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Showing true colors on asset forfeiture

A friend sent me this article, not so much about the disagreement between President Trump and a Senator, but the underlying discussion that led to it.

Texas Democrats Angered by Trump’s Remark on Destroying Senator’s Career

“Mr. President, on asset forfeiture,” Sheriff Eavenson said, in an exchange that was observed by reporters and filmed, “we’ve got a state senator in Texas that was talking about introducing legislation to require conviction before we can receive that forfeiture money, and I told him that the cartel would build a monument to him in Mexico if he could get that legislation passed.”

“Can you believe that?” Mr. Trump responded, then added, “Who’s the state senator?”

Sheriff Eavenson did not reply. “Do you want to give his name?” Mr. Trump said. “We’ll destroy his career.” Laughter then broke out.

Sigh.

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120 comments to Showing true colors on asset forfeiture

  • jean valjean

    Is this the stupidest Republican congressman ever? A low bar to get under, I know:
    “GOP Congressman Warns of Mexican Marijuana Nukes
    And it wasn’t even Louie Gohmert or Steve King.”

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/gop-congressman-warns-mexican-marijuana-nukes

    • Will

      jean, as you already know, stupidity is in bountiful supply on both sides of the aisle. Case in point;

      “Missile defense is OK politically, but remember you can smuggle a nuclear weapon inside a bale of marijuana,” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said at a congressional hearing about North Korea earlier this month.

      Sherman said something similar at a hearing in January, the Post said, and referenced the scenario at least three times when discussing Iran in 2015.

      -And from others;;

      David Kay of the International Atomic Energy Agency explained why the idea is plausible during a 1996 interview on PBS’s “Frontline.”

      “I’ve often said, my preferred method for delivering a nuclear device is, I would hide it in a bale of marijuana, contract it out to the drug lords and move it,” he said.

      “Marijuana is a good shielder actually for radiation. The drug lords have a superb record for delivery. They’re not Fed Ex, but they’re awfully close to it. And contract it out and get it across the border.”

      The director of George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute also pitched the idea in 2014.

      “If you want to smuggle in a tactical nuclear weapon, just put it in a bale of marijuana,” Frank Ciluffo said during a congressional hearing that year. “Because we’re not doing that well in terms of some of our drug enforcement.”

      Source: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/320663-gop-rep-warns-of-nukes-in-marijuana-bales

      ————————

      As far as who is the dumbest congressman/woman, I’m going to go with one particular imbecile mentioned in your comment: from Texas, the one and only, Louie “Goober” Gohmert. Honestly, he occupies a special category of stupid rarely achieved by mere mortals.

      • jean valjean

        Thanks Will….I’m sure it’s more to do with hyping up the dangers of weed than fears about nukes. I didn’t realize the “bales of marijuana” meme was so long running though.

      • Servetus

        Sherman and Franks and the others exemplify the crisis of science education in the United States. In science, the idea is to quantify things to better understand them and thereby know what needs to be done, if anything.

        For example, a person handling the bomb would want to bulk up at their local gym, as a basketball-sized nuclear device weighs about 160 pounds. Because the device contains weapons grade material, it gives off heat. Wrapped in a bale of insulating cannabis, the heat can build until it ignites the marijuana, sending a “bust me” signal detectable for miles. Also, for technical reasons, it is unwise to use a catapult to launch a nuclear warhead over a wall to get it into the US, even if it is padded in reefer. Then there’s the obvious question of why anyone would want to wrap their bomb in an aromatic herb that will draw the attention of law enforcement.

        Brad Sherman, Trent Franks, David Kay, and Frank Ciluffo would make lousy smugglers, and incompetent terrorists. Gohmert as well. Their ignorance, rejection, or misuse of science makes them incompetent government servants, as it is often more important to know what is impossible than possible.

  • Here is a good look at Jeff Sessions pet project: private prisons (and plenty of asset forfeiture!)

    “My Four Months As A Private Prison Guard” –
    “Private prisons are shrouded in secrecy. I took a job as a guard to get inside—then things got crazy”
    https://tinyurl.com/h8wawfh

  • Servetus

    The reasons given for Trump’s sudden switch to supporting Big Pharma; from JP Sottile at Consortium News:

    24 FEB 17 — Oddly enough, before he delivered his “American Carnage” speech, Trump campaigned against Big Pharma’s big profits from exorbitantly-priced drugs. He even said they were “getting away with murder.” In response, he promised to impose the type of “bulk buying” that makes drugs so darn cheap in places like Canada, France and the rest of the civilized world. But now that he’s got the Executive Branch under his tiny thumb, Trump now blames a “very unfair” cabal of international bulk-buying crooks who’ve connived to make American consumers pay high prices for drugs … so they can pay far less.

