Patterico's Pontifications


Freedom Caucus Chairman: Let’s Tap Asset Forfeiture Funds To Get That Wall Going

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:02 am

[guest post by Dana]

All states and the federal government allow law enforcement to seize/forfeit cash, property…they believe are associated with illegal activity… Criminal asset forfeiture proceedings occur against a person after being convicted of an underlying criminal offense. Civil asset forfeiture, once property has been seized, prosecutors can file civil actions in order to forfeit, or keep, the property of someone suspected of being involved in an illegal activity. The action is against the property—not the person—and can be seized even if the person is not charged or convicted of a crime.)


He’s not alone:

Freedom Caucus member Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) urged Trump to make the emergency declaration in an op-ed in the Daily Caller, while Rep. Mark Green, a freshman and newly minted Freedom Caucus member, is also girding for action on securing the border.

“I support whatever means it takes to get it done,” the Tennessee Republican told Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs. “We have a crisis at the southern border. It’s time to act.”

Robby Soave reminds us of what the Freedom Caucus claims to be about:

According to its bio, the House Freedom Caucus purportedly supports “open, accountable & limited government, the Constitution & the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety & prosperity of all Americans.” One might expect more of its members to recongize that Trump’s proposed course of action violates many of these principles and weakens them in the long term.

Interestingly, on Friday, Meadows expressed concerns about the obvious resulting slippery slope if an agreement couldn’t be reached and the president declared a national emergency, but apparently he was able to overcome any concerns:

“I do see the potential for national emergencies being used for every single thing that we face in the future where we can’t reach an agreement. That’s the slippery slope that I’m concerned about,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a top Trump ally, told POLITICO on Thursday. “The administration is well aware of the ability to use national emergency [powers] and the reluctance to do so from House members.”

“And yet, I think the president would find broad support if it’s determined that ultimately he has to do it,” Meadows added.

Summing up the problem:

“Whatever it takes to get it done” and “time to act” are not phrases associated with constrained government and the protection of individual liberty. But with the noted exception of the uncommonly principled Rep. Justin Amash (R–Mich.)—who is also a member of the much more libertarian (and much smaller) Liberty Caucus—this group of legislators ostensibly dedicated to preserving freedom seem perfectly willing to jettison their priorities if they stand in the way of Donald Trump and his wall.

It’s all pretty funny when one considers that just a few short years ago, Republicans saw the need to reform civil asset forfeiture and came together to push back against Jeff Sessions and “limit the Justice Department from using funds towards facilitating asset forfeiture”.

Limited government, individual liberty, natural rights, and fiscal accountability were once the backbone of the right. But when a wall is at stake, President Trump’s wall, some Republicans are willing to make that slippery-slope exception. It’s become a troubling reality, this increasing lack of daylight between Democrats and Republicans when faced with something they want done now.

Note: As to whether federal forfeiture money can be put toward the wall, the Washington Post says no:

Under federal law, money from the DOJ’s forfeiture fund can only be put toward certain specified uses, including maintaining the fund itself, paying overtime and salaries of law enforcement officers, paying informants and upgrading law enforcement vehicles. Similar rules govern the money in the Treasury Department’s forfeiture fund. Absent congressional action, authorities wishing to appropriate money for a wall from either fund would have to justify that use under existing statutes, and it’s unclear whether they’d be able to. ABC News’s Tara Palmieri has reported that Justice Department officials are “fiercely against” using DOJ forfeiture money in this fashion.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


122 Responses to “Freedom Caucus Chairman: Let’s Tap Asset Forfeiture Funds To Get That Wall Going”

  1. Good morning.

    Dana (023079)

  2. Civil asset forfeiture is a legalized theft racket that too often affects innocent citizens. Sadly, our next AG will probably do nothing to reform the practice (link).

    Paul Montagu (8fd371)

  3. Yes! Yes, yes, yes!

    “Legal” marijuana commingled assets. Not just the dispensaries. Any property which is commingled with any amount of marijuana money. The dealers’ bank accounts, homes and cars; their landlords and all their assets; their banks and bankers and all their assets; their lobbyists and all their assets (Hello, Mr. Boehner!); and marijuana stock holders on Wall Street and ALL their assets (Hello, Mr. Buffet!). Took pot money? All your asset belong to us!

    Build the Wall? We’ll eliminate the deficit!

    nk (dbc370)

  4. Why not leverage the Holder/Lynch slush fund precedent? Six billion $$ — perfect. Oh wait, Sessions did away with that. Because the way to disincentive such abuses is to let the Left get away with it for eight years, then stop it when you get power and expect the Dems to suddenly follow your fine example.

    Munroe (66ab04)

  5. Republican victories end up being a kick in the nuts.

    mg (8cbc69)

  6. “I have my principles, and if you don’t like them, I have others.”

    -Groucho Marx

    John B Boddie (66f464)

  7. Use it or lose it.

    Colonel Haiku (5add1e)

  8. Limited government, individual liberty, natural rights, and fiscal accountability were once the backbone of the right.

    this isn’t true

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  9. the backbone of the right is unquestioning slobbering worship of our corrupt scummy military

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  10. Actual fiscal responsibility seems hard for the Right. Trump with control of both houses couldn’t do nearly as well as Bill Clinton with a GOP Congress (with the of-ridiculed and scorned John Kasich as Chairman of the House Budget Committee). GOP doesn’t like to talk about fiscal responsibility with Republicans in charge.

