Charles Manson’s Death Reminds Us Why We Need the Death Penalty

Andrea Ruth had a post earlier today about the death of Charles Manson. Andrea’s post extensively covered Manson’s crimes and said good riddance to this evil man. In this post, in addition to agreeing with Andrea’s sentiments about Manson, I want to take a moment to remind us all that we need the death penalty.

Prosecutors who have a former defendant on death row know that there is always a chance that the murderer will outlive us, no matter how young we were when the penalty was imposed. Vincent Bugliosi was not quite 35 years old when he convicted Manson of the Tate-LaBianca killings. Bugliosi lived to the age of 80 — yet Manson still outlived him.

This is particularly outrageous in the case of Manson. Here is the roll call of the dead — the people Charles Manson was convicted of murdering: Abigail Ann Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Steven Earl Parent, Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Leno La Bianca, Rosemary La Bianca, Gary Hinman, and Donald Jerome “Shorty” Shea. Manson was indeed sentenced to death, but the sentence was overturned (along with that of Sirhan Sirhan and 103 others) in 1972, when the California Supreme Court declared the state’s death penalty unconstitutional. Since the imposition of the death penalty, only 13 executions have been carried out in California. The last was in 2006, and as of August, 747 inmates remained on Death Row.

Most people don’t realize how difficult it is to get to the point where someone is subject to execution. The death penalty in California requires that a jury convict the defendant of at least one murder in the first degree, and at least one special circumstance. Examples of special circumstances include murder for financial gain, murder in the course of rapes, robberies, and other specified felonies, poisoning, and infliction of torture, to name a few. Most cases in which special circumstances are charged are even not tried as death penalty cases. The penalty is typically reserved for “the worst of the worst” — people who have zero chance of rehabilitation. The jury has the opportunity to consider a wide range of possible mitigation as well as aggravation, and twelve people must unanimously agree that death is appropriate after taking all of those factors into consideration.

Appeals of death penalty cases are notoriously long. As absurd as it seems (and is), some inmates have even claimed in recent years that the length of the appeals process is itself cruel and unusual punishment — even though appealing the case is their own choice, and many appeals are frivolous and designed for the express purpose of delay. Frustration with this regime has led California voters to recently pass an initiative to speed up the process.

Manson had his day in court, was convicted of nine murders, was sentenced to death, and given a reprieve by the courts. He spent the rest of his life making a mockery of the system that spared him, carving a swastika into his forehead, and generally showing that he did not deserve to live.

His life was spared, and some of his confederates could even be paroled.

Manson prosecutors used to attend parole hearings to oppose parole for Manson family members convicted of murder. But they can’t do that when they themselves are already dead.

Whether you agree with the death penalty or not, surely we can all agree that the remaining Manson family members should not be paroled. At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey (a death penalty opponent for religious reasons) says:

Manson died where he belonged. Let the parole board and Governor Brown take that as a victory, and apply that lesson to the other Manson “family” convicts.

I would argue that Manson belonged in a gas chamber when he died, but the courts took that option away. Given that reality, prison is where they should all die. It will still be a far more merciful death than those suffered by the Manson family’s victims.

[Disclaimer]

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Number Two: Second Woman Accuses Senator Al Franken of HIGHLY Inappropriate Touching

Hey, Al, don’t look now, but the dam of accusers may be breaching for you, as well.

Last week, Minnesota Senator Al Franken was forced to do a mea culpa, regarding a 2006 USO incident, where he forced his tongue in the mouth of model and radio news anchor, Leeann Tweeden. He also took a photo of a sleeping Tweeden, smiling for the camera, as it appeared he was groping her breasts over her clothes.

He’s a pig.

Franken apologized and the Democrats circled the wagons (although some did call for him to resign, at first).

As it is with all things Franken, that apology seemed disingenuous, at best, and you had to wonder if there was more to come.

Well. Yes.

CNN is reporting that a new woman has stepped forward to tell her story, and this time, it was after Franken was elected.

Lindsay Menz, a 33-year-old woman who now lives in Frisco, Texas, reached out to CNN on Thursday hours after Tweeden made her story public. Menz said she wanted to share an “uncomfortable” interaction that left her feeling “gross.”

Yeah, if Stuart Smalley was in the same state as me, I’d feel gross.

According to Menz, she attended the Minnesota State Fair with her husband and father in the summer of 2010, almost two years after Franken was elected to the Senate. Her father’s small business was sponsoring a local radio booth, and she spent the day meeting various elected officials, political candidates and celebrities and taking photos with them as they stopped by the booth.

When Franken walked in, Menz and her husband, who also spoke with CNN, said they recognized him right away. Menz said she had a brief and cordial exchange with the senator.

Then, as her husband held up her phone and got ready to snap a photo of the two of them, Franken “pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear,” Menz said. “It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek.”

