Top Stories for Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Grand Jury Declines To Indict Cop in Eric Garner Case

From the New York Post, Cop cleared in chokehold death of Eric Garner“: “A Staten Island grand jury cleared an NYPD cop in the chokehold death of Eric Garner during his caught-on-video arrest for peddling loose cigarettes, the Staten Island district attorney confirmed Wednesday.

The panel voted a “no-bill” and dismissed all potential charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

The blockbuster decision capped weeks of investigation by the special grand jury, which was empaneled in September specifically to review evidence in Garner’s racially charged death.

In a statement released by his union, Pantaleo said: “I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves.”

“It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner,” he added.

“My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.””

From the New York Post, “Protests erupt across NYC after chokehold decision“: “Protesters chanting “No justice, no tree!” tried to storm Rockefeller Center on Wednesday to disrupt the annual lighting ceremony following a grand jury’s decision to not indict an NYPD cop in the death of Eric Garner.

“F–k the tree!” the mob bellowed as cops held them at bay along Sixth Avenue near Radio City Music Hall.

Hundreds of frustrated anarchists then trekked to the West Side Highway, where they vaulted barricades and clashed with cops in riot gear.

In all, at least 83 arrests were made, police sources said.At about midnight, 1,000 protesters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, with cops allowing them to move in the roadway but busting a half-dozen who sat down and would not move.

In all, at least 83 arrests were made, police sources said.”

Conservatives Clash With House Leadership Over Funding Bill

From Politico, “Conservatives scoff at Boehner deal”: “

Senate conservatives are beginning to badger House leaders over their plan to fund the government and symbolically disapprove of the president’s immigration action. GOP Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, David Vitter of Louisiana and Mike Lee of Utah all began to blast the House GOP leadership’s plan on Tuesday afternoon, arguing that the House needs to block funding for implementation of Obama’s executive action now, not later.

Lee laid out a detailed road map to taking on the executive action in a statement to Breitbart News, arguing for a short-term continuing resolution that blocks funding for the executive action — the opposite of what Republican leaders in both chambers want.

“The House needs to do the right thing and send over the short term bill with the defund language,” said Lee spokesman Brian Phillips…

Asked specifically about the House plan, Sessions replied: “I’m worried that it’s not going to be effective.”

“You just can’t be bobbing and weaving on this,” Sessions told reporters. “This is not a matter to be discussed at some point. It’s just unacceptable aggrandizement of power that Congress has an institutional duty to reject.”

Added Vitter: “Make no mistake, sending a bill to the Senate without first making an attempt to include defund language is telling the American people that you support Obama’s executive amnesty. That would be a slap in the face to the voters who sent a message last month by electing Republican majorities in Congress.””

17 States Sue Obama Administration Over Executive Amnesty

From AP, “Multistate coalition sues over immigration order”: “

Texas is leading a 17-state coalition in suing over the Obama administration’s recently announced executive actions on immigration.

Many top Republicans have denounced President Barack Obama’s unilateral move designed to spare as many as 5 million people living illegally in the United States from deportation.

But Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott took it a step further Wednesday, filing a lawsuit in federal court in the Southern District of Texas. Texas is joined by 16 other, mostly southern and Midwestern states, including Alabama, Georgia, Idaho and Indiana.

Under Obama’s order, announced Nov. 20, protection from deportation and the right to work will be extended to an estimated 4.1 million parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years and to hundreds of thousands more young people.

Abbott argued Wednesday that Obama’s action “tramples” portions of the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit raises three objections: that Obama violated the “Take Care Clause” of the U.S. Constitution that limits the scope of presidential power; that the federal government violated rulemaking procedures; and that the order will “exacerbate the humanitarian crisis along the southern border, which will affect increased state investment in law enforcement, health care and education.”…

The federal lawsuit involves the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.”

Hillary Speaks to Half-Empty Hall at Georgetown