The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — Calling the free flow of guns on Chicago streets “the stuff of nightmares,” a federal judge sentenced a man Thursday to more than 11 years in prison for his role in a gun-smuggling scheme that brought high-powered weapons purchased in Indiana into the city’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods.

“Short of an actual homicide, I don’t know how the offense could be more serious, frankly,” U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman told Levaine Tanksley.

The case showed how firearms sold at gun shows in Indiana under less-restrictive laws end up in the hands of gangs in Chicago.

During a two-day stretch in April 2012, prosecutors said, an accomplice delivered 43 guns to Tanksley, who then sold the weapons to a government informant at a sizable profit.

Tanksley’s attorneys asked Guzman for a sentence of under 10 years in prison, citing a childhood ravaged by poverty and crime, and a learning disability that left Tanksley vulnerable to the trappings of his neighborhood.

Before he was sentenced, Tanksley apologized and said he’d turned over a new leaf.

“I have made many mistakes in my life, but I’ve learned from them along the way,” Tanksley said.

Guzman said anyone who reads the daily headlines of the senseless slaughter should be appalled. People “shot, killed, maimed, wounded … while they’re watching TV in their home, playing in their front yard, walking to school,” he said.

“It is absolutely essential the illegal trafficking of firearms is stopped. If it is not, the people who live in these neighborhoods will never be safe, they will never be secure,” Guzman said. “They are all entitled to a chance at life.”

Photo: Scott* via Flickr

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Wendy Rogers

Youtube Screenshot

There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}