The Senate Votes For New Sanctions on Russia, The Officer Who Killed Philando Castille is Found Not Guilty of Manslaughter, and Trump Opines About the "Witch Hunt" Against Him: P.M. Links

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  • President Trump

    Germany threatens retaliation if the U.S. ends up going through with new sanctions against Russia, which German government officials worry will harm German companies. The Senate approved sanctions yesterday in a 98-2 vote, with only Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee objecting. The House has yet to vote on the measure.

  • Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer who shot Philando Castille in a highly publicized incident caught on video last year, was aquitted of all charges related to the shooting, including second-degree manslaughter. If convicted he would have faced up to 20 years in prision. The decision comes a month after police officer Betty Jo Shelby was found not guilty for her shooting of an unarmed black motorist in Oklahoma.
  • Less lucky was Michelle Carter, who was convicted of involunatry manslaughter for urging her boyfriend to commit suicide via text. The case raises a number of issues surrounding speech and violence.
  • President Trump supposedly admits to being investigated for obstruction of justice in a Tweet today, saying an investigation into his firing of former-FBI director James Comey was a "Witch hunt".

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  1. Germany threatens retaliation if the U.S. ends up going through with new sanctions against Russia…

    They’re spooling up the Wehrmacht.

    1. France pre-emptively surrenders.

    2. Hello.

      1. Helloooooooo!
        [pulls slot machine lever]

    3. [Inset Monty Burns afear’d of teh Germans here]

    4. Merkel’s Pact of Steel Redux.

  2. Less lucky was Michelle Carter, who was convicted of [involuntary] manslaughter for urging her boyfriend to commit suicide via text.

    Such a bizarre story, they apparently barely ever met face-to-face and she initially tried to get him to get help.

    1. I’m a bit torn on that one. From what I’ve read, it seems like she wanted him to kill himself so she could get all the sympathy and good stuff that comes from having a dead boyfriend and it’s pretty clear that she intended to do all she could by means of text messages to bring about his death. Pretty fucked.

      I’m not entirely convinced that that should be criminal. But if incitement to violence through speech can be a crime, perhaps incitement to suicide can be as well.

      This case is rather different from Lori Drew, who was being shitty, but wasn’t explicitly encouraging someone to commit suicide.

      I don’t know. Maybe the boy’s family should just beat her with sticks or something.

      1. It’s hard to be torn when police pump bullets into unarmed people and don’t get convicted.

        1. Yeah, that one is pretty upsetting.

      2. I’m not torn on this one. It’s not like he didn’t know what the outcome would be. Her actions may be reprehensible, but he knew what would happen if he got back in the truck. He did it on his own free will.

        What about her? Did her mental state play into this? She had a history of depression and eating disorders. Was she on any of the mind-shredders they prescribe to everyone these days?

        The biggest issue to me here falls into criminalizing speech. The precedent set here could be used against anyone who influenced the thoughts of the maniac who shot Rep. Scalise. The opportunities for prosecutorial/litigative abuse are staggering. Hurt the wrong person’s feelings and they do something stupid, and you could be doing hard time.

        They got this one wrong. The conviction should be reversed.

        1. One more thing…. teenagers. Not grown men and women with fully developed brains. Teens. And screwed up teens at that.

          Yet somehow more responsible for their actions and the actions of others than actual murderers. Or police chiefs who send their crack narco squad in at 2 a.m. on a no-knock raid that gets a dangerous toddler shot and killed. Or how about the prosecutor who trumps up trafficking charges against some addict with a mandatory minimum 80 years – so he can plead him down and get him to implicate the guy they no-knock raided at 2 a.m., killing his dangerous toddler?

          We definitely have our priorities in order, I’ll say that. Moody teens who torment their mentally ill “boyfriend” via text are definitely a greater threat to the peace.

          1. Teens or adults, we’re edging closer and closer to the world of thoughtcrime.

        2. The problem is: if someone asks (or orders) someone else to kill someone, is it not merely their words that are influencing them to do so?

        3. How do you feel about incitement of violence as a criminal charge?

          I think it’s probably best to put free speech first in all of these things.