That’s when knowing how to pivot and deliver a solid throat punch comes in handy.

So where was her husband?

“It wasn’t around my waist. It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt,” she said, recalling that the brazen act lasted three or four seconds. “I was like, oh my God, what’s happening.”

“He reached around her and kind of pulled her into him,” said her husband Jeremy Menz, who didn’t see what happened behind his wife. “He pulled her in and pushed his head against her head. It was over pretty quick.”

Unbelievable.

Lindsay Menz told CNN that she walked away as soon as the photo was taken, without saying anything to the then-first term senator. When she reconnected with her husband moments later, she told him: “He totally grabbed my butt.” Jeremy Menz described that conversation the same way to CNN.

I have no doubt they’re telling the truth. Franken has proven with his attitude to be a wholly selfish, entitled, arrogant little troll of a man.

Of course, when questioned about it, He reverts to his role as Stuart Smiley, and offers some words for the Daily Affirmations.

“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” Franken said. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”

If it’s true he takes thousands of photos, the coming avalanche of women living with the uncomfortable memory of being violated by his greasy hands is going to be epic.

“I felt gross. It’d be like being walking through the mall and some random person grabbing your butt,” Lindsay Menz said. “You just feel gross. Like ew, I want to wash that off of me.”

“I was upset. I wasn’t happy about it in the least,” Jeremy Menz said. “He was already gone and I wasn’t going to confront him. But yeah — I was in shock, really.”

Because if you confront an elected U.S. senator about something like that, in the moment, it could get really bad for you, really quick.

Menz did tell her parents about the incident.

Menz’s mother, Jodi Brown, also told CNN that she discussed the incident with her daughter immediately after it happened. She said she distinctly recalls her son-in-law saying to her: “Our senator just groped my wife right in front of me.”

In the photo of Menz and Franken, the side of the senator’s face is pressed up against Menz’s but the lower halves of their bodies are not shown. Both of them are smiling.

She posted the photo on Facebook at the time, and when others commented about the closeness of the two in the photo, she responded:

Menz responded to her sister on Facebook: “Dude — Al Franken TOTALLY molested me! Creeper!” (The exchange is visible to Menz’s Facebook friends.)

Menz, after seeing Tweeden’s story, felt encouraged to step forward and give her account, hoping that it will give others who may have stories to tell to come forward, as well.

“I don’t want to paint my story in the same light as hers,” Menz said, saying she believes what happened to Tweeden is much worse.

Still, she said, “the reason I want to say something is if someone sees that I said something, maybe it would give them the courage to say something too.”

I believe it will, and if Democrats continue to make excuses for this, all while pointing dirty fingers at Roy Moore, Donald Trump, or any other Republican accused of inappropriate sexual conduct, it WILL come back to haunt them.

This ain’t Bill Clinton’s America, any more.

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Roy Moore is Losing in Alabama. Can the GOP Catch Up?

It’s no longer just a scare: Roy Moore is behind in the Alabama Senate race. Can the Republican Party catch up?


Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, talks to constituents before a Republican Senate candidate forum, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, in Pelham, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Alabama is a great state for the Republican Party. Donald Trump won 62% of the vote, and Richard Shelby beat that at 64%. Republicans won 6 of 7 US House districts. However Roy Moore, like Donald Trump, has a history of underperforming. When George W. Bush got 57% for President, Roy Moore only got 55% for Chief Justice.

In 2012 when Roy Moore ran again for Chief Justice, He only got 52% of the vote. Mitt Romney got 61%. That’s right. Mitt Romney lost the election, but Roy Moore ran far behind him, giving the Democrat a chance to win the office of Chief Justice.

So even though Alabama is usually a sure win for Republicans, it’s less surprising than you think that Roy Moore is now losing. In his last statewide election he only won 52-48, so all it took was a move of a few percentage points to put Doug Jones ahead of him in the Senate race, and technically that’s where the poll average now has him. Jones is up by less than a percentage point, so it’s realistically tied, but by the numbers, Jones is winning and Moore is losing.

It’s hard to see what the Republican Party can do about it, either. Moore won’t quit. Democrat turnout is looking sky high this year. Unless Republicans can find a way to exonerate Roy Moore, or somehow put Donald Trump on the ballot, it’s looking grim for the Alabama Republican Party this year.

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Robert Mueller’s Team Now Directing the Department That Employs Them to Turn over Documents

Obstruction was the case.

That’s the angle Robert Mueller’s team seems to be taking up, as a new report from ABC News tells it.

Specifically, Mueller’s team is now seeking emails and other documents that might reveal what was going on, in relation to the firing of former FBI Director James Comey in May. They’re also looking into why Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself.

Issued within the past month, the directive marks the special counsel’s first records request to the Justice Department, and it means Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation.

