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Member since: Sat Mar 27, 2004, 03:35 PM
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This is why I keep saying, even if you believe Zimmerman's story, he committed manslaughter.

An excerpt from Florida's self defense laws, via Wikipedia. Emphasis is mine.

776.041 Use of force by aggressor. —The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

In plain English, having provoked the confrontation with Martin, no matter what happened from that point on Zimmerman's only legal recourse was to attempt to retreat.

Do not ever make the mistake of thinking that the Republicans are anything but the enemy.

I've seen a bunch of posts here tonight basically cheering on the Republican-led effort to try and destroy the Affordable Care Act, on the belief that that would somehow pave the way for passing a single-payer plan, on the grounds that based on one poll two thirds of the public supports it, and therefore it means that Republicans would be forced to vote for it. This belief is so wrong that it's hard to explain it without comparisons to the tooth fairy, but that's not the point of this. The point is, it is a mistake to ever think that the Republicans are there to serve the public, or to react to public opinion, or that they can be "forced" to do anything by virtue of it being either right or popular.

Public opinion has NEVER influenced what the Republicans do. Ever. How many Americans want bipartisan work on the economy? How many Americans want extended unemployment benefits? Take a look at the 2010 "lame duck" session: even though the votes were there for many of President Obama's goals, the handful of Republicans who later crossed over refused before the election to vote for THINGS THEY SUPPORTED specifically in order to campaign AGAINST them, because by campaigning against them they can hurt Obama and the Democrats.

The Republicans specialize in doing exactly what the public DOESN'T want, and then trying to blame it on someone else. If the Affordable Care Act is destroyed, that event will be exploited by the Republicans as a set piece to push the line that government can't handle healthcare, and as an excuse to promote the elimination of Medicare and Medicaid. If you believe something else, I have to ask what rock you've been living under the past three years. The Republicans are not bound by public opinion, and never will be as long as they can get away with gaming the system. The only means to push back on that is to expose them as obstructionist, and to work our asses off district by district to replace them with Democrats.

Far too many people are missing the point: This is an attempted police coverup.

Without the local police doing their utmost to cover up for Zimmerman, this would be a relatively open and shut case. Self defense has nothing to do with it; Zimmerman's actions aren't protected by self-defense laws in Florida or anywhere else in the country. But not only did the police go out of their way to avoid doing all the normal things that would have been done in other cases--drug and alcohol testing for Zimmerman, interrogation, a more robust investigation--but they also have been reinterpreting witness statements to support Zimmerman's story, as well as blankly deciding that he wouldn't be charged. That's far more than incompetence, and reaches well into the territory of deliberate coverup.

Yes, Ann Coulter is defending Robert De Niro. But don't worry. It's not a sign of the apocalypse.

Merely good old fashioned enlightened self interest. Coulter knows that if people start getting called to account for jokes, she won't be able to self-excuse her next hideously racist comment as being "humor."

President Obama has already signed a law raising taxes on top earners by $210 billion.

Little known fact, I know. But the healthcare reform bill included a tax increase on the top bracket of wage earners from 35% to 39.6%. It also imposes Medicare taxes on individuals making over $200k or families making over $250k, and capital gains taxes to 20% from 15%. Those two moves alone raise taxes on top earners by $210 billion dollars. And that's over 6 years, not over 10 years the way the CBO usually calculates it's numbers.


If 39.6% tax on top earners sounds familiar, it should: 39.6% was the top tax bracket circa 2000, before the two rounds of Bush tax cuts.
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