Follow me on TwitterMy Tweets
So tonight I decided, I wanted to grow up to be Sutton Foster, not a whiny doctor :D
Do your Open Thread guys, you know what to do, Uh, AnyThing Goes!
Let’s start with the headline:
Oh, my! That certainly sounds terrible!
An Austin, Texas woman told msnbc she was threatened with jail time for having an out-of-state driver’s license when she went to apply for a voter identification card so she could vote under the state’s controversial ID law. She said she was so intimidated she left without getting the ID she needed — and which she’d been trying to get for a year.
Lynne Messinger’s account highlights the obstacles that some Texans face as they try to obtain a voter ID — despite the state’s assurances that getting one doesn’t pose a burden.
Anyone notice anything in there that seems like it might be problematic? Anything that makes you want to ask a question?
Messinger, 62 and a musician, said she brought her birth certificate to a Texas’ Department of Public Safety (DPS) office in south Austin Thursday in an effort to get a voter ID. She needs one because Texas’s strict ID law doesn’t accept out-of-state driver’s licenses.
Messinger said she spoke to a clerk at the desk, and explained that she had a California driver’s license. She has houses in both California and Texas and goes back and forth between the two, but decided several years ago to switch her voting residency to Texas.
The clerk left for a few minutes, then told her to take a seat. At that point, Messinger said, a state trooper summoned her into his back office, saying he needed to speak to her. Once inside his office, Messinger said the trooper insisted on seeing all the documentation she had brought, and demanded to know where she lives and pays taxes. He even told her she could be jailed for driving with a California license.* It is illegal to drive in Texas on another state’s driver’s license 90 days after moving into the state.
Didja notice the asterisk? It’s kinda important, but we’ll get back to it later.
“It was like a Nazi interrogation about how I cant be driving with a California ID,” Messinger said. “I was completely intimidated and freaked out.”
That must have been really intense. I’m picturing Raiders of the Last Ark, where the Gestapo agent is torturing Karen Allen.
The trooper denies threatening jail or arrest during the conversation, according to Summer Blackwell of the DPS. Blackwell said DPS was willing to reach out to Messinger to help her obtain a voter ID.
“I’m from New York originally, and talking to policemen was not like a big deal to me,” Messinger added. “This was scary as hell. There was nothing civil about the way he was talking to me.”
Messinger said she answered the trooper’s questions and eventually was allowed to leave. But by then she was so unnerved that she left without getting her ID, and now doesn’t plan to get one in time to vote.
“I’m well-traveled, I’m not easily intimidated,” she said. “This guy scared the hell out of me. I can just imagine what other people – a little housewife or a Latino or whatever walks in there and this happens to them …”
Adding insult to injury, Messinger said she’d been trying for over a year to get the documents she needed. She first went to a DPS office to get a voter ID last summer, but was turned away because she didn’t have a birth certificate. That led to a months-long process where she frequently spent hours uploading documents in an effort to get a birth certificate from New York, where she was born. Eventually she succeeded, only to be scared off at the DPS office.
Texas’s voter ID law was struck down earlier this month by a federal judge who ruled it racially discriminatory, but was reinstated for the election thanks to the Supreme Court. The difficulty of obtaining an ID was central to Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos’s opinion. The state admitted at trial it had not conducted a public information campaign to publicize the existence of the state IDs it created for those without other photo identification, beyond issuing an English-only press release. At the end of August, the state said it had given out just 279 voter ID cards in the 14 months that it had been issuing them.
It’s like this: Texas passed a law that says you have to have an approved form of ID in order to vote. They want you to prove that you are both a citizen of the United States and a resident of Texas. They accept seven kinds of identification:
1. Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
2. Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
3. Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
4. Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
5. United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
6. United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
7. United States passport
I know it sounds completely ridiculous but for some bizarre reason Texas doesn’t want to accept a California drivers license as proof of Texas residency. Go figure.
But wait! There’s more!
Remember that asterisk?
*Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that it was not illegal to drive in Texas with a California driver’s license. In fact, it is illegal to drive in Texas on another state’s driver license 90 days after moving into the state.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Lone Star State, the Texas Department of Public Safety includes their DMV, Highway Patrol and the legendary Texas Rangers. So when you walk into their DPS you are walking into a police station.
So here is this woman who comes into the Austin DPS office and she tells them she is a Texas resident and she wants a voter ID card. Then she presents them with a California drivers license but says she has been a resident of Texas for a couple years.
IOW – she just confessed to a crime.
So rather than embarrass her up at the front counter they ask her to come to the back where a trooper examines her paperwork and asks her a few relevant questions. He determines that she is indeed residing in Texas and has been doing so for over 90 days but is still driving on a out-of-state drivers license.
So he advises her that she needs to obtain a Texas drivers license or she will be in violation of the law. Then he lets her go. Some Nazi.
So I have a couple questions.
Why did it take her so long to get her birth certificate from New York? They have a website telling you what to do.
Why didn’t she just get a Texas drivers license?
Is she registered to vote in California?
If she has houses in two different states I’m guessing that lack of funds wasn’t the problem. Is it just me or does there seem to be something phony about this story? Like maybe someone was more interested in generating the story than actually obtaining a voter ID card?
In case you were wondering, she’s white. So no racism involved.
Last but not least, here is what the Progs are saying about this:
Lovely Fall Weekend in Virginia and trying not to let the Friday News Dumps ruining it. My other fav blogs, good people, recovering Dems ! Enjoy!
Love this Blog
….and this one
Marc Ambinder writes a mea non culpa:
In August, after a Ferguson, Missouri police officer shot and killed a young, unarmed black man named Michael Brown, the reaction by local residents, civil rights activists, and the media instantly went nuclear. The DNA of our political and legal systems rest on principles of equality and color-blindness, and here was yet another example of a major genetic mutation that we’ve been unable to fix: young black men being murdered by the police because they’re young and black. Still. Even in 2014, this happened, at a time when adults are supposed to be racially enlightened.
Ferguson checked several boxes. The town was mostly black and its police department was mostly white. The basic story was black and white, too. Eyewitnesses saw officer Darren Wilson shoot his weapon, over and over, at Brown. They saw him shoot Brown in the back. They saw him shoot Brown after Brown had stumbled from the shock of the first thwack, thwack, thwack, bullets having shattered his arm.
Predictably, the police department closed ranks around its officer. They pointed out that Brown had stolen some beer from a local convenience store moments earlier. They hinted he had marijuana in his system. They tried to stomp out the credibility of a dead teenager because the optics looked so awful for them. The police’s instinctive defense backfired. The national media, especially cable news networks and enterprising liberal news websites, occupied Ferguson for days on end, looking for and finding evidence that the police were out of control, that racism was everywhere, and that Ferguson resembled forsaken third world cities where footage of confrontations between police and protestors was the norm.
That pretty much lays out the media’s preferred racial narrative, where black people are oppressed by the White Power Structure.
Let’s skip down to the fifth and sixth paragraphs:
Well — several months later, the official autopsy was found to be consistent with police accounts that the shooting came after Brown reached for the officer’s gun during an altercation. And two reporters for The Washington Post, including a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist whose reputation for holding powerful interests accountable is documented, write that “more than a half-dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided testimony to a St. Louis County grand jury that largely supports Wilson’s account of events on Aug. 9,” citing several sources who asked for anonymity. Forensic analysts who’ve read the autopsy largely support the conclusion that Brown had reached for Wilson’s gun.
A lot of evidence hasn’t been made public. The public is right to question the conclusion of government officials who might be sympathetic to the police. Still, at the very least, what we think we know about Ferguson is very likely not what actually happened.
This is what is known as “burying the lede” which is a journalista trick for hiding the truth in plain sight. They know that most people only skim the news, just reading headlines and the first couple paragraphs. Plus he writes those paragraphs in a way that obfuscates the real, incontrovertible fact that the media got Ferguson wrong.
Police militarization and an unequal justice system are real problems that deserve sustained scrutiny. These problems are more insidious than a rush to judgment against one particular officer, presumption of innocence be damned. So maybe the best thing to do would be to say, well, in this particular case, it turns out that the police officer might not have acted as wantonly as we thought. But it really doesn’t matter, because the response to the shooting called attention to police abuse and discrimination in a way that resonated across the world. They had tanks! They threatened to killed reporters! The truth here is less important than Truth.
For the news media, though, the “injustice is the story, not Darren Wilson” story won’t wash. Sometimes, what’s true is hard to discern. The media made Ferguson a national story. The media did so based on a particular set of facts and assumptions that they then broadcast to viewers who (because we are so instinctively partisan) were inclined to reject, or accept, the fact of a bad police shooting based solely on what they were told. Now, some reporters and analysts will try to skew the evidence rather than admit that they got it wrong. Many others will say that because there’s still so much we don’t know and haven’t read about the incident, it’s premature to conclude anything. Others will say that, regardless of whether Brown struggled for Wilson’s gun, firing nine shots at someone is never justified. Others will show pictures of tanks and tear gas, basically telling viewers that the reaction to the shooting by police was the real story all along, even more so than racism. The victim? Michael Brown? Eh.
