Headline #1: Former Minneapolis Policeman Derek Chauvin Found Guilty of All Charges
On Tuesday, the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial for the death of George Floyd delivered a verdict of guilty on all charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter.
Thoughts and Observations:
- In determining the correctness of the verdict, consider a simple question: If everything else about the case had been identical to what actually happened, except George Floyd was a white man and not black, would Derek Chauvin have been convicted? Of anything? Not only is the answer ‘no,’ this trial would have never even happened.
- We all knew before the verdict that the BLM/Antifa riots of last summer would be a large factor in the outcome. “If you find him not-guilty Mr. and Mrs. Juror, you can expect to see the country burn down.” But to hear people like Al Sharpton and President Joe Biden openly pointing to the protests/riots as a force is remarkable. Sharpton actually applauded and credited the riots for the decision. This verdict was mob justice, and no one is even trying to hide that fact.
- The George Floyd/Derek Chauvin case was indeed systemic racism. A man’s death became a national news story due almost entirely to the color of his skin. A man was prosecuted for causing that man’s death due almost entirely to the color of his skin. And violent riots were a determining factor in the actions by the criminal justice system, including the jury. With respect to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the conviction of Derek Chauvin was a high-tech lynching.
- George Floyd was high as a kite when he died. He had been frantically claiming “I can’t breathe” while still in the police car, long before Chauvin drove his knee into Floyd’s shoulder. Floyd was suspected of passing counterfeit bills, and in fact had a long criminal history. There was no damage caused to Floyd’s trachea or throat-area by Chauvin, according to the autopsy. If Floyd had been white, no one would have given a damn about his death and the only consequences for Derek Chauvin would have been a couple of extra hours of paperwork to fill out.
- I don’t like the way Derek Chauvin handled the situation with Floyd. It seemed to me Chauvin used more force than was necessary, and it appeared that he should have recognized Floyd’s distress and that he could have been dying. But I’m not a cop, and such an assessment is armchair quarterbacking. Derek Chauvin and other cops put their lives on the line every day, particularly in cities such as Minneapolis. Finding Chauvin guilty of manslaughter would have at least been reasonable, but I just don’t see how anyone looks at that case and concludes it was murder.
- We haven’t heard the end of this case. Chauvin’s legal team will undoubtedly appeal the decision, and there’s a good chance Chauvin wins on that appeal. And if/when that happens, we’ll get to go through this all over again, and the left and their media will just lap it up.
Headline #2: LeBron James Takes Stand Against Ohio Cop
A young black woman named Ma’Khia Bryant was killed by Columbus, Ohio police on Tuesday after having charged at two other black women with a large knife while ignoring the officer’s repeated demands to “Get down!” Basketball buffoon LeBron James weighed-in on the incident with a tweet of a picture of the officer and the text, “You’re next!”
Thoughts and Observations:
- The message of James’ tweet was clearly a threat. Was he threatening and inciting violence against the officer? Or was he alluding to criminal prosecution similar to what happened to Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin? We don’t know, and that uncertainty is a problem. James has 50 million Twitter followers, and if his message was unclear to us, it was unclear to others.
- James, who is from Ohio, wasn’t the only one to question the actions of the officer, but he was certainly the highest profile celebrity to do so, and the Columbus community saw large scale protests as a result.
- The protests, along with James’ comments, appear to assert that the police officer acted improperly which is absolutely, totally idiotic. Absolutely. Totally. Idiotic.
- The woman had a large knife in her hand. A very large knife! She was charging at the other women with the knife and not obeying the officer’s commands. What in heaven’s name is a cop supposed to do in that situation? Say “aww c’mon… pretty please?” If the cop had not acted, and if the other two girls were injured or killed, no one would have cared. They only care about Ms. Bryant because she was killed by a cop, and they’re ridiculously trying to force the circumstances of her death into their broader narrative. Not only did the officer act properly, he’s a hero.
- The cop was white, of course, which is the only reason Ms. Bryant’s death is anything more than local news. If a black cop had taken the same actions, he or she would have also been a hero, and no one would have even batted an eyelash. They would have momentarily lamented the situation, and that would have been the end of the story. Again, this reaction, based solely on the skin color of the officer, is undeniable and blatant racism.
- Ms. Bryant was only sixteen years old, and it’s tragic whenever someone dies at such a young age. But sixteen-year-olds are capable of understanding right from wrong, and they’re also capable of understanding what consequences they should expect. If your sixteen or sixty, and you attack someone with a butcher knife, with a cop standing only a few feet away screaming to “get down,” you must expect that you’re going to be shot.
- This incident is just one more example of the left’s twisted ideology regarding personal responsibility. Whatever drove Ma’Khia Bryant to attack those other women with a knife is irrelevant. Bryant is responsible; period, end of story. The idea that someone can take a large knife and attack others in broad daylight, disobey the police, and somehow not be responsible for their actions is either lunacy or stupidity.
- LeBron James seems to be a sharp guy, most of the time. He’s articulate. He’s a wizard on the basketball court with his decision-making. And he’s been a savvy businessman in amassing his personal fortune. But for James to assess this incident as anything other than appropriate shows he’s not nearly as bright as he appears. Combine this situation with James’ handling of the Daryl Morey/Hong Kong situation from two years ago, and we can only conclude that LeBron is a moron.
Headline #3: Liz Cheney to Face Formidable Primary Challenge
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) will be facing a serious challenge from other Republicans in her primary bid for reelection next year, and the list of challengers could include a key, former Trump official.