Mueller’s investigators now seek not only communications between Justice Department officials themselves, but also any communications with White House counterparts, the source said. Before this request, investigators asked former senior Justice Department officials for information from their time at the department, ABC News was told.

This is where I remind everybody that this particular part of Mueller’s overall investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election wouldn’t even be a thing, had President Trump, himself, not said on national television that he fired Comey because of the “Russia thing.”

He undercut his own people who had the narrative in hand – Comey was fired because of his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation – nice, neat, and justifiable.

Sitting with Lester Holt the next day, with all the bumbling hubris that he’s built his presidency on, so far, it was Trump who elevated the Russia investigation to its current heights.

He truly can’t get out of his own way.

Due to that one, televised, uncoerced moment, the investigation was no longer simply because of potential interference from Russians working from the outside to influence the course of an election.

Frankly, they do that all the time and all over the world, because they’re always trying to get the upper hand.

No, in that moment, the existing investigation morphed to include an obstruction investigation. Did the newly-elected POTUS attempt to obstruct an ongoing investigation by firing the FBI director?

The insane part is how Trump’s loyalists act like battered wives. They hate how he acts, but they go on the defensive when anyone points out to them that they need to walk away from him.

“You don’t know him like we do! He’s really good to us when we’re alone! He’s just having a hard time, right now.”

Right.

Nobody is picking on him. He overinvolved himself in the Russia probe, then amplified the problem because he’s not bright enough to understand what a child would instinctively understand: You don’t even insinuate, much less say outright that you fired a law enforcement official to stop an investigation.

As for Jeff Sessions, he’s ready to meet with Robert Mueller, if necessary, in order to explain his reasons for recusal, a move that put Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in charge, and ultimately led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Sessions and Rosenstein both drafted letters recommending the firing of Comey, both of which pointed to Comey’s handling of the Clinton email scandal as reason for the firing. And those were the proper response, except it should have been done immediately, not four months into the term, and certainly not after private meetings between Comey and Trump.

In those meetings, Comey insists that President Trump told him that he requires “loyalty.” So now it looks as if not dropping the Russia probe was a sign of disloyalty.

Shortly before firing Comey, Trump secretly drafted a memo laying out his reasons for wanting the FBI chief ousted. The New York Times described it as an “angry, meandering” missive.

The draft memo was never publicly released, but a copy was shared with Rosenstein, who had taken command of the Russia-related probe, according to the Times.

After seeing Trump’s version, that’s when Rosenstein and Sessions drafted their versions and those were the versions the White House went with.

And it all culminated in this investigation we see today.

During a House hearing in June, Rosenstein refused to say whether he consulted with the White House ahead of Comey’s firing or whether anyone asked him to write his memo, insisting such questions “may well be within the scope of the special counsel’s investigation.”

Rosenstein still maintains final supervision over the case, even though he was interviewed by Mueller’s team as a witness for his own role in Comey’s firing.

I don’t know if “consulted” is the right word, but Rosenstein’s actions were initiated after seeing Trump’s version of a letter calling for Comey’s firing.

And there has been a lot of that effort to continuously cover for Trump.

Still, it’s an unusual wrinkle to see Mueller’s team now actively checking into the very government department that employs him.

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Marco Rubio: We Need to Reward Work Instead of Collecting Welfare for Having Children

Florida Senator Marco Rubio wants to start paying people for actually going to work instead of sitting at home and living off of government benefits while they have children.

Rubio appeared on Fox and Friends to promote his child tax credit plan, which would increase the child tax credit to $2,000.

“We need to encourage work.” said Rubio. “We cannot be a country where you’re better off not working and having three kids because of the government programs – than a country with $35,000 or $45,000 a year, you end up losing money.”

“We need to reward work,” added Rubio, “and we need to take care of people who work really hard and are trying to get ahead. To keep more of their own money instead of sending it Washington  so Washington can spend it on their behalf.”

Rubio’s increase on the child tax credit isn’t a new idea of his by a long shot. The Florida Senator has been pushing such a tax credit since 2014. During his 2016 presidential run, the amount had been $2,500.

With the Republican tax bill just around the corner, Rubio has begun pushing for the tax credit hard, thinking it will also please some on the left.

“Unless America’s tax code and our broader public policy does not begin to account for the struggles of working Americans who put in eight to 10 hours a day, five days a week, I think our political process will continue to become more raucous and more divisive,” said Rubio on Friday according to Naples Daily News. “And America will struggle to solve not just its economic problems, but many of its other problems as well.”

Rubio hasn’t indicated that he would remove his vote for the GOP tax plan should the child tax credit not be included, but if he did, it would endanger the bill greatly.  Republican Sens Susan Collins from Maine, and Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson have both already indicated that they can’t vote for the bill.

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