  3. Ken Starr: Trump would be ‘ill-advised’ to fire Mueller

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-…..re-mueller

    Saturday Night Massacre Part II coming?

    1. Why would he do that if Trump himself says there is nothing to the whole Russian conspiracy stuff?
      If it was me, I’d be shouting “investigate all you want cause you ain’t going to find shit.” Since he is not, that leads many people to believe there is a real fire in all the smoke.

    2. So how are sales of that piece of shit book of yours coming along so far? No doubt a second printing will be in the works any day now!

  4. My medical advice, ladies: don’t listen to these so-called “doctors:” Doctors warn women against putting wasp nests in their vaginas

    Women are being warned against trying a bizarre new trend that suggests using ground-up wasp nests to tighten and rejuvenate their vaginas.

    1. Just tie a board across your ass, Crusty.

    2. Have you ever smelled a wasp’s nest?

      1. Yeah, smells like young vagina.

        Doctrine of signatures?

        1. Yeah, smells like young vagina.

          Whoa, settle down there, Errol Flynn.

    3. Misread as “wasp nets”, and thought “well, might be a reasonable precaution if you have that many wasps around.”, without a thought as to whether wasp nets, or wasp on vagina attacks, are even a thing. I guess the latter probably is a thing based on the link.

  5. Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer who shot Philando Castille in a highly publicized incident caught on video last year, was aquitted of all charges related to the shooting, including second-degree manslaughter.

    The lesson here is to not tell jittery Minnesota law enforcement professionals that you have a carry permit.

  6. Seven percent of US adults think choclate milk comes from brown cows:

    The suprising number of American adults who think choclate milk comes from brown cows

    1. Or 7% of Americans who take online surveys like to fuck with the results by giving silly answers.

      1. I like to think this is the case. It bolsters my faith in humanity much more than the other possible explanation.

    2. And how many think brown eggs come from brown chickens?

      You can’t make real brownies without some brown chicken brown cow.

    3. How many think it comes from white cows’ poop?

    4. and Chicken of the Sea comes from chickens

  7. President Trump supposedly admits to being investigated for obstruction of justice in a Tweet today….

    Would this be the same way he admitted to being wiretapped by Obama?

  8. Can You Fix a Broken Heart by Writing about It?

    is there a way out of the darkness? Apart from seeing a therapist, exercising, and getting plenty of good food and rest, what else can you do to mend a broken heart?

    Apparently, you can write about it. A new study says that writing about your relationship and break up can do wonders for the health of your heart?but there is a catch: only one kind of writing can help.

    My advice: listen to knowing songs and consume even more alcohol.

    1. Listening to T Sizzle is the best cure.

      1. This is also very true.

      2. She is the cure for most everything.

        1. She actually exacerbates diabetes, so be warned.

        2. Michelle Carter has a cure for a broken heart, too.

    2. Thought Catalog authors hardest hit.

      But it’s really all about a good dose of perspective when you write about this kind of stuff. I think it’s good to do a little bit of reflection and learn from your mistakes, but some people get way too caught up in reliving the melodrama. So yeah, like the article concludes, it’s best to keep moving forward.

  9. “Germany threatens retaliation if the U.S. ends up going through with new sanctions against Russia, which German government officials worry will harm German companies. The Senate approved sanctions yesterday in a 98-2 vote, with only Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee objecting. The House has yet to vote on the measure.”

    Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact II, Electric Boogaloo?

    1. A good script always starts with a shebang.

      1. So that’s why it’s called bash!

    2. I’ve been corrected before for using exclamation points because they were “too alarming.” I’ve noticed that people hesitate to use periods too, because they come off as kind of passive-aggressive and angry. I think exclamation points are more taboo in professional settings, and periods are more frowned upon in informal ones like texting, so it’s hard to keep straight sometimes.

      1. , and periods are more frowned upon in informal ones like texting

        This is one of the worst millennial inventions! Periods are somehow rude! Use line breaks? The hell you say!