Thoughts and Observations:
- This is big news not because of Cheney’s well-publicized disdain for former President Donald Trump, but because she holds a lofty position in the GOP House leadership. Cheney is the third-highest ranking member in the House Republican caucus, and it’s not often we see such passionate opposition to a well-known establishment candidate.
- Cheney is best known for being the daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney, and for being one of less-than a dozen GOP representatives to vote in favor of Trump’s impeachment in January. Cheney’s impeachment vote earned extreme ire from Republicans across the country, who viewed the vote not so much as a condemnation of Trump but as support for Democrats. For most of us on the right, supporting censure of Trump would have been palatable, but voting for impeachment was inexcusable.
- This is the proper approach to addressing the concerns over Cheney. Her impeachment vote was problematic, so let the electoral process fix the problem. Spending time attacking Cheney, or other Republicans, while we have Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and the rest of the Democratic Party doing everything they can to destroy the country is a lousy strategy. Cheney deserves to be voted out, so put up a quality candidate and give him/her adequate backing to win. And support Cheney’s legislative efforts in the meantime.
- President Trump weighed-in on the issue on Monday by correctly pointing out that the GOP should focus on putting up only one person to challenge Cheney. The more candidates in the race, the more votes will be split, and the greater the likelihood that Cheney wins.
- Trump also promised to announce an endorsement of a candidate in the coming days. There are some parts of the country where a Trump endorsement won’t help a candidate, but Wyoming isn’t one of them. A Trump endorsement in the Cowboy State will be a huge boost.
Headline #4: President Biden to Propose Capital Gains Tax Hike
President Biden will announce a proposed increase to our capital gains tax, almost doubling the rate for those who make over $1 million per year.
Thoughts and Observations:
- This is just the latest example of the Democrats’ tactic of class warfare, and is a move that will do little to generate additional revenue to the federal government. This tax increase won’t help reduce the budget deficit. Increasing the capital gains tax will be about the perception of punishing wealthy investors, virtue signaling, and throwing red meat to the Democrats’ leftist base.
- In case you hadn’t noticed, we have a spending problem in this country, not a revenue problem. We don’t need to generate more income, Democrats, we need to spend less.
- The catalyst behind the epic economic surge we saw just prior to the COVID pandemic was President Trump’s tax cuts; the crown jewel of his economic policy. President Biden understands this fact, and so do Congressional Democrats, but they don’t care. Economic prosperity isn’t their goal, economic justice – whatever the hell that even means – is.
- Biden and Democrats are banking on the idea that Americans will consider the proposal and think, “Yeah! Stick it to the fat cats,” and indeed many will follow that line of thinking. But it’s wrong, both morally and practically. Biden and his cronies look at the wealthy and deem that their money is misplaced. “It’s not their money, it’s my money. It’s the government’s money. You don’t deserve that much, so we’re going to seize it.” This mindset is no less greedy and no less immoral than that of Bernie Madoff.
- From a practical standpoint, it won’t be effective. Wealthy people are wealthy because – among other things – they are good at protecting their wealth from the government. And they will find a way to continue to protect that wealth.
- A significant flaw in the capital gains tax is that it does not allow for the phenomenon of inflation. It’s fundamentally unfair. For instance, if someone bought stock twenty-five years ago for $10,000, and if that stock is now worth $15,000, they will be required to pay tax on the $5,000 capital gain they earned during that period. In reality, however, that person actually lost money when we consider inflation. That $15,000 they now have has less buying power than the $10,000 they had in 1996. Capital gains tax is just a bad idea; period.
Headline #5: House Democrats Vote For D.C. Statehood
The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to give statehood to Washington D.C., in a vote entirely along party lines; 216-208. Not a single Democrat voted against the bill, and not a single Republican voted for it.
Thoughts and Observations:
- The bill is going nowhere in the Senate thanks to the filibuster. At the risk of being scolded by our Department of Redundancy Department, the Senate filibuster is the only impediment standing between Democrats and total lunacy, thanks to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). If the Senate filibuster were to be abolished, which would happen if Democrats could somehow get two more votes in favor of such a move, D.C. statehood would be just one of many absurdities.
- Make no mistake, giving statehood to D.C. would indeed be lunacy, and no less crazy than court-packing. If we were to add D.C. and/or Puerto Rico as a state, we could expect to see Republicans do the same thing when they return to power, which is inevitable. Solid red states such as Idaho, Alaska and Alabama could be divided into new states, each of which would elect two senators. Within a few years, we could expect our number of states to increase from fifty to who-knows-how-many. Seventy? Ninety? One hundred?
- Washington D.C. was established as a federal district for the precise reason that it should not be a state. The seat of our federal government should be free from state-level politics, for obvious reasons. There needs to be separation between federal and state governments. D.C. was formed from portions of Virginia (which was a slave state at the time) and Maryland (which was a free state), and it’s a district whose sole purpose is to provide a location for our federal government to function.
- A common objection to D.C. not having statehood, and one which is prominently displayed on D.C.’s license plates, is that they are subjected to “taxation without representation,” which is nonsense. Washington D.C. has a member of the House of Representatives, and in fact they have a very prominent member. Her name is Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), who has been if office for over thirty years. What D.C. is missing is representation in the Senate, and that’s what this effort is all about.
P.F. Whalen is a conservative blogger at TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including the Western Journal, Human Events, and American Thinker. Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen