collected by “The Week”
According to a report from Reuters, prison guards overseeing convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in his cell in the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) failed to do mandatory check-ins before his suicide.
Epstein, who had previously been on suicide watch, was found unresponsive in his cell early Saturday morning and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
According to the updated report, “At the MCC, two jail guards are required to make separate checks on all prisoners every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed overnight, according to the source. In addition, every 15 minutes guards are required to make another check on prisoners who are on suicide watch.”
The report that Epstein was skipped is likely to fuel even more conspiracy rumors about the death of a man who reportedly supplied underage females to his wealthy and powerful friends.
Epstein’s death is currently being investigated by the Justice Department which oversees the MCC, with Attorney General Bill Barr calling the prisoner’s apparent ease with which he killed himself “appalling.”
That not the only thing that’s appalling, having Bill Barr connected to this at all is appalling. Barr’s father hired Epstein to teach at the Dalton School, a private co-educational school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, in the early 1970s.
Donald Barr, Dalton’s headmaster and father of Attorney General Bill Barr, hired Epstein to teach math and science.
“What we’ve all been wondering,” one of Epstein’s former students said, “is how did this guy get his job in the first place, without a degree.”
Epstein was without a college degree when he was hired, but Barr, thought of as “no-nonsense,” saw promise in the young man who was in his early 20s at the time. Surprisingly Epstein was able to jump from teaching the children of Wall Streeters to become a Wall Streeter himself. He left Dalton after two years, accepting a job at Bear Stearns as an assistant to a floor trader.
The Dalton School’s Headmaster Donald Barr hired Jeffrey Epstein to teach at the school without a college degree and is current U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr’s father. Shockingly Bill Barr has decided not to recuse himself from Epstein’s case.
More than 30 years later, after Epstein’s resignation at Bear He and his money managing remain shrouded in secrecy, just like Trump’s magical financial fiefdom.
Trump, for all his destruction of leadership norms and erratic, inflammatory behavior, is not the greatest threat to democracy, argues Eleanor Clift in The Daily Beast. That dubious honor goes to Republican Senate Majority Leader “Moscow” Mitch McConnell
“The events in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend give new meaning to the phrase the enemy within. The country is under siege from what law enforcement officials are calling domestic terrorism inspired by white supremacist ideology,” writes Clift. “What to do? All roads lead to Moscow Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, who won’t allow debate on remedies for gun violence and refuses to take up gun-control legislation passed by the House to expand background checks.”
Moscow Mitch could fight the bloodshed right now and call back the Senate to vote on the House’s background check bill, writes Clift. But he won’t.
“Anyone who knows anything about McConnell knows that’s not happening,” says Clift. “At Team Mitch, it’s been business as usual. Just hours after the El Paso shooting, the campaign tweeted a photo of a single tombstone bearing the name of McConnell’s Democratic challenger. Another tweet shows seven grinning young white men in ‘Team Mitch’ T-shirts pawing a cardboard cutout of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez with the caption, ‘break me off a piece of that.’”
“McConnell’s cudgel is the 60-vote filibuster,” continues Clift. “In today’s closely divided senate (53 to 47), those few votes give McConnell his power. There’s no way to get to 60 votes to force a floor vote on anything gun-related, so McConnell gets to operate with absolute immunity knowing a handful of GOP defectors joining the Democrats can’t reach that threshold, and most won’t even risk it.”
This is what he has used to block popular action on everything from background checks to protecting young immigrants to election security, all while spending the Senate’s whole time confirming far-right judges.
“McConnell is accountable only to the Republican voters of Kentucky, and he showers them with benefits,” writes Clift. “He’s up for reelection in 2020 and he’s facing the best the Democrats have to offer, Amy McGrath, a retired Marine Corps fighter pilot who will have the blue wave at her back in red Kentucky. That may not be enough, but wouldn’t it be sweet if it were.”
She quotes Ira Shapiro, a former congressional staffer, who told her in an email, “We will not have a functioning Senate or a healthy politics until Senator McConnell is ousted from power.”
The highly combative and seemingly unprepared Matt Whitaker fought today with the House Judiciary Committee during the hearing. This clown couldn’t or wouldn’t answer simple yes-no questions. His canned and time-wasting answers turned into a shouting match during several occasions as the hearing dragged on. One point of particular note was when a Democratic lawmaker brought up a mystery million dollar payoff he received from a conservative non-profit which refuses to reveal its donors.
One prime example:
Under intense questioning from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Whitaker attempted to bat away questions which led to continuous crosstalk as the acting Attorney General spoke over the Democratic lawmaker.
When order was restored, Raskin pressed Whitaker, asking, “See if you can get into this. Tell us where the money came from, that you were paid? The $1.2 million.”
As he has done all day, Trump flunky and defender Doug Collins (R-GA) jumped in with another “so-called” point of order, which he did numerous times during the hearing running interference for Whitaker, with the parliamentary move easily swatted away by Chairman Jerry Nadler (R-NY).
“It was reported publically that it was one donor,” Raskin continued. “As we understand it, you were the sole employee of the group. So there was one donor and one employee. Do you know who the donor was to the group who funded your salary for $1.2 million?”
“Yes, I do,” Whitaker tersely replied.
“Who was the donor?” Raskin pressed.
“The donor was another non-profit organization called the Donor’s Trust,” he replied.
“That was the pass-through vehicle, ” Raskin shot back, before pressing him once again, and hinting that he believed the payment was funneled to Whitaker by billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson.