ways, and just when some scintilla of justice was about to dump on the local version of McNairy County Sheriff Al Thurman. the President of the United States pardoned him.

That would be an outrage.

We should be outraged that a man like Arpaio received a pardon. It doesn’t matter how political Obama’s immigration non-enforcement was. It doesn’t matter that Bill Clinton pardoned a tax-evading scumbag because the guy’s wife shoveled money at the Clintons. There’s no whataboutism that justifies an abrogation of justice.

Gabriel’s subheading reads:

Convicting Arpaio of contempt of court was like busting Al Capone on tax evasion. It was the tip of an iceberg of misdeeds I saw my longtime sheriff commit.

Arpaio was so badly regarded by locals that in the 2016 election in which Donald Trump won Maricopa County by 3 points, the sheriff was defeated by a Democrat who kicked him to the curb by a 10 point margin. The locals know best.

The locals knew that Arpaio was an ineffective sheriff who didn’t serve his county residents. The conservative Goldwater Institute–in 2008–detailed his years of waste and abuse.

The locals knew that Arpaio personally cost the county $1,102,528.50 in taxpayer money to pay off a man who was completely falsely accused–framed–for a 1999 murder plot against the then-sheriff.

We all know that scumbag politicians like Arpaio frequently stay in office for many years past their crimes, because people fear them, and because they’ve made many friends in exchange for various favors. I’ve seen it myself, and you’ve probably seen it in your own community.

The federal government is already too big, too powerful, and too corrupt. President Trump promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington D.C. But in Maricopa County, Trump dumped a metric ton of swamp water and sewage on voters’–his own voters’–heads. This is the thanks they get for supporting him.

Next, it might very well happen in your town, to your own personal version of scumbag Joe Arpaio.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Kelly Burke

    August 28, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    That was totally unconvincing. The reason he shouldn’t get a pardon is he lost the election? Or had a bad outcome in a case?

    • Steve Berman

      August 28, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      Kelly, I’m not burning your straw man. I never said the president shouldn’t have pardoned Arpaio because he lost the election, or any other reason. I just said it’s an outrage for a president to pardon a scumbag. If I thought it wasn’t legally or politically justified, I’d have said it was a travesty.

      What is a travesty is that more people didn’t know about the decades of scumbaggery committed by Arpaio.

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Democrats

Kyrsten Sinema’s socialist thoughts now exemplify over half of Arizona

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Kyrsten Sinema's socialist thoughts now exemplify over half of Arizona

Arizona can no longer be considered a red state. As the Senate election vote counts finish up, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema appears poised to win. It isn’t that a Democrat won that makes me move Arizona from red to purple. It’s that a socialist in moderate clothing was able to pull the wool over the eyes of Arizona voters so easily.

Just an hour of research is enough to break through the Arizona mainstream media’s false narrative that Sinema is a moderate. She is anti-capitalism, in favor of open borders, and had the lowest Liberty Score of anyone in the House representing Arizona.

Then, there’s this:

“A huge dollar bill is the most accurate way to teach children the real motto of the United States: In the Almighty Dollar We Trust… Until the average American realizes that capitalism damages her livelihood while augmenting the livelihoods of the wealthy, the Almighty Dollar will continue to rule. It certainly is not ruling in our favor.”

Arizona chose poorly.

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Guns and Crime

Trust in Chicago area police was already low. Then they killed Jemel Roberson.

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Trust in Chicago area police was already low Then they killed Jemel Roberson

An armed security guard prevented anyone from getting killed when gunmen returned to his bar after getting thrown out. He subdued them without using deadly force and was restraining one of the alleged assailants when police arrived. That’s when a resolved situation turned ugly.

A Midlothian police officer shot and killed Jemel Roberson, 26, while responding to a shooting inside Manny’s Blue Room Bar in Robbins, Illinois, about 4 a.m. Sunday. Roberson was pronounced dead at the scene.

This appears to be a case of a truly decent person doing his job and losing his life as a result.

Security guard killed by police in Robbins bar wanted to be a cop, friends say

https://wgntv.com/2018/11/12/officer-responds-to-gunfire-fatally-shoots-security-guard-at-robbins-bar/Friends said Roberson was an upstanding guy who had plans to become a police officer. He was also a musician, playing keyboard and drums at several Chicago-area churches.

“Every artist he’s ever played for, every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” the Rev. Patricia Hill from Purposed Church said. “He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.”

“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill said.

My Take

Chicago area residents have had many reasons to not trust the men and women charged with keeping them safe. Controversial police-involved shootings, rising crime rates, and tone deaf leadership in city, county, and state governments have been pushing people in the area to give up on law enforcement.

This will make matters much worse.

The optics on this couldn’t get much uglier, especially if the unnamed police officer who shot Roberson turns out to be Caucasian. Roberson, an African-American, was able to detain four assailants without anyone getting fatally wounded. The fact that he was then fatally shot by police adds a new dimension to the rift between police and the people.

In most incidents where police are believed to have used deadly force unnecessarily, it’s a matter of them shooting an alleged criminal when other means of subduing them could have been used. Such is the case with Jason Van Dyke who fatally shot Laquan McDonald. Nobody argued that McDonald wasn’t dangerous. He was high on PCP, had a knife, and was walking in the middle of the street despite police warnings for him to drop the weapon and get on the ground.

Roberson’s situation is the opposite. He was doing his duty as a security guard and very likely saved lives in the process. His death is almost certainly going to start another round of racial tensions and anti-police protests that could cause tremendous turmoil throughout the Chicagoland area.

There is usual gray area in police shootings, but this seems pretty black and white to me. Jemel Roberson acted heroically. Instead of a happy ending for the day and a bright future in law enforcement ahead, he’s gone.

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Entertainment and Sports

Stan Lee’s 10 greatest comics

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Stan Lees 10 greatest comics

Stan Lee has died. While modern audiences probably know much more about the Marvel movies and televisions shows that dominate our viewing pleasures, it was his genius in creating so many beloved comic book characters decades ago that fuels Hollywood today.

Looper put out a video with his greatest comics. These subjective lists are usually fodder for debate, but I was so pleasantly surprised by their choices I decided to post it here. It may be the first time I agree with nearly everything in a video top 10 list. Fitting that it surrounds an icon like Lee.

From his quirky cameos in every Marvel movie to his down-to-earth perspectives present in every interview, there’s plenty to love about Stan Lee. But it was his comic book creations that have made a permanent mark on American culture.

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