    JRH (fe281f)

  11. they had some nice caps in place but Mhitt Rhomney’s fun-sized little man Paul Ryan busted those caps to slop the scummy military, a corrupt enterprise what’s as voracious as it is incompetent

    and the debt since then has of course skyrocketed like one of those rockets Jeffy Bezos likes to shoot off to the giggling delight of his hooker

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  12. “Actual fiscal responsibility seems hard for the Right.“

    And impossible/of NO interest to the Left

    Colonel Haiku (5add1e)

  13. it looks like the Treasury DOES in fact have the flexibility it needs to transfer forfeiture funds towards building a wall that helps a law enforcement agency enforce laws against illegal head lice immigration

    (B) After reserving any amount authorized by paragraph (3)(C) and after transferring any amount authorized by paragraph (3)(A), any unobligated balances remaining in the Fund on September 30, 1994, and on September 30 of each fiscal year thereafter, shall be available to the Secretary, without fiscal year limitation, for transfers pursuant to subparagraph (A)(ii)?1 and for obligation or expenditure in connection with the law enforcement activities of any Federal agency or of a Department of the Treasury law enforcement organization.

    this idea that the Treasury Funds can’t go towards a wall is just more Washington Post fake news

    who’s NOT getting tired of this constant flood of fake news from the Washington Post

    happyfact (28a91b)

  14. in February 2016 the Treasury released this document what specifically says the forfeiture funds in fact *should* be used to support the Southwest Border Strategy

    Asset seizure and forfeiture is a priority for the Fund’s participating law enforcement organizations and is linked directly to the National Money Laundering and Southwest Border Strategy. TEOAF has identified the following priorities for mission success:


    Focus resources in a manner that supports law enforcement’s implementation of the National Money Laundering Strategy, Southwest Border Strategy, and counter-terrorism financing efforts.

    so it looks like the dirty Bezos dick pic Washington Post is flat-out lying and needs to do a correction

    happyfact (28a91b)

  15. “who’s NOT getting tired of this constant flood of fake news from the Washington Post?”

    Jeff Bozos

    Colonel Haiku (5add1e)

  16. Mark Meadows

    ‏Verified account @RepMarkMeadows

    5h5 hours ago

    Every year the US government pays billions of dollars to people in error. Possible compromise: an amendment allowing recovered money to be spent on border barriers. It wouldn’t appropriate even ONE new dollar, allowing Democrats to keep their promises while securing our borders.

    this is a man who cares passionately about securing the border

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  17. oopers my formatting got confuzzled there

    that last line isn’t part of the tweet

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  18. Mark Meadows is an idiot and the HFC is no friend of freedom, but I knew that back in March 2017 when this blog thought the sun came out of their ass.

    The HFC is single-handedly responsible for the continuation of Obamacare, since they scuttled every single opportunity to change it. Some, not nearly all, of PP posts lauding the HFC or their attacks on all compromise:

    YAY purity!

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  19. “I told you so.”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  20. If that’s the case, then maybe the trail of a particular near-tragedy stops not at a Illinois senator’s office, but further west along the mall.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  21. the stripper daughter wants the dirty obama-licking pepsi scooch to run the whirl bank?

    White House adviser Ivanka Trump is reportedly pushing for former PepsiCo. CEO Indra Nooyi to become the U.S. nominee to lead the World Bank following more than 10 years at the beverage company.

    seems super-likely this is just more CNN Jake Tapper fake news

    PepsiCo’s CEO said the election of Donald Trump as president was terrifying her employees.

    “I had to answer a lot of questions from my daughters, from our employees. They were all in mourning,” PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi told Andrew Ross Sorkin at The New York Times’ DealBook conference on Thursday.

    “Our employees were all crying,” she said. “And the question that they’re asking, especially those who are not white, ‘Are we safe?’ Women are asking, ‘Are we safe?’ LGBT people are asking, ‘Are we safe?’ I never thought I would have to answer those questions.”

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  22. 19… quite unsettling…

    Colonel Haiku (5add1e)

  23. Going by the numbers and charts in this link, there isn’t a southern-border crisis. The total number of illegal immigrants (and illegal Mexican immigrants) is down, returning illegals are down, removals are up, apprehensions are down, ICE arrests are up. Drug seizures are up but, not counting marijuana, most are happening at ports of entry. One area that’s up are asylum requests and the asylum backlog.

    Paul Montagu (8fd371)

  24. but those are the same fascist trash what tell you with a straight face that we have a serious climate change crisis on our hands

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  25. I don’t like linking to them, but the facts hold water.
    BTW, Mother Jones also has the best database on mass shootings. It’s too bad a conservative website doesn’t have something like that.

    Paul Montagu (8fd371)

  26. No they dont montagu, they are not as error plagued as other joyce foundation funded projects.

    Narciso (faab45)

  27. Mother Jones for the rock-ribbed conservative WIN!

    Colonel Haiku (5add1e)

  28. and then Angel Mom said hey i didn’t make anything to eat maybe we should go out

    and Angel Dad says oh boy that sounds great let’s go get some carnitas!

    so Angel Mom said ok Angel Dad you get the car warmed up and I’ll just check my other purse cause I think I had a buy one get one half off coupon for carnitas

    And she did!

    So off they went to get some tasty carnitas at a very fair price the end.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  29. the stripper daughter wants the dirty obama-licking pepsi scooch to run the whirl bank?

    happyfeet, dial it back. Thank you.

    Dana (023079)

  30. i don’t put any more spin on the news than the wapo and in fact i’m a lot more transparent when i do

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  31. The reason Trump’s appointees wanted to take money from FEMA funds for reconstruction in Puerto Rixo and Californa was because that was nmmore similar to the “wall” than funds for miitary construction.

    Anyway it doesn’t matter. Trump has said that signing some kind of emergency declaration would be “too simple.” He wants to crush the Democrats annd force them to agree.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  32. F. H. Buckley wants Trump to settle for the electionn issue. Some people more inclined to the Democratic side want to give Trump the wall.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  33. Mark Meadoes:

    . Possible compromise: an amendment allowing recovered money to be spent on border barriers. It wouldn’t appropriate even ONE new dollar, allowing Democrats to keep their promises while securing our borders.

    This is not about fiscal responsibility, and it wouldn’t be fiscal responsibility anyway, as otherwise the money would be available for other purposes. That money is coming in, anyway, right?

    More plausible would be allowing people to dedicate a portion of their taxes toward the “wall,” like the presidential election campaign fund. That way no Democrat would actually have to vote for it, and Trump would get to see how popular this “vanity project” [Dem talking point, used bth by Kamala HArris and Tim Kaine] really was. But the Democrats probably wouldn’t go for it, unless maybe the terms were set in such a way that Trump would only get his wall if X% of taxpayers agreed.

    Anyway Trump wants more than a building project.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  34. Why would anyone risk their name and sensitive financial info (i.e. bank account if being refunded via direct deposit) being in the archival grasp of a post-Trump other party’s IRS?

    urbanleftbehind (4aaacc)

  35. By Thor’s Mighty Gillette Shaved Balls, the Wall must be built!!!

    Colonel Haiku (5add1e)

  36. wonder if the wapo fact checkers would mind checking to see if the chesterfield 101 was a silly millimeter longer ?

    mg (8cbc69)

  37. My opinion on Asset Forfeitures is this…

    How in Bubba Ho-Tep in any of that constitutional?

    whembly (b9d411)

  38. It looks like presidential hopeful Kamala Harris loves her some asset forfeiture:

    Harris also has been a strong advocate of civil asset forfeiture. She supported a bill in California that would have allowed prosecutors to seize assets before initiating criminal proceedings — a power now available only at the federal level — if there were a “substantial probability” they would eventually initiate such proceedings. Besides cases involving violent crimes, the legislation allowed seizures in cases involving such crimes as bribery, gambling, and trafficking endangered species. Harris endorsed the bill after then-attorney general Eric Holder sharply limited civil asset forfeiture among federal prosecutors. She argued that the practice gave local and state law-enforcement officials “more tools to target the illicit profits [of transnational criminal groups] and dismantle these dangerous organizations.”

    Dana (023079)

  39. “wonder if the wapo fact checkers would mind checking to see if the chesterfield 101 was a silly millimeter longer ?”

    remember when Obama said 57 states and idiots kept bringing it up for 8 years.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  40. One always wishes there were a voice within the U.S. political apparatus principled enough to turn to for clarity on such complex matters. In fact, there is one such voice: Clarence Thomas.

    Thomas has long been a severe critic of civil asset forfeiture, has voted against other conservative justices when they were supporting its abuses, and has written opinions strongly outlining the conflicts between this practice and constitutional protections of both private property and due process rights.

    There is a good article on Thomas’ views at the Federalist Society, from 2017:

    The great danger, as Thomas explains, is that the agency that confiscates the goods is allowed to keep and use them to fund its activities, thereby creating an obvious incentive to abuse.

    So…great idea, Freedom Caucus! Let’s extend the use of this confiscated property to Donald Trump! After all, The Wall! MAGA! No collusion!

    Good grief.

    Daren Jonescu (2f5857)

  41. “remember when Obama said 57 states and idiots kept bringing it up for 8 years.”


    remember teh 30+ times Barcky 0 said “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan”?

    Colonel Haiku (5add1e)

  42. He’s done more in two years than we could have dream of in forty; love that Trump!

    “Keep it up.” – Arthur Jensen [Ned Beatty] ‘Network’ 1976

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  43. it’s a tool to be used sparingly, the wall is to prevent the ingress of persons and product proscribed from this country, it seems a logical fit,

    our possum senate was not interested in durbin and duckworth’s biggest fan, putting a bullseye on the freedom caucus,

    narciso (d1f714)

  44. “remember teh 30+ times Barcky 0 said “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan”?”

    How many times has Trump said that Mexico will pay for the wall?

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  45. scalise is from the freedom caucus, he hired rand paul’s blond ditz, moira bray, but I guess that couldn’t be helped, so is Mulvaney, as well as our new governor, who has gotten to work rather diligently, as compared to marmalard (gowdy) neidermeyer (ryan) come up with other delta names for ryan, and co, who were at best mostly harmless,

    narciso (d1f714)

  46. 45. Davethulhu (fab944) — 1/15/2019 @ 3:37 pm

    Trump said that Mexico will pay for the wall?

    The last thing Trump said on that subject was that Mexico has already paid for the wall, through the new U.S. Mexico Canada trade agreement [*] To which the Democratic reponse was: it hasn’t yet been ratified!

    * What Nancy Pelosi has called “the trade agreement formerly known as Prince” because Trump insists on calling it the USMCA rather than something like Nafta version 2.0

    Politifact gave the following Fact check on January 4:

    And put forth as number one, the Democratic Party talking point that it was not yet ratified.

    More serious argunents are that:

    1) There haven’t been any tariffs now for 10 years and there won’t be any new ones. So theer’s no money coming into the U.S. Treasury that could be remotely said to be coming directly from Mexico. (remotely because U.S. persons pay tariffs)

    2) Trump is conflating alleged gains to private individuala and corporations with money flowing from the Mexican government to the U.S. government

    You can do that maybe, arguing they will pay taxes, but if he has some calculations to that effect, nobody much knows what they are. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did indeed make such a (general) argument during a Dec. 18 press briefing saying Trump is talking about “additional revenue through that deal” but the White House apparently has not shown its work.

    This is pretty much like Obama’s claim of jobs created or saved through the fiscal stimulus. You can’t prove anything one way or the other.

    In any case, of course, there is no one to one relationship between any new taxes because of increased income of U.S. individuals and corporations leading to higher general revenuue coming into the U.S. Treasury and paying for a wall.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  47. There is now agang of 20 in the U,S. Senate – the goal to find something to give Democrats that they will accept in exchange for a wall.

    Problems with this idea:

    1) Trump wants more than a wall – he wants other legislative changes.

    2) Democrats insist on not negotiating while any part of the government is shut down

    3) Democrats are pretty committed against any more wall.

    The next turning point will be the State of the Unioon message on Tuesday January 29 (two weeks from now) in which Trump will make his case and lay doewwn hs conditions for re-opening the government.

    I think, in part, he wants to take the immigration issue off the table in the 2020 election by making the Democrats agree with him.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  48. 45… the more important thing to me is we’re able to fall-back on the wall… get it built, however it’s funded.
    Can’t get that healthcare you liked back. No way to do that. 0bama saw to that.

    Colonel Haiku (5add1e)

  49. wapo fact checkers should check to see if a bear sh1ts in the woods.

    mg (8cbc69)

  50. perhaps those fanatical fact checkers at the wapo could find out if a California gold miner was the man to invent the martini?

    mg (8cbc69)

  51. It helps if you think of asset forfeiture as a tax and not a penalty.

    nk (dbc370)

  52. The great danger, as Thomas explains, is that the agency that confiscates the goods is allowed to keep and use them to fund its activities, thereby creating an obvious incentive to abuse.

    Absolutely. The law fairly begs corruption and abuse, and given the fallen state of man, and the inherent greed in government, assures that this abuse will happen. What is troubling, and should be to everyone, is that we are all vulnerable to having law enforcement confiscate our property and belongings – without ever having been found guilty of illegal activity, or even being charged with such. Talk about unchecked powers. And given the insatiable beast that government is, there is little expectation (or should be) for an ethical line being walked.

    Dana (023079)

  53. “It helps if you think of asset forfeiture as a tax and not a penalty.”$124,700_in_U.S._Currency

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  54. It’s a tool to be used sparingly…

    I agree. Why do you think that this issue wasn’t dealt with during the past two years when Republicans controlled things? Didn’t that demonstrate that lawmakers didn’t really have the will to actually do anything but kick the can down the road? So, does their laziness/unwillingness/apathy justify using a mechanism that has hurt many Americans here within our borders?

    Dana (023079)

  55. I think sessions in particular, had a view of civil forfeiture from back in the early 80s, in the dawn of the crack epidemic:

    Does Hugo Chavez still inspire Sean Penn? | Babalú Blog

    Narciso (2eb730)

  56. Bland vanilla doesn’t go away:

    Narciso (2eb730)

  57. It’s a tool to be used sparingly…

    I agree. Why do you think that this issue wasn’t dealt with during the past two years when Republicans controlled things? Didn’t that demonstrate that lawmakers didn’t really have the will to actually do anything but kick the can down the road? So, does their laziness/unwillingness/apathy justify using a mechanism that has hurt many Americans here within our borders?

    Dana (023079) — 1/15/2019 @ 5:00 pm

    It wasn’t high on the legislative agendas, nor is it on any GOP planks.

    I don’t even think the government should even have this power, even if used sparingly. Everyone desearves the day in court… otherwise, we’re no different than the other banana republic.

    whembly (f68468)

  58. R.I.P. Carol Channing

    So long, Dolly; you were swell, Dolly.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  59. Say what about the last two years? Sessions expanded civil asset forfeiture, partnering with municipal and county police, in states without an asset forfeiture law, to have the Justice Department do their asset forfeitures for them, under federal law, for a piece of the action.

    nk (dbc370)

  60. Yes because he has a view of it shaped from the 80s, but as long as we have that fund let’s make use of it.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  61. The Ryan district is not so much white bread but the Wiscy equivalent of an Illinois district anchored by Waikegan, Elgin, Aurora or Joliet (Keosha, Racine) but with exurbia to its west away from the lake.

    urbanleftbehind (4aaacc)

  62. Geographically but tonally it’s like Joel Goodsons district in risky business.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  63. Uh, that would have been Phil Crane, young Rummy perhaps the early years of Mark Kirk. I guess it’s all those FIBs that moved across the cheese curtain.

    urbanleftbehind (4aaacc)

  64. have you donated to go fund me the wall?

    lany (330722)

  65. 63… I’ll never forget a quick flight from Chicago to Wisconsin in October of ’85 for a weeklong training class and the beautiful autumn colors as we flew low on approach to the airport.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  66. Meanwhile everyone’s favorite niece will be on the financial services committee, it’s not so amusing anymore is it?

