Daryl and Todd:
They were black kids and they were playing loud music. BAM! Death penalty, they were asking for it:
Michael David Dunn, 45, was in Jacksonville, Fla., this Friday for his son’s wedding, when afterward he decided to stop at a convenience store with his girlfriend. Four unarmed teenagers were in an SUV near where Dunn parked. After Dunn’s girlfriend went into the store to buy a bottle of wine, Dunn made a comment to the teenagers about their music being too loud. An argument ensued, and then Dunn, a gun collector, pulled out his gun and fired at the SUV between eight to nine times. Two shots hit and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis.
Jacksonville homicide Lt. Rob Schoonover said:
Our victim was shot a couple of times. …They were listening to the music. It was loud; they [other teens] admitted that. But I mean that is not a reason for someone to open fire on them.
When his girlfriend returned to the car, Dunn drove off, admitting to her that he “fired at these kids.” After hearing a news report that someone died in the shooting at their Jacksonville hotel, the couple returned to their home to Brevard County, Fla. Witnesses of the shooting took down Dunn’s license plate number, which, on Saturday, helped police find Dunn’s house, where he was then arrested.
According to Schoonover, after his arrest, Dunn told Jacksonville detectives, “he felt threatened and that is the reason he took action.”
Because the blacks!
Dunn is being held without bail, and will be transported to a jail in Jacksonville to face charges of murder and attempted murder this week. On Monday, he pleaded not guilty in Brevard County court.
His attorney, Robin Lemonidis, said:
It will be very clear that Mr. Dunn acted very responsibly and as any responsible firearms owner would have acted under these circumstances.
This is good, but let’s see how long it lasts:
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration put a temporary stop to new federal contracts with British oil company BP on Wednesday, citing the company’s “lack of business integrity” and criminal proceedings stemming from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.
The action by the Environmental Protection Administration won’t affect current contracts, but prevents BP and its affiliates from new government contracts “until the company can provide sufficient evidence to EPA demonstrating that it meets federal business standards,” the agency said.
“EPA is taking this action due to BP’s lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company’s conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response,” the agency said in a statement.
I’m perfectly happy to call out the Obama administration when I think they deserve it, but this whole Susan Rice “controversy” is nothing but one in a long line of Republican faux outrages. What I find appalling is how this worthless, bootlicking American media helpfully blows this up and fans the flames when the Republican whack jobs roll out of their clown car:
WASHINGTON — Susan E. Rice may have hoped that paying a conciliatory call on three hostile Senate Republicans on Tuesday would smooth over a festering dispute about the deadly attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, and clear a roadblock to her nomination as secretary of state.
But the senators seemed anything but mollified, signaling instead that they would still oppose Ms. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, if she is nominated by President Obama, even after she conceded errors in the account of the assault she gave on Sunday morning television programs shortly after it occurred in September.
Two of the Republicans, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, said they would seek to block Ms. Rice, who according to administration officials remains Mr. Obama’s preferred choice to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The third Republican, Senator John McCain of Arizona, said on Fox that he would be “very hard-pressed” to support Ms. Rice.
“Bottom line, I’m more disturbed than I was before,” Mr. Graham said after the tense, closed-door meeting.
The continued criticism of Ms. Rice, 48, a diplomat with close ties to Mr. Obama, deepens an already bitter and unusually personal feud between the White House and Republicans over Libya. Responding to a question about criticism of Ms. Rice at a news conference two weeks ago, Mr. Obama said, “If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me.”
If Rice is who Obama wants as his Secretary of State, then he should make her a recess appointment and be done with it — you know, like Bush the elder did with Lawrence Eagleburger.
Finally, going after the corporate bad guys!
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — An executive who ran several Massey Energy coal companies and worked closely with former CEO Don Blankenship faces criminal conspiracy charges and is cooperating with federal prosecutors, a sign that authorities may be targeting Blankenship himself in the fatal West Virginia blast that was the nation’s worst mine disaster in four decades.
So having one doesn’t make you go crazy. But having a child when you don’t want it? Maybe.
Californians told to prepare for their own big storms.
I wonder why Eric Holder doesn’t bring a RICO suit against Grover, Turd Blossom, and the Koch brothers? After all, you could make a reasonable case for extortion: Grover tells Republican officials to vote his way, or he will drown them in a primary challenge. It doesn’t seem like that’s how democracy is supposed to work. Lee Fang for The Nation:
Grover Norquist’s iron grip over much of the Republican Party is somewhat puzzling. Why should Senators and other lawmakers listen to a guy caught laundering money for Jack Abramoff?
But consider Norquist’s tax pledge and political power another way: that he’s just a proxy for the powerful interest groups that finance him. In the nineties, it was big tobacco that used Norquist’s tax pledge as a cover to lobby lawmakers against cigarette taxes (Norquist still uses an e-mail system donated to him by Altria to send out Tea Party action alerts against tobacco taxes).
Now, big PhRMA and other industry groups provide grants to Norquist while his foundation endorses other giveaways, like protectionist support against importing cheaper drugs from Canada and the classification of tax subsidies to refineries as “tax cuts” that must not be cut.
I took a look at the last available budget numbers for Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist’s group. Though they do not reveal their donors, we can cobble together much of Norquist’s donors using foundations and other nonprofits that donate money to him.
The disclosures show that only two billionaire-backed groups have provided over 66 percent of Norquist’s funding:
• The Center to Protect Patients Rights donated $4,189,000 to Americans for Tax Reform in 2010, 34 percent of the group’s budget that year.
• Crossroads GPS donated $4,000,000 to Americans for Tax Reform in 2010, 32.46 percent of the group’s budget that year.
The Center to Protect Patients Rights is the foundation used by the billionaire clique led by the Koch brothers to distribute grants to allied groups. In 2010, wealthy moguls like Steve Bechtel of Bechtel Corporation and Steve Schwarzman of the Blackstone Group met behind closed doors to help lend money to these types of efforts.
Crossroads GPS is the undisclosed group run by Karl Rove. The only known donors are folks like Paul Singer, the “vulture” hedge fund king who benefits enormously from tax strategies like the carried interest loophole. Norquist’s pledge largely benefits billionaires like Singer and Schwarzman, who pay almost nothing in payroll taxes and likely pay a lower rate than their secretaries.
Alan Grayson: The largest recipient of public aid in the country.