Pete's Prep: July 2, 2018

posted by Pete Kaliner - 

US Attorney: No charges in Asheville police beating

On Friday, the US Attorney announced his office would not be prosecuting former Asheville Police officers Christopher Hickman.

The press release:

The  U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina  announced today that federal charges will not be filed against former  Asheville Police Department Officer Christopher Hickman, following an  investigation into the August 25, 2017, arrest incident involving  Officer Hickman and Mr. Johnnie Rush.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Andrew Murray stated,  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina,  the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and the Federal Bureau  of Investigation conducted a thorough and independent review of all  evidence related to this case.  After careful examination, the U.S.  Attorney’s Office has determined that the evidence does not give rise to  a prosecutable violation of the federal criminal civil rights  laws.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office takes allegations of civil rights  violations involving law enforcement officers very seriously and we  ensure such allegations are investigated fully and completely.

Hickman is still facing state charges.



Democrats embrace far-left calls for abolishing ICE

Democratic lawmakers intend to file a bill to abolish Immigration Customs Enforcement.

On Capitol Hill, Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin is now working with fellow Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state and Adriano Espaillat of New York on legislation to eliminate the agency.

In an interview, Pocan said a recent series of aggressive actions by ICE had led him to conclude that it was effectively serving as President Donald Trump's "own political police force" -- a tool for creating a sense of crisis to help build support for a border wall and other hardline immigration policies.

For Pocan, Trump's call on Sunday to return immigrants who enter the country illegally without judicial proceedings was the last straw.

CNN attempted to describe this shift as a messaging effort by the GOP:

Republicans are casting progressive calls to abolish the agency and the recent momentum in the Democratic Party as a move to the far left, evidence that Democrats are weak on border security and immigration enforcement.

But earlier in the same article:

Less than two weeks on, the demand -- a favored meme on the left -- has gone from a progressive fringe cause, mostly ignored even by some of the most liberal lawmakers, to a political message being embraced by a growing roster of influential national Democrats.

So, it's a demand that came from the fringe left and is now being embraced by the Democratic Party ... while at the same time it's the Republicans who are casting this shift as the Democratic Party moving to the far left.



Georgia goes hands-free in the car

I spent the past four days in Georgia with family, and I noticed no discernible improvement in drivers' skills, consideration, or ability to maintain a constant speed.

Of course, the new law might not have had time to work yet. After all, it only took affect Sunday.

Taking effect July 1, the Hands-Free Georgia Act will make it illegal to do any of the following while operating a vehicle:

  • hold a wireless telecommunication device, such as a cell phone or personal computer
  • write, send, or read any text messages, emails, or internet data
  • watch videos or movies
  • record or broadcast video

The new law will still allow using a global positioning system (GPS) device, as well as sending and receiving calls and messages via hands-free operating systems. The purpose of the Hands-Free Georgia Act is to attempt to reduce the number of deaths occurring on Georgia roadways, which rose to a historic high of 1,550 fatalities last year.

North Carolina has a partial ban already in place:

§ 20-137.4A.  Unlawful use of mobile telephone for text messaging or electronic mail.

          (a) Offense. - It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a vehicle on a public street or highway or public vehicular area while using a mobile telephone to:

                    (1) Manually enter multiple letters or text in the device as a means of communicating with another person; or

                     (2) Read any electronic mail or text message transmitted to the device or stored within the device, provided that this prohibition shall not apply to any name or number stored in the device nor to any caller identification information.

Do you think North Carolina should tighten its law here to be similar to Georgia's?



Sen. Tillis proposed a work requirement for food stamps

Tillis' made his proposal Thursday:

  • Require nondisabled SNAP recipients ages 18-59 without dependents under age 6 to work or participate in employment training programs 20 hours per week.
  • Expand qualifying work programs to include apprenticeships, time-limited unpaid or volunteer work, and state approved work training programs.
  • Establish a revised ineligibility process allowing one month for initial compliance and requiring a 12-month ineligibility period for the first work requirement violation and a 36-month ineligibility period for subsequent violations unless an individual obtains sufficient employment or is no longer subject to the work requirements at an earlier time.
  • Allow two years for implementation and give the Secretary discretion to allow states more time if necessary.
  • Allow states to opt-out of enforcing updated requirements in exchange for that state’s eligibility to obtain the federal administrative cost share for administering the SNAP program.
  • Make no adjustments to funding for SNAP benefits. 

But, Wait! There's more!

A budget fight has erupted between the Buncombe County Board of education and County Commissioners.

The News & Observer says Republican leaders in the state legislature are taking more powers away from the Governor. 

CNN's Jim Acosta does damage to the profession of journalism.

The FBI arrested a Cleveland man who was planning a July 4th terrorist attack.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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