Happy Repeal Day: The Story of Congress’ Favorite Bootlegger

80 years ago today the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was
ratified, ridding the United States from Prohibition. In
celebration, ReasonTV brings you an encore look at the incredible
story of George Cassiday, the bootlegger to Congress who helped
bring down the 18th Amendment. 

Here is the original text from the Dec. 5, 2012 video: 

In honor of Repeal
Day
, which celebrates the end of America’s “noble experiment”
in banning alcoholic beverages, Reason TV is happy to introduce you
to George Cassiday, a man whose life and work should be taught to
every schoolkid – and to every member of Congress hell-bent on
legislating the nation’s morals.

From 1920 through 1930 – the thick of the Prohibition era –
Cassiday supplied illegal liquor throughout the halls of Congress.
Known as “The Man in the Green Hat,” Cassiday was the Capitol’s
highest-profile bootlegger, with a client list that included senior
members of the Republican and Democratic Parties. How instrumental
was he to the D.C. power elite? He even had his own office in the
House and Senate office buildings.
Cassiday gave up the liquor trade after his arrest in 1930, but
gained notoriety by penning a series of front-page articles
for The Washington Post about his days as
Congress’ top bottle man.

Though he never named names, Cassiday’s stories detailed every
aspect of his former business – and the depths of hypocrisy in
Washington. By his own estimation, “four out of five senators and
congressmen consume liquor either at their offices or their homes.”
Appearing days before the 1930 mid-term elections, Cassiday’s
revelations caused a national stir and helped sweep
pro-Prohibitionist
 - and ostensibly tee-totaling –
congressmen and senators out of power.

Today, with the rise of cocktail culture and prohibition-vogue
in full swing
, Cassiday’s life and legacy are being
re-discovered. Through books such as Garrett
Peck’s Prohibition
in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t
 to New
Columbia Distillery’s Green
Hat Gin
, the remarkable story of George Cassiday – “The Man in
the Green Hat” – is again being told.

Reason TV spoke with Cassiday’s son, Fred, author
Garrett Peck, and New Columbia Distillery’s John Uselton to discuss
George Cassiday and the end of Prohibition.

Shot, edited, and produced by Meredith Bragg. About
4:30 minutes.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/happy-repeal-day
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Happy Repeal Day: The Story of Congress' Favorite Bootlegger

80 years ago today the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was
ratified, ridding the United States from Prohibition. In
celebration, ReasonTV brings you an encore look at the incredible
story of George Cassiday, the bootlegger to Congress who helped
bring down the 18th Amendment. 

Here is the original text from the Dec. 5, 2012 video: 

In honor of Repeal
Day
, which celebrates the end of America’s “noble experiment”
in banning alcoholic beverages, Reason TV is happy to introduce you
to George Cassiday, a man whose life and work should be taught to
every schoolkid – and to every member of Congress hell-bent on
legislating the nation’s morals.

From 1920 through 1930 – the thick of the Prohibition era –
Cassiday supplied illegal liquor throughout the halls of Congress.
Known as “The Man in the Green Hat,” Cassiday was the Capitol’s
highest-profile bootlegger, with a client list that included senior
members of the Republican and Democratic Parties. How instrumental
was he to the D.C. power elite? He even had his own office in the
House and Senate office buildings.
Cassiday gave up the liquor trade after his arrest in 1930, but
gained notoriety by penning a series of front-page articles
for The Washington Post about his days as
Congress’ top bottle man.

Though he never named names, Cassiday’s stories detailed every
aspect of his former business – and the depths of hypocrisy in
Washington. By his own estimation, “four out of five senators and
congressmen consume liquor either at their offices or their homes.”
Appearing days before the 1930 mid-term elections, Cassiday’s
revelations caused a national stir and helped sweep
pro-Prohibitionist
 - and ostensibly tee-totaling –
congressmen and senators out of power.

Today, with the rise of cocktail culture and prohibition-vogue
in full swing
, Cassiday’s life and legacy are being
re-discovered. Through books such as Garrett
Peck’s Prohibition
in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t
 to New
Columbia Distillery’s Green
Hat Gin
, the remarkable story of George Cassiday – “The Man in
the Green Hat” – is again being told.

Reason TV spoke with Cassiday’s son, Fred, author
Garrett Peck, and New Columbia Distillery’s John Uselton to discuss
George Cassiday and the end of Prohibition.

Shot, edited, and produced by Meredith Bragg. About
4:30 minutes.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/happy-repeal-day
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Andrew Napolitano on the Pope and Basic Economics

What is the worst problem in the world today?
Might it be war, starvation, genocide, sectarian violence, murder,
slaughter of babies in the womb? Any of these would be a rational
answer. But when Pope Francis was asked this question recently, he
replied, “Youth unemployment.” Thank God, says Andrew Napolitano,
that the pope’s teaching authority is limited to faith and morals,
because in matters of economics, he is wide of the mark.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/andrew-napolitano-on-the-pope-and-basic
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Brickbat: Gun Grabbers

Eric Lee has sued
the DeKalb County police department after it refused to return his
gun and to reimburse him for towing his truck. Lee, who has a
concealed carry permit, went to check on a noise at a business he
owned when cops confronted him. They charged him with
loitering on
his own property
 and seized his gun and towed his truck. A
judge tossed out the charge at his initial appearance.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/05/brickbat-gun-grabbers
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Troy, NY Police Chief Wants Zero Tolerance Policy for Brutality, Called for FBI Probe Into Internal Affairs; Internal Affairs Investigating Him

good cop maybe?John Tedesco, the police chief in Troy, New York,
was interviewed this week by internal affairs over allegedly
upholding a citizens complaint about brutality too soon. Tedesco
has also called for investigations by the city council, as well as
an FBI probe, into his department’s internal affairs division. Via

the Albany Times-Union
:

Deputy Chief Richard McAvoy and Capt. Terrance Buchanan
of internal affairs met with Tedesco for about 30 minutes in an
office that was cordoned off.

Tedesco had said the media were invited to attend his interview,
but no reporters were present.

The chief faces the investigation after