    Narciso (2eb730)

  67. It’s not like anything BAD happens as the result of Asset Forfeiture. Our stalwart police would never pick on someone JUST because there was a good deal of booty to be seized.

    Oh, wait:

    (Lawsuit resolved, 2000)

    Los Angeles County and the federal government have tentatively agreed to pay $5 million to the survivors of reclusive millionaire Donald P. Scott, who was shot to death when surprised by police during a controversial 1992 drug raid that turned up no drugs on his isolated Ventura County ranch.

    Scott’s survivors have long maintained that law enforcement agents conducted the raid mainly because they were hoping to seize the 200-acre ranch, just across the Ventura County line from Malibu. They allege that agents falsified information to obtain a search warrant, hoping to find enough drugs to justify seizing the ranch under drug asset forfeiture laws that would allow their agencies to keep the profits from such confiscations.

    Ventura County Dist. Atty. Michael Bradbury, whose investigation came to the same conclusion, said Tuesday that the settlement should send a message to law enforcement officers.

    “Scott should be alive today, and $5 million certainly can’t replace him,” Bradbury said. “But, hopefully, it will deter this kind of conduct.”

    Officials deny the charges, but said they agreed to settle because they are not confident that jurors would believe what government agents say.

    “That’s why this case finally settled,” said Dennis Gonzales, principal deputy Los Angeles County counsel, who represents the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the lead agency in the raid. “We have to be realistic in the marketplace of today.”

    Original story (1992):

    Just before 9 a.m. a week ago Friday, a drug task force made up of Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, National Park Service officials and others drove swiftly through an open ranch gate on Mulholland Highway in Malibu.

    Kicking up dust, the caravan of more than a dozen cars and unmarked utility vehicles careened down a rutted dirt road past giant oak trees on land where Chumash Indians once lived.

    Armed with a search warrant containing information that Scott was believed to be illegally cultivating marijuana plants, the deputies restrained his wife and burst into the rustic wood and stone ranch house’s living room.

    There stood the wiry Scott, barefoot, clad in a T-shirt and jeans, a .38-caliber revolver held in his right hand over his head as deputies ordered him to drop it.

    As Scott brought his arm down, two deputies opened fire at close range. One of the .9-millimeter bullets missed, crashing through the living room wall. But two found their mark, hitting Scott in the upper chest and killing him instantly.

    Deputies searched Scott’s property for hours after the fatal shooting, but not a single marijuana plant was found.

    Gutsue believes that Scott could have been taken alive and said that a wrongful death suit will be filed.

    A separate investigation of the fatal shooting is being conducted by the Ventura County district attorney’s office.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  68. Politifact gave the following Fact check on January 4:

    You misspelled “Demofact”

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  69. Same with choke holds battering rams tasers et al, but we still use them.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  70. Why do you think that this issue wasn’t dealt with during the past two years when Republicans controlled things?

    I can’t speak for everything — the Speaker has to take some blame — but in the House we had Yahoos like the HFC blocking everything that wasn’t theirs, and in the Senate we had individual GOP Senators holding the chamber hostage for the pose du jour.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  71. Or, see Federalist 10.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  72. Narciso,

    The LAPD banned using the bar hold in the 80’s, except in situations where deadly force was the alternative. It’s been said that a chokehold would have likely been used on Rodney King had the rules not been changed. Instead they clubbed the frack out of him.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  73. I think the moderates who were like jello who didnt want to do anything about border enforcement or meaningfully change Obamacare, were the tail wagging the dog. And yet they learned nothing from November.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  74. The point of the Don Scott killing was the the raid was done TO SEIZE THE LAND, not to enforce the law. Not only did the police departments want to split more than $50 million, but the Greens wanted the land to add to the conservancy.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  75. My point exactly, of course much too much was made of that incident as with Abu ghraib or other iconic events.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  76. Narciso,

    The ONLY people who voted against the Ryan plan were the HFC and all the Democrats. Everything after that had fewer votes or died predictably in the Senate.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  77. You mean the Bundy raid in southern nevada?

    Narciso (2eb730)

  78. Instead you have hard leftist taking a whack at the economy, at our military and every institution that still works, well that what Tom Nichols wanted.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  79. We can look forward to double digit premium increases, loss of our second amendment right , and our freedom of speech and assembly, as well the de castration of any meaning ballot integrity meadures.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  80. @ whembly (#59): In Calero-Toledo v. Pearson Yacht Leasing Co., 416 U.S. 663 (1974):

    The question presented [was] whether the Constitution is violated by application to appellee, the lessor of a yacht, of Puerto Rican statutes providing for seizure and forfeiture of vessels used for unlawful purposes when (1) the yacht was seized without prior notice or hearing after allegedly being used by a lessee for an unlawful purpose, and (2) the appellee was neither involved in nor aware of the act of the lessee which resulted in the forfeiture.

    Justice Brennan’s majority opinion (over Justice Douglas’ spirited dissent) considered, and overruled, a variety of due process and other constitutional objections made by the yacht owner and rejected them one after another (citations omitted):

    [D]ue process is not denied when postponement of notice and hearing is necessary to protect the public from contaminated food; from a bank failure; or from misbranded drugs; or to aid the collection of taxes; or the war effort.

