No, no, things are going great!
Good morning all! Happy Monday (yes, a contradiction in terms). Either way, brace yourselves — it’s going to be a helluva week.
Cities in Dust (Part 642)
As the citizens of Chicago choose obsolescence with their new Mayoral pick — meet the new boss, worse than the old boss — New York residents battle to keep up in the decline-athon.
While Alvin Bragg puts out tweets claiming his strategies are working, Congressman Jim Jordan is coming to town to hold a hearing on the Manhattan D.A.’s approach to — or rather, retreat from — his job.
He’ll get to meet some of our charming locals!
(Hello, Congressman — what brings you to the needle exchange?)
Here’s a primer on where Jordan will likely go in the hearings:
Jose Alba — As I discussed on foxnews.com here, the case of Alba was something of a tipping point. This was the case that really began the push-back on Bragg. Alba will reportedly be testifying. A powerful witness.
Joseph Borgen — Another testifier. Borgen was walking in a pro-Israel demonstration in midtown when he was attacked by a gang of assailants, sending him to the hospital with a concussion and other injuries. One assailant — Waseem Awawdeh, who reportedly hit Borgen with a crutch — pleaded out to six months on a charge of Attempted Assault. Awawdeh didn’t help matters by telling the prosecutors he “would do it again.”
This case is pretty representative of how things go in the city these days. The cops on the scene originally charged Gang Assault 2 (a C felony) as a Hate Crime, which fit the facts perfectly. Bragg’s office pleaded it down.
The Shoplifting 300 — According to The NY Times (yes! some crime reporting!), a third of all NYC shoplifting arrests last year were perpetrated by 327 chronic thieves. Most of this is down to the homeless and drug-addled, but there are also organized crews conducting luxury smash-and-grabs.
Here’s a nuance: pretty much everybody prefers that security doesn’t interfere. Nobody wants the potential lawsuits, and further, if a security guard fights with a homeless guy over a bottle of baby formula, that misdemeanor larceny charge bumps to robbery. That is a felony, and one of the seven majors that is tracked by the city’s Compstat system. Gotta keep those numbers low!
Messiah Nantwi — In 2021, police approached Nantwi on a Bronx streetcorner on suspicion of making graffiti (he was holding a spray can). Nanti started shooting. The cops shot back, wounding Nanti. He was charged with Attempted Murder of a Police Officer. Then he made bail.
While out on bail, Messiah was just arrested for two homicides in Harlem.
While this one only involves Bragg on the back end (Harlem is in upper-Manhattan), this is a perfect case to highlight New York State’s lunatic bail laws, which prohibit a dangerousness standard.
And Bragg has cut loose no shortage of violent recidivists himself.
The Numbers — As the old saying goes: “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.” True enough. Bragg can claim that major crime is up only about a single point in Manhattan South (that is, boutique Manhattan, below 59th Street). And in Manhattan North, it is down 6%.
Don’t be fooled. Bragg has been in office since the start of 2022. So compare today to the last year he was NOT in office — 2021. His two-year numbers look so:
(source: Fox News/Maria Bartiromo Show. As in: I was watching tv and took a photo)
Further: If we compare his numbers to 2019 — that is, the last year unaffected by the pandemic — his numbers are disastrous. Extrapolating out for the rest of the year, Manhattan ends 2023 with a 26% increase in the seven majors over 2019.
Car thefts alone will be up — wait for it — over 175%.
(The full numbers are here, courtesy of whitecollarfraud.com).
And the DA wonders why Manhattan residents see a diminution in our quality of life?
(And btw: Those numbers do not include misdemeanor crimes, which are so important to quality-of-life).
His Abuse of Discretion — Let’s get the obvious one out of the way: the Donald Trump case is a barking dog (see my dissection here).
But Bragg’s office has also routinely downgraded felonies to misdemeanors — to the tune of 52% of all arrestees.
His office also manages a felony conviction only 51% of the time — down from 68% in 2019.
This is incompetence.
Claiming “prosecutorial discretion,” Bragg also simply won’t prosecute some crimes. Take fare-beating, for instance — which the MTA estimates costs the city $500 million a year.
“Prosecutorial discretion” is a term that refers to a prosecutor making a call on an individual case — NOT taking an entire statute out of the Penal Law. By doing so, Bragg assigns himself the role of the legislature and the judiciary.
That is corruption.
The Manhattan DA’s Office used to have a reputation as one of the premier prosecutor’s offices in America.
Despite the fact that there are still some very good people in the trenches over there, fighting the good fight: Those days are gone
The Pentagon Leak
Folks, in my past professional life your narrator had the same level security clearance as Jack Teixeira. It is serious as a heart attack.
Re: his arrest, here’s The Gist:
These leak things are never fully clear up-front. They take investigation;
They only ever get worse upon investigation;
Not only should a 21-year-old with no need-to-know NOT have had access to those materials: Whoever sponsored his clearance and was responsible for his supervision is also professionally culpable.
I’m sorry to write that last bullet — I hate the catchall “failure to supervise” charge. But if you sponsor someone for clearance, you own that. If the sponsor and Airman Teixeira’s supervisor are different people — they both own this.
If we don’t hear more about this case — and about other heads rolling — be suspicious. Be very suspicious.
Alabama Mass Shooting
Another weekend, another mass shooting: four dead, 28 wounded (28!) at a party in Alabama.
Notice with this one, however: no calls to rescind or restrict the Second Amendment. No protests on the floor of the Nashville legislature. No newscasters weeping on-air.
Why would that be?
According to The Pew Research Center, for the last year they have the stats (2020): 3% of gun murders involved “assault weapons.” The rest were either handguns or undetermined (which almost certainly also means handguns).
Further, as per the FBI, there were 103 deaths from active shooters in 2021 (again, the most recent data they’ve published).
Same year, there were 20,958 gun murders.
Look at that again. 103 deaths from mass shooters. Almost 21,000 total gun murders (with well-over 90% of them likely from handguns).
We are simply not having an honest conversation about guns.
And bullhorns don’t make anyone’s point more compelling.
Is it me, or is the fact that ex-Biden official Sam Brinton was caught stealing luggage from an airport named for Harry Reid — perhaps the most corrupt, larcenous Senator of modern times — just too perfect?
(source: Sam Brinton booking photo, LVPD)
I mean, Harry Reid Airport? Really?
Nice to see that some traditions, at least, endure.
That’s all for now, gang. I’m booked on Fox News during the day on Monday — time TBD. So whenever it is… hope to see you there!
Until then — stay safe.
Thanks for reading The Ops Desk!