"The measure that cleared the House doesn’t set a cap on the loans that the U.S. can guarantee. Rather, it tweaks an existing program so Ukraine can swiftly qualify for U.S.-backed loan guarantees that would cover the risk of losses in case of default." - Politico
Florida man shoots cop cites "stand Your Ground" !
Oh, the irony! It burns…it burrrrrns!
If there’s two things Florida residents know to fear, it’s anyone with a badge, a gun or both. These days, stories of Florida police kidnapping, raping,murdering or otherwise brutalizingunarmed people are so commonplace that “fleeing and eluding” officers has become less of a crime and more an act of self-preservation. The sad fact is, encountering a cop in Florida these days means running a very real risk of serious injury or death– whether you’ve committed a crime or not. Want to get shot 15 times in your own driveway? Count on the Florida police to oblige.
Of course, the same could be said for any Floridian who is both armed and acquainted with the state’s License to Kill — aka “Stand Your Ground” — laws. Perhaps it was only a matter of time before someone shot a Florida cop and invoked SYG afterward.
That’s exactly what happened in the fascinating case of 24-year-old Pensacola man Keenan Finklestein, who shot Escambia County officer Shedrick Johnson in the leg on March 20th a year ago. The case against Finklestein has been ongoing since then, but this latest development from his legal team is one for the books.
The incident started when officers responded to a robbery call late at night in the Scenic Hills area of Pensacola. The victim told the police that someone had stolen a hand gun and (wait for it) marijuana from his residence. After you let that one sink in, read on.
When police arrived at the house, they saw Finklestein emerge from the garage. Finklestein was not the subject the police were looking for, and details haven’t been released, but it’s entirely possible he was pulling a Zimmerman as self-appointed guardian of the neighborhood.
When Sgt. Johnson emerged from the shadows behind the garage, Finklestein pulled a gun and shot him in the leg. Johnson claims that he identified himself as a police officer before Finklestein fired, while Finklestein claims he did not, and that he fired in self-defense.
But, then again, this is Florida: Maybe Johnson DID identify himself as a cop, and Finklestein fired in self-defense. Not a jury in the state would convict him.
A year into the proceedings, Finklestein’s lawyers dropped the inevitable bombshell, claiming that because their client was in a dangerous situation, was in legitimate fear for his life and had no legal duty to retreat, he’s covered under Florida’s SYG laws. Nobody’s saying yet whether that will be enough to counterbalance the officer’s claim, or his “my word is law” “trained observer” status. In any he-said/he-said case, the courts will take the police officer’s testimony as fact over that of a brown guy who’s definitely a terrorist.
Now, make the case that it WASN’T self-defense.
If you’re looking to make some money: Bookies in Tampa are now making odds on how long it will be before the state legislature either drops SYG, or modifies it so it doesn’t apply to police officers. Current odds are 26-to-1 on the latter by the end of the month, and 26,000-to-1 on the former through eternity.
SALLY KOHN: Republicans are practically cheering for Vladimir Putin today. He’s given them a new excuse to bash President Obama. Republicans are out in droves, suggesting that, if the president weren’t such a weak leader, Putin wouldn’t be threatening the Ukraine.
First of all, did the same Republicans call George W. Bush weak when Putin invaded Georgia in 2008? No. Second, what do Obama’s Republican critics want? They want economic sanctions and political boycotts to be on the table. Well…
“My illiterate, tea bagging, Fox viewing, neighbor is all worked up and getting hysterical this morning because of daylight savings time. Which is President Obama’s fault because Obama forced it on us with an executive order.
I tried to explain Dr. Benjamin Franklin’s role in daylight savings time but he would have none of it saying “I had drunk the Liberal Cool aid”.
I hope his kids come to get him and put him in a home for his own good. He’s only 46 but maybe they can find a home that takes difficult cases.”—Via email from R.Olson
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) asserted on Thursday that liberals did not understand that kids who got free lunches at school did not have parents who cared about them at home. Speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference, the former Republican vice…
My father sincerely believes that science is a political plot, Christians are America’s most persecuted minority and Barack Obama is a full-blown communist. He supports the use of force without question, as long as it’s aimed at foreigners. He thinks liberals are all stupid, ignorant fucks who hate America.
I don’t recall my father being so hostile when I was growing up. He was conservative, to be sure, but conventionally and thoughtfully so. He is a kind and generous man and a good father, but over the past five or 10 years, he’s become so conservative that I can’t even find a label for it.
What has changed? He consumes a daily diet of nothing except Fox News. He has for a decade or more. He has no email account and doesn’t watch sports. He refuses to so much as touch a keyboard and has never been on the Internet, ever. He thinks higher education destroys people, not only because of Fox News, but also because I drifted left during and after graduate school.
I do not blame or condemn my father for his opinions. If you consumed a daily diet of right-wing fury, erroneously labeled “news,” you could very likely end up in the same place. Again, this is all by design. Let’s call it the Fox News effect. Take sweet, kindly senior citizens and feed them a steady stream of demagoguery and repetition, all wrapped in the laughable slogan of “fair and balanced.” Even watching the commercials on Fox, one is treated to sales pitches for gold and emergency food rations, the product cornerstones of the paranoid. To some people the idea of retirees yelling at the television all day may seem funny, but this isn’t a joke. We’re losing the nation’s grandparents, and it’s an American tragedy.
My father is only in his early fifties, and is still active in the workforce and his community, but I’m still saddened by how much I identify with this piece.