    The considerations that justified postponement of notice and hearing in those cases are present here. First, seizure under the Puerto Rican statutes serves significant governmental purposes: Seizure permits Puerto Rico to assert in rem jurisdiction over the property in order to conduct forfeiture proceedings, thereby fostering the public interest in preventing continued illicit use of the property and in enforcing criminal sanctions. Second, pre-seizure notice and hearing might frustrate the interests served by the statutes, since the property seized—as here, a yacht—will often be of a sort that could be removed to another jurisdiction, destroyed, or concealed, if advance warning of confiscation were given. And finally, unlike the situation in [a prior SCOTUS case on which the trial court had relied], seizure is not initiated by self-interested private parties; rather, Commonwealth officials determine whether seizure is appropriate under the provisions of the Puerto Rican statutes. In these circumstances, we hold that this case 680*680 presents an “extraordinary” situation in which postponement of notice and hearing until after seizure did not deny due process.

    Regarding the government taking of private property without public use, Justice Brennan wrote, after first tracking through the history of property forfeiture cases back to English common law (citations omitted):

    Plainly, the Puerto Rican forfeiture statutes further the punitive and deterrent purposes that have been found sufficient to uphold, against constitutional challenge, the application of other forfeiture statutes to the property of innocents. Forfeiture of conveyances that have been used — and may be used again — in violation of the narcotics laws fosters the purposes served by the underlying criminal statutes, both by preventing further illicit use of the conveyance and by imposing an economic penalty, thereby rendering illegal behavior unprofitable. To the extent that such forfeiture provisions are applied to lessors, bailors, or secured creditors who are innocent of any wrongdoing, confiscation may have the desirable effect of inducing them to exercise greater care in transferring possession of their property.


    [I]n this case appellee voluntarily entrusted the lessees with possession of the yacht, and no allegation has been made or proof offered that the company did all that it reasonably could to avoid having its property put to an unlawful use.

    I quote from this case at such length not to try to defend any particular use or abuse of civil forfeiture laws, nor because it’s the latest word from the SCOTUS on this general topic (it’s not). Rather, I quote it as an illustration of how a statist (progressive/liberal/activist) Justice like William Brennan goes about justifying precedent which boils down to “Tough t!tty, dude.”

    Note the particular cruelty of the conclusion, which amounts to him telling the property owner, “Well, you didn’t prove you couldn’t have stopped this criminal, therefore we get to take your property because the criminal used it.”

    Note too that this self-same Justice Brennan rarely met a law enforcement effort of which he wholly approved; in criminal cases, he was a consistent thorn in the side of state and federal prosecutors, especially in death penalty cases, in which no amount of legal process met his ever-variable standards for how much process was due. But this case was about enhancing the power of government over ordinary property owners, and hence his weathervane shift. And here, he was perfectly content to flip to the property owner the burden of proving that the yacht shouldn’t be seized.

    I agree with Justice Douglas’ dissent, which you can read at the link if you’d like.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  81. Calero Toledo hasn’t really been adopted as a hard and fast test, but lesser standards like miraflores

    Narciso (2eb730)

  82. Not too long after this republic was acquired by HSBC which takes a very narrow view of due diligence:

    Narciso (2eb730)

  83. But that was the similar mindset to kelo, wasnt it?

    Narciso (2eb730)

  84. Vote them out!
    Impeach the mother_____s!
    (As may be applicable.)

    nk (dbc370)

  85. Remember I come from a city that made at least lemonade out of it’s time of trouble, it did this for a while with csi affiliate and burn notice. Speaking of legal extortion…

    Narciso (2eb730)

  86. Well with automatic voter registration, and likely harsh restrictions on free speech, they wont have to worry about being voted out.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  87. Remember they promised to impeach Cavanaugh and girsuch for good measure.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  88. Interestingly, I find that the sky is almost never falling, despite what either the far left or the far right are in fear of the other side doing.

    Nic (896fdf)

  89. Seeing how even the center right has been deplatformed and how the most ridiculous cultural left tropes have been adopted I’m not surprised

    Narciso (2eb730)

  90. I am, generally speaking, perfectly capable of noticing the sky is falling without Alex Jones interpreting it for me.

    And if you do need conservamedia, Fox news is on TV, Sinclair media runs a bunch of TV stations and websites, Tucker Carlson runs his site, there are a number of conservative creators on youtube and twitch and on a number of other websites, including twitter. Reddit exists. There are a number of conservative social media alternatives to mainstream ones.

    It’s a free market, compete or die, right?

    Nic (896fdf)

  91. Who gives a farthing about Alex Jones, but tucker and every center right pundit has had their advertisers threatened in tucker’s case hus family was. There are fewer and fewer and the least resistance is to cater to the latest media directed social panic.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  92. The advertisers won’t leave if they get more money staying than going and a bunch of bombs landed in the mail boxes of libs this summer. Compete or die. The Young Turks got kicked off MSNBC because they couldn’t do it, despite being super liberal.

    The problem with Conservamedia is that it is mostly terrible. It collects opinions, not data. It doesn’t do journalism, it does editorials, it’s great at emotion but doesn’t back it well with analysis or data. If they did quality journalism or even quality opinions, people would take it more seriously. If I’m looking at a partisan viewpoint, regardless of whether I agree with her political point or not, Rachel Maddow flat does a better job than Sean Hannity. She’s better at gathering data for supporting points and getting good interviews, especially of people whose viewpoints don’t match hers. And when a conservative site does try to do quality reporting, it often gets torn apart by conservatives themselves for not having whatever the “right” right-side viewpoint is currently popular or being too analytical or wonky or too establishment or too elitist. Our host (and several others), for example, got deplatformed from his previous site, despite doing good analysis, because his viewpoint was not the right right viewpoint and too now too many of their articles are ridiculously overemotional panic-drivel. If I ever see another headline with the word “beclowned” in it, it will be too soon. For the love of God, if you are running a professional website, be fragging professional.

