Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America endure three bad martinis today as two more GOP Senators bail on the plan to overhaul Obamacare and a new effort to vote on a clean repeal is already in grave danger of failing. They criticize President Trump for keeping Obama’s infamous Iran Nuclear Deal without giving his advisers enough time to develop a new policy. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is another source of disappointment today as he declares his intention to increase the use of civil asset forfeiture, which allows the federal government to seize the property of suspected criminals — without charging them with a crime.

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Defaulting to the State

 
Police Ofc. Jeronimo Yanez and Philando Castile.

David French has written twice about the verdict in the Philando Castile case: the first when the verdict came down; then again when the dashcam video was made public. Of Yanez (the officer who shot Castile) he wrote, “he still panicked, and he should have been held accountable. The jury’s verdict was a miscarriage of justice.” After the video was released, he wrote why he believes the verdict came down as it did. “When I saw that palpable panic, I immediately knew why he was acquitted. The unwritten law trumped the statutes on the books. The unwritten law is simple: When an officer is afraid, he’s permitted to shoot.” [emphasis mine]

This is not the only unwritten law we follow in our criminal justice system. We’ve built and operated the entire thing to default to the defendant over the state; some would say we do so to a fault. The idea was first espoused by Voltaire who wrote in 1749, “that ’tis much more Prudence to acquit two Persons, tho’ actually guilty, than to pass Sentence of Condemnation on one that is virtuous and innocent…” which was expanded by Blackstone in 1783 to be “For the law holds, that it is better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer…” and multiplied in 1785 by Benjamin Franklin to read “That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.” When the power of the state is brought to bear on a citizen, we’ve held that it is a greater injustice to imprison the innocent than to set free the guilty. My question is this: does the maxim hold when citizens are holding the state to account?

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate with the pro-life community over the news that a California court is dropping 14 of 15 charges against activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, whose undercover videos show Planned Parenthood illegally selling aborted baby body parts. They also express concern over the FBI’s reluctance to state that the Alexandria shooter was politically motivated. And they discuss reports that German police are raiding homes and interrogating people over controversial social media posts.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America applaud Congress for their decision to not allow yesterday’s shooting to cancel the Congressional Baseball Game, a tradition held since 1909. They also express their overwhelming disgust at the New York Times editorial board for publishing an egregious article which falsely claims that political motives caused the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords. And they voice their disbelief at law enforcement officials who ignored the numerous warning signs that pointed towards the Alexandria shooter’s potential for future violence.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America discuss the Capitol Police response to the shooting early Wednesday morning in Alexandria, VA where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others were injured during their practice for the 2017 Congressional Baseball Game. They also speculate about the possible motive of the 66-year old shooter from Illinois based on reports of his incendiary political views found on his social media account. And they react to the polarized responses on social media that are erupting across the political spectrum following the attack.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud British Prime Minister Theresa May for a much tougher statement following the London Bridge terrorism attack, while acknowledging the difficult free speech debate that is sure to follow. They also contemplate terror suspect profiling after one attacker appeared in the documentary “The Jihadis Next Door” and attempted to radicalize children in a local park, yet police let him go after questioning. And they express frustration over President’s Trump’s latest Twitter tirade over his travel ban.

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Quote of the Day: Civil Disobedience

 

“Rules were made to be broken.”

“Don’t disagree. Indeed they are. Providing, however, that the one breaking the rules is willing to pay the price for it, and the price gets charged in full … Otherwise breaking rules becomes the province of brats instead of heroes. Fastest way I can think of to turn serious political affairs into a playpen. A civilized society needs a conscience, and conscience can’t be developed without martyrs — real ones — against which a nation can measure its crimes and sins.” — Eric Flint, Crown of Slaves

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Heather Mac Donald joins Brian Anderson to discuss the state of policing today, the “Ferguson Effect,” former FBI director James Comey’s defense of proactive policing, and the recent protests against conservative speakers on college campuses.

Since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014, public discussion about police and the criminal justice system has reached a fever pitch: activists claim that policing is inherently racist and discriminatory, while supporters say that public pressure has caused officers to disengage from proactive policing.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the horrific terrorist attack that killed at least 22 people and was aimed at young concertgoers in Manchester, England. They also discuss President Trump’s characterization of terrorists as “evil losers” and some of the social media reaction to the deadly blast. And they point out how difficult it is to stop an attack like this and why the instinct to turn every public gathering place into a fortress is not the right answer.

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Balm for Abraded Spirits

 

I know. Hard to imagine that Donald J. Trump provided me with actual healing … but he did.

Police Week 2017 is, in many respects, just like Police Week 2016. Lots (and lots) of cops in uniform, lots of grieving widows and orphans, parents and cousins and co-workers and friends, gathering at the Memorial at Judiciary Square, making rubbings of their lost loved ones’ names engraved on the wall and covering the surfaces with lots of flowers, notes, kids’ drawings carefully captioned (DAD I AM OK I MISS YOU) and photographs and patches. Lots of guys marching around in kilts, their bagpipes wailing, drums thudding.

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DJ Jaffe joins Stephen Eide and Howard Husock to discuss severe mental illness and the deficiencies in mental-health services in New York City and across the country.

DJ Jaffe is the author of an important new book, Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill. He is executive director of Mental Illness Policy Org., a nonpartisan think tank that creates detailed policy analysis for legislators, the media, and advocates.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss Republicans forcing a runoff in Georgia’s sixth congressional district and recall the many highly-touted red state Democrats that never panned out. They’re also stunned that Fresno police do not consider a person who murdered people because of their race and shouted “Allahu Akbar” to be suspected of terrorism. And they react to reports that Bill O’Reilly is likely on his way out at Fox News.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer French security for shooting a would-be terrorist outside the Louvre. They also discuss Kellyanne Conway’s “Bowling Green Massacre” moment, her decision to slam the media when correcting her mistake, and the media for focusing more on her mistake than her point that refugees in the U.S. were trying to kill Americans. They unload on former Labor Secretary Robert Reich for suggesting, without any facts, that the Berkeley rioters were conservatives. And they offer their Superbowl predictions and preferences.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud Pres. Trump for the quiet, dignified way he honored a fallen Navy SEAL on Wednesday. They also slam GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski for opposing Betsy DeVos to become the next Secretary of Education. And they unload on the violent leftist protesters who wrought havoc at UC-Berkeley Wednesday night.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are very encouraged by the final two names President Trump is reportedly considering for the Supreme Court vacancy. They also cringe as Trump once again insists he lost the popular vote only through rampant voter fraud by illegal aliens. And they slam Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for claiming a lack of federal assistance is to blame for the huge number of murders in his city.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer the news that the Clinton Global Initiative is shutting down. They also sigh as more and more Democrats publicly state that Donald Trump is an illegitimate president. And they unload on a reviewer who pans “Patriots Day” because a white male is the hero, the resilience of the Boston is presented as a good thing and police are the good guys.

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