  10. Sex in space is a ‘real concern’ and must be studied before we set sights on Mars, experts say

    During a recent Atlantic Live panel, Assistant Professor Kris Lehnhardt, from George Washington University, said that the topic needs to be addressed immediately.

    He said: “It’s a real concern ? something we really don’t know about is human reproduction in space.”

    “If we actually want to go places and stay there, there’s a key component and that’s having babies,” he added.

    And people think climate change is a pressing issue.

    1. It’s actually a bit surprising that that hasn’t been one of the major projects on the space station.

      I wonder how much sex there has been in space. Seems like it must have happened by now. But I don’t think there are any officially acknowledged instances of it.

      1. Uh, technically, all sex happens in space, Zeb.

    2. Wanted: Subjects for an exciting new study into how the outerspace environment might completely jack up your offspring. You will be well compensated for each messed up kid.

      Also, I gather from the article that “cracking on” is Australian for having sex.

      1. If they just need a dispassionate space dong, they have my number. I’ve told them this repeatedly.

    3. Indeed. They better bring some bungee cords with them.

  11. Apple poaches top Sony TV executives to boost video content

    The new hires demonstrate a serious commitment by another deep-pocketed technology company to produce quality television shows. Erlicht and Van Amburg have served as senior Sony television executives since 2005.

    1. It’s hard for me to imagine a buttoned up, paternal, holier-than-thou company like Apple making movies and TV shows. I gather their first release was not kindly received.

      I imagine every single object in every every single scene being oh so carefully chosen and placed, every actor and crew being oh so carefully vetted, everything budgeted and ready …. except no one wants to write the plot because it would have to have a beginning and end, and all the complications and happenings in between could not be endlessly refined in oh-so-subtle ways from one movie / episode to the next.

      The most boring dreck imaginable. Yet all the Applerati would go bananas over it, pardon the mixed fruit metaphor.

      1. It would probably just stupid shit like “Make sure the bad guys don’t use Apple products and that the heroes have Apple Watches.”

      2. And the movie probably wouldn’t feature a single fucking usb port.

      3. It will be released in a proprietary file format.

  12. Jeff Bezos is a Marvel villian: Grocery stocks are getting clobbered after Amazon-Whole Foods deal

    The stocks of traditional grocery stores like Kroger were clobbered Friday after the deal was announced. So were Walmart and Target, which made big moves into groceries in recent years and now depend on food for a huge chunk of their sales.

    The damage didn’t stop there: Food companies themselves, like Hershey and Campbell Soup, also slumped because of investor concerns that Amazon will do for their products what it does for everything else — cut prices ruthlessly.

    Monster!

    1. Bezos plans to start delivering While Foods products? Doesn’t he realize people mainly go to Whole Foods to scope out yoga honeys and health- conscious soccer milfs?

      1. New opportunities for new Amazon markets.

  13. President Trump supposedly admits to being investigated for obstruction of justice in a Tweet today, saying an investigation into his firing of former-FBI director James Comey was a “Witch hunt”.

    He wasn’t admitting or confirming anything, he only found out about it when it was reported in the news.

  14. Nasa revives a 50-year-old idea -conceived by an ex-Nazi missile scientist – to turn used rockets in orbit into manned space stations

    The un-crewed rocket will carry a satellite or resupply cargo, while the manned rocket – which will launch a day later – will carry the recycle crew and equipment.

    Once both are in orbit, the astronauts in the crewed craft will remotely vent any leftover fuel from the un-manned rocket’s large hydrogen tank.

    They will then build and install life-equipment and move into the empty space, reusing a fuel tank that would otherwise have been left to float in orbit or directed into Earth’s atmosphere for destruction.

    Three private companies have been contracted to test whether the recycled rocket programme is feasible.

    1. It’s good that they are making affordable housing available to space-hobos.

    2. Where’s Elon Musk in all of this?

  15. Suderman’s special lady friend is trending. I don’t know what for, but the first tweet I see when I clicked:

    “Megan McArdle is beyond both banality and evil”

    So it must be for something good.

    1. So she is like Nietzsche?

      1. Ah:

        When it comes to many regulations, it is best to leave such calculations of benefit and cost to the market, rather than the government. People can make their own assessments of the risks, and the price they’re willing to pay to allay them, rather than substituting the judgment of some politician or bureaucrat who will not receive the benefit or pay the cost.

        1. When it comes to many regulations, politicians and bureaucrats are pretty much for sale and “the market” doesn’t have a representative to pay its bribes.

      2. So, if I’m understanding correctly, McArdle is being hammered for noting that decisions/policy proposals involve trade-offs?

        1. Yes. And it seems that people are willfully misreading her as saying *absolutely no* regulation for sprinklers as opposed to no government regulation of them.

  16. A police badge is a license to kill. Doesn’t everyone know that by now?

  17. Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer who shot Philando Castille

    Which one of them is the white hispanic?

  18. Moniz, however, focused on Roy’s final moments when he wavered, stepping out of the truck ? and Carter told him to “Get back in.” The judge said that although Carter knew Roy was in trouble, she took no action.

    I think this is an important point in the case. I’m no lawyer (or Doctor), but at some point when you know someone is in danger and you actively work to turn the situation around when they extricate themselves from danger, it seems like she could be culpable of something.

    I would say she could certainly be hit with a large civil judgement at the least.

  19. So Seattle’s Democracy Voucher law now has some results in. Ahem…

    With two months remaining in the primary, Seattle’s one-of-a-kind experiment with publicly financed elections is off to a modest start with three candidates so far having cashed in a total of $230,000 in Democracy Vouchers.

    County election records show at-large city council candidate Jon Grant leading the publicly financed candidates with $129,450 in vouchers cashed, followed by at-large council candidate Teresa Mosqueda with $61,225. City Attorney Pete Holmes, who is seeking re-election, has collected 1,597 vouchers for a total of $39,925.

    The program that was supposed to create massive diversity in elections has done nothing of the sort, and the totality of funds collected so far have landed in exactly three pockets.

    1. Here’s a candidate speaking on the program:

      James Passey was running for a city council seat this year, but he recently withdrew, citing the Voucher Program as one of the reasons. When I asked him how the Program had factored into his decision to quit, here’s what he said:

      The amount of rules from the Fair and Honest Elections / I-122 [the name for the initiative that established the program] are enough to discourage anyone with a regular full-time job from running for office, even if they have experience and motivation and vision. It didn’t fix the issue it was supposed to fix, according to what was stated in the ballot initiative. It was supposed to get big money and influence out of local politics. Instead, it has become a conduit for big money and influence to come in, take advantage of a system meant for true grassroots movements, and spend taxpayer money to finance campaigns. You must have lots of resources (people and money) to participate in the Democracy Voucher Program. Collecting 400 signatures and a minimum of $10 per signer isn’t easy and can’t be done part-time or even full-time. You need a well-organized campaign to pull this off.

    2. Quoting from a blog post on I-122: “Backers of the initiative said it would bring more diversity to the city’s pool of candidates, giving those without access to big-money donors the ability to compete. Proponents also argued the measure would encourage candidates to spend more time listening to ordinary citizens’ concerns.”

      ?That is absolutely false. Our campaign spent the majority of our time trying to explain the program to ordinary citizens while hustling them for $10 and a signature. As a candidate, I was trying to juggle payments, signatures, making sure people follow the rules otherwise their signature and $10 minimum contribution doesn’t count, you name it. The program comes with very strict rules and guidelines that must be followed. I’d say more than 85% of my time was spent on the overhead of this program, and 15% of my time listening to people about concerns of the City.

    3. Re: The program that was supposed to create massive diversity in elections has done nothing of the sort…

      No way! Who could have foreseen that result!

  20. Tell someone to kill themselves go to jail, actually kill someone get a paid vacation.

  21. Funny how not a peep out of the NRA expressing outrage over the killing of Philando Castle. He was legally carrying and he got shot for it. What the cop claims makes no sense. The jury is a bunch of morons. What makes me mad are trhose two black jurors who just fell in and did not hold out.

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