    Nic (896fdf)

  93. Yours serious, this regime has confronted the Russians more than any other in 12 years if not farther that isn’t reflected in the coverage. Ths economic conditions are on balance as they have been in 15 years. There were some people who took advantage in their private capacity about matters that happened 10-12 years ago. The grand inquisitor Mueller sweeps down.which his armies of harpies and paradenons

    Narciso (2eb730)

  94. I dont know why I oddly expect with all the tsal challenges facing this country with the massive economic cultural and political combines that prevent us inching back to sanity, we focus on minutia, on almost entirely that culled by the media that scrubbed the last administration of any culpability in the crimes against the body poliric

    Narciso (2eb730)

  95. You trust Robert Mueller, he is everything the left imagined Ken Starr of being on steroids. He is a renorsely predator who had s used state power to protect arch criminals and devastated the lives of innocent men and women. And the same goes for his minions

    Narciso (2eb730)

  96. Some of the same elements seem to be present across the pond, albeit in a more calcified way. The 1,000 years (give or take) since 1066, don’t seem to matter to any significant degree.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  97. The same maddow whose no 1 fan tried to murder at least one if not a bakers dozen of this freedom caucus in part because of her (socalled) professional exposition, hah and then denied it. And a year later ths media had dumped that story down the rabbit hole.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  98. Obama was weak on Russia. Trump isn’t particularly better. Both of their moves against Russia have basically been forced by public opinion and Trump is both weaker on certain issues pertaining to Russia and beholden to them in a number of strange ways and trying to get Flynn off doesn’t look good in any way.

    Economic conditions have been climbing for 10 years now, which is great and is, in fact actually reflected in the coverage is you bother to pay attention, but there are also disturbing market indicators and I suspect that if you are a GM worker or a soy-bean farmer you aren’t thrilled with the current market. And, frankly, coal probably isn’t ever going to be strong again, even if Trump decides to artificially prop it up. Natural gas is cheaper, easier, and cleaner. The current economy also looks rather disturbingly like the 1920s. Which is not a great market indicator because we are a consumer economy and rich people spend a lower percentage of their income than poor or middle class people do and so having too much of the liquid funds in the hands of the very very wealthy isn’t a great economic indicator. (This is not an ideological statement of “eat the rich”, it’s an economic observation. It is what it is.)

    Mueller is a Republican law enforcement official that everyone agreed was the right guy to do the investigation, until it became clear that he was taking the investigation seriously. He will continue to do it seriously and, in the end, we will find out what is what. Oh, no, the serious professional is coming with his scary experts and legal people. How terrible.

    Nic (896fdf)

  99. Hes been a Soviet stooge since 1981, which isn’t surprising considering every major influence in his life was to the left of Henry Wallace. Once thought we would have been spared the damage he brought on our nation but bismark was wrong, that he would driven out of every public place.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  100. You understand, of course, that Maddow having a crazy fan is not an actual argument about whether or not the journalism or opinionating on her show is worse than that of Sean Hannity. The crazy pizzagate shooter-guy exists too.

    Nic (896fdf)

  101. Shirley you cant be serious, you answer back the 24/7 diet of contempt directed against anyone to the right of Brooks with pizzagate.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  102. Given that Obama was mostly raised by his grandparents and Kansas is not known for turning out screaming liberals, neither is banking known for fostering them, I’m going to guess that they were not far left crazies. Also, I don’t know if you remember 2008, but it pretty much sucked and could have gotten worse, so Obama certainly didn’t run the country aground, though there were things he definitely could have done better.

    Nic (896fdf)

  103. No they had practically no influence on him, it’s a shame because I once thought thaf some youth could benefit from someone unburdened by many of misconceptions they carry, but he managed to carry every native and imported grudge.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  104. Seriously? You comment that the left has a crazy shooter, I answer yep, the right does too, both have their crazies and suddenly you are super offended for everyone on the right? Because I noticed that there was a crazy righty dude as well as a lefty one? That doesn’t even make any sense. Are you of the opinion that conservatives are literally sinless angels from heaven or something?

    Nic (896fdf)

  105. You clearly have not spent much time reading the far left inside-baseball opinions on Obama.

    Nic (896fdf)

  106. The same people who sold him to us, are disappointed he didnt totally tear down this country, smallest violin in the world.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  107. Well they’ve empowered Maxine waters who demagogued any solutions in the final stretch before the last crisis and she has a new elf of two all we need now is Chris Dodd to come back from Ireland.

    Narciso (2eb730)

  108. Obviously, if the far left ideologues are pissed at Obama because he didn’t shape the country to their ideals (all ideologues, left and right, believe that their way is the perfect best for the country and that anything different is leading the country to a political apocalypse), it stands to reason that he was not, in fact, a far left ideologue.

    Maxine Waters is a political sop to the far left. She’s 80 years old and probably on her way out and from a very safe democratic district and she’s probably less likely to demagogue when she has some power since she has to put up or shut up. Pelosi gets political points for not much risk. Looked at objectively, it wasn’t a dumb move on her part.

    Nic (896fdf)

  109. A few days to go until Trump can impose rif – reduction in force. He can fire hacks that have missed 30 consecutive days of work. If he ends up firing thousands of bureaucrats – we win.

    mg (8cbc69)

  110. On the bright side, you can now control your vibrator with Amazon’s Alexa. Rejoice!

    Take a step back, look at your society objectively, and then tell me honestly: “Does it deserve a better government?”

    nk (dbc370)

  111. No, it’ll be like Walmart, who waits until the 59th day (29 past original due date) to pay vendors, you dont think these guys space their sickouts so as not to kick in that RIF date? Too bad winter weather (so the weather-people say) for here will negate a fully staffed 29th/30th day of shutdown TSA line.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  112. The headless horseman at the omb says no. No rif at least for the immediate future.

    Narciso (2980ef)

  113. The previous OMB guy and current acting chief of staff I refer to as fully white Fred Armisen.

    urbanleftbehind (b6a7f6)

  114. “Only slaves work for free.” — Gary Cooper

    Which, BTW, it was slaves who staffed the government bureaucracies of ancient Athens and Rome. In Athens, even the police — armed police with bows and arrows — were slaves. And the clone soldiers in Star Wars too, you know that, right?

    nk (dbc370)

  115. @ whembly (#59): In Calero-Toledo v. Pearson Yacht Leasing Co., 416 U.S. 663 (1974):

    I agree with Justice Douglas’ dissent, which you can read at the link if you’d like.

    Beldar (fa637a) — 1/15/2019 @ 8:12 pm

    Thanks for that link! Yeah, I’m in agreement with the dissent of that case.

    whembly (51f28e)

  116. Politifact gave the following Fact check on January 4:

    70. Kevin M (21ca15) — 1/15/2019 @ 7:48 pm

    You misspelled “Demofact”

    Well, it’s still not true that Mexico is going to pay for the wall, even though their number one point, that the USMCA agreement has not yet been ratified, is besides the point. (even if the chances are far from certain – that’s still besides the point)

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  117. I wrte yesterday, @48. The next turning point will be the State of the Unioon message on Tuesday January 29 (two weeks from now) in which Trump will make his case and lay doewwn hs conditions for re-opening the government.

    maybe not.

    Nancy Pelosi now wants to cancel (or postpone as long as the government shutdown continues) the State of the Union message.

    Her argument is:

    1) In September Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen designated the address as a “National Special Security Event.”

    2) That means it requires weeks of planning, led mainly by the secret service.

    3) But many people have been furloughed.

    4) Therefore… it would be unsafe? She doesn’t even say that.

    Note: This is actually a false syllogism because the people involved in planning security have probably not been furloughed.

    Speaker Mamcy Pelosi suggests either setting a new date ater the government has re-opned, or Trump delivering his State of the Union message in writing.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  118. Well,well,well…looked here, the Problem Solvers, after a 1 day head fake:

    urbanleftbehind (b6a7f6)

  119. Well,I dunno if the Clemson football indoor picnic was a special security event…it did make me wonder who exactly was cleared (or cleared the personnel) to have aim-n-flames (with trigger and barrel capabilities) in such close proximity to the President.

    urbanleftbehind (b6a7f6)

  120. When Trump said this could go on for months or even years, he meant it.

    The 2020 election is heading toward being fought on the issue of immigration, whether the Democrats like that or not, and they don’t, with Trump claiming that the Democrats prefer the interests of would-be immigrants, and people illegally present in the United States, to those of American citizens AND the Democrats insisting on the prerogatives of Congress to only pass
    legislation they really want and saying therefore not they, but Trump, is responsible for shutting down the government and having everything including the federal court system slowly fall to pieces.

    The government may be re-opened piecemeal, (which started to happen in 2013) or a 2/3 majority may
    override his vetoes, but the Dems are not going to cave on this.

    The compromise everyone talks about (re-opening the government in exchange for money for a wall and some protections for certain illegal immigrants) is not even on the table.

    Trump, in fact, has not backed off very much from his proposal of last year, in which he wanted permanent restrictive changes in immigration law in exchange for a year extension of Dreamer status. While this time he added 300,000 people in Temporary protected status, and some Democratic
    spending proposals, he also wants asylum claims to be denied if a person is also pursuing some other legal status, and minors from Central America to be ineligible to claim asylum if they are outside their home country and quicker deportation for them to Central America by using pr amending an anti-child-trafficking statute.

    While the Democrats want to liberalize asylum.

    Trump considered, but rejected, having the 3-year protection apply to those who could have
    claimed it but didn’t, while under the court order in lawsuit they still can.

    They’re not close. Senator Schumer says there’s a poison pill in the small print of the bill.


    “The measure also adds a high bar for asylum claims across the board,
    mandating that they be deemed “in the national interest.” It would
    introduce a host of new grounds for deeming an asylum claim
    “frivolous,” including if the migrant seeking protection was also
    trying to obtain work authorization, had used a fraudulent document —
    knowingly or unknowingly — or did not file in a timely way.”

    Trump wants to split the Democratic party and the Dems want to split the Republican Party and one of them will win.

    If Trump wins, which isn’t likely, Congress will enact legislation preventing anything like this from happening again because the Republicans don’t want a Democratic president doing the same thing (shutting down the government) over a carbon tax or gun control measures. (because it will have been shown to work as a means of extracting legislation from Congress.)

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

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