The journey for racial justice rejects the notion that truth is an effect of power. It is based on the notion that truth transcends power. The media wants to be on the right side of history when it comes to race. Accepting truth wherever we find it, no matter how painful it is to our sensibilities, is even more important when fundamental issues of justice are at stake.
Blah, blah, blah, blabbity-blah.
This is word fog:
The media made Ferguson a national story. The media did so based on a particular set of facts and assumptions that they then broadcast to viewers who (because we are so instinctively partisan) were inclined to reject, or accept, the fact of a bad police shooting based solely on what they were told. Now, some reporters and analysts will try to skew the evidence rather than admit that they got it wrong.
Let me clean that up for you:
made Ferguson a national story. The media did so based on a particular set of facts and assumptions that they then broadcast to viewers who (because we are so instinctively partisan) were inclined to reject, or accept, the fact of a bad police shooting based solely on what they were told. Now, some reporters and analysts will try to skew the evidence rather than admit that theygot it wrong.
Here’s the clean and clear version:
The media got it wrong.
Was that so hard?
There was a school shooting this morning outside Seattle.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the students, teachers, staff, and families of Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
From the Department of How Stupid Do They Think We Are:
With a grand jury decision looming on whether a white police officer should face charges in the killing of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo., the investigation has sprung a few leaks.
New details from the inquiry into Michael Brown’s Aug. 9 death — all provided by unidentified sources and which seem to support Officer Darren Wilson’s story of what happened that day — have emerged in St. Louis and national news outlets in recent days.
The U.S. Department of Justice condemned the leaks Wednesday as “irresponsible and highly troubling” and said, “There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”
The leaks seemed to create a fresh rupture in trust with black St. Louis-area officials and protesters, who said Wednesday that they were upset with what they saw as another breakdown in the justice system because information from the supposedly secret grand jury continued to appear in the media. The grand jury’s decision is expected in November.
“There is no way there should be reports from all these anonymous sources and these ‘leaks’ ….This is supposed to play out in the courts and the justice system, and not the media,” said Patricia Bynes, a committeewoman for Ferguson township, which includes the city of Ferguson, and a prominent voice in the protest movement. Quoting a popular chant, she added, “The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”
Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Brown’s family, said he was not surprised by the autopsy report’s details.
“Several independent witnesses indicated there was a brief altercation between Michael Brown and Officer Wilson at the patrol car,” Crump said in a statement. “What we want to know is why Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown multiple times and killed him even though he was more than 20 feet away from his patrol car; this is the crux of the matter!”
A Justice Department spokeswoman responded in a statement to the Los Angeles Times: “The department considers the selective release of information in this investigation to be irresponsible and highly troubling. Since the release of the convenience-store footage, there seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”
The reference to the convenience-store footage alluded to a video released by Ferguson police on the same day they disclosed Wilson’s identity. The video showed Brown apparently intimidating a store clerk shortly before the shooting.
Chris King, managing editor of the St. Louis American, a newspaper for black audiences, said law enforcement officials had offered him the leaks, saying “they had been briefed on the evidence and it didn’t look good for Michael Brown supporters,” but he declined and decried “third-party hearsay” in an editorial for the paper.
“Tensions are so high that preparations for riots, if Wilson walks free, are discussed in sober terms in local and national media and on street corners,” the American said in its editorial. “The editors of these powerful publications have shown a lapse in judgment and ethics that is not only shameful, but actually dangerous. We declare a mistrial in the court of public opinion.”
The paper asked that Wilson be charged with second-degree murder and that his case be taken to trial.
When this story first broke we were told that a white cop shot and killed an unarmed black teenager who was either running away or standing there with his hands raised trying to surrender. Race pimps, rioters, Eric Holder and the national media immediately descended on Ferguson, Missouri. The officer involved had to leave the state when his name and address were publicly disclosed.
It was only after riots had started that the Ferguson police began to push back by releasing the convenience store video showing Michael “Gentle Giant” Brown committing a strong-arm robbery minutes before he was stopped by Officer Wilson. The usual suspects screamed in protest that the cops were trying to smear Brown.
The truth is they are just pissed off that once again the actual evidence doesn’t fit their racial narrative. If the leaked information was incriminating as to Officer Wilson they wouldn’t be concerned with swaying public opinion.