    In effect, the world’s bulk buying system is a conspiracy to make Americans pay the high cost of developing the drugs they can then buy in bulk from the pharmaceutical industry at reduced cost. At least, that’s what he told a group of Big Pharma executives when they came to visit him.

    That new bulk-buying enemy of the people joins Trump’s list of usual suspects, global gougers and assorted “enemies of the American people.” […]

    [And] we get a self-described “military operation” under the guise of extricating “bad dudes” in drug-dealing gangs and Mexican cartels. This histrionic plan conveniently obfuscates the perfectly legal drug dealers of Big Pharma who are the real culprits behind the “carnage” decimating America. That, along with his attack on the bulk-buying ways of health care systems around the world, is yet another dangerous, if potentially profitable distraction from the stark reality being lived every day by people who struggle to afford medication or battle to live another day with a Pharma-engineered addiction.

  • DownThePanTV

    Among his campaign promises was to fatten the fishes in Manila Bay, where he said he would dump thousands of dead drug addicts and criminals. Rights groups say that since he took office, more than 7,000 have died in his war on drugs.

    “All of the new populist leaders around the world, they always promise change, they always say they are the sole owner of change, that they can make the change happen. This is a very unrealistic position,” McCoy said.

    “In any large complex society, no single individual, not even the head of state, can actually produce meaningful change. It’s got to come from the participation of the citizenry,” he said.

    McCoy said like Marcos and Aquino, Mr. Duterte could face a threat from the military, which he said moved “very quietly.”

    “You will never know it’s going to happen until it happens,” he said. “One of the things about the military is that it’s complex. From any level, from lieutenant colonel onward, you can get a core group that will oppose you (and) they don’t talk about it before they do it,” McCoy said.

    “That’s why he (Duterte) has to be careful in handling the military. Duterte has to manipulate the chain of command.”

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/875383/duterte-tempting-a-coup-says-us-historian

  • Servetus

    The nemesis of marijuana consumers throughout the world, the white American Christian religious right, is jubilant because it made the election of Donald John Trump possible. What does the 2016 election mean for drug enforcement given that Trump intends to deliver on all his promises to white Christian nationalists, prohibitionists or otherwise? For that, we turn to 1970, the year of Roe v Wade, when the Christian right met…

    …“to join forces in meeting the perils of our time” [“Church Group Issues Holiday Proclamation,” LA Times, Nov. 24, 1970]. With a war in Vietnam and a nation erupting over the civil rights movements, those perils seemed profound. Religious leaders also worried about urban poverty, increasing drug use and sexual promiscuity, and the breakdown of the American family. Banding together as a united front against these ills and the growing trend of secularism seemed only logical […]. –Neil J. Young, We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics, (Oxford, 2016), p. 1.

    And band together they did, at least along common social and political lines, if not theologies. Three anti-drug religious groups were among the ranks, largely made up of right wing factions of Catholics, Evangelicals, and Mormons. The quasi-ecumenical group prioritized its objections, which were publicized in a Christian Coalition survey for a “Ten-year Christian Coalition Plan”:

    …the Christian Coalition’s prioritization of abortion in its political agenda and its frequent public messages that sought “pro-life Catholics” for its work helped attract Catholic members. The Christian Coalition gave such great attention to abortion not for recruiting aims, of course, but because it continued to represent its members’ consuming political priority. A 1990 survey revealed 55 percent of Christian Coalition’s donors designated abortion as “the most important issue that motivates you to political action”. In a distant second, education only garnered 13.5 percent, and media hyped issues like pornography (5 percent) and homosexuality (3.4 percent) ranked behind “crime/drugs” and “New Age”, both with 7.4 percent, as pressing concerns. Ibid, p. 274.

    The numbers could be different today, but the 7.4 percent ranking for crime/drugs likely encompasses the core of the prohibitionist movement in the United States at the time. The ongoing attacks on citizen rights by authoritarians and authoritarian followers within the Christian right, especially those who play major roles in Deep State members that include the DEA, FBI, and CIA, might proceed in a similar fashion, with time and energy devoted to the pro-life agenda of arresting women for having abortions, possessing birth control or chemical abortifacients, as examples; with much less effort expended against general consumers of standard delegitimized drugs. Or maybe not. Either way, the ham-fisted failure of the current religious right’s agenda is not only likely but is already determined, just as it was for 1920s alcohol prohibition, or the demise by 1800 of the Catholic anti-drug inquisitions of Europe and Latin America.

  • FullOnParənɔɪdTV

    Then, with White House counsel Don McGahn standing by, Spicer asked his staff to provide him with their cell phones so he could ensure they were not using those apps or corresponding privately with reporters.
    Spicer asked to review both his staff’s government-issued and personal cell phones, the sources said. He also specifically asked his staff not to leak information about the meeting or his efforts to crack down on leaks to the media, one source said.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/26/politics/spicer-leaks-crackdown/index.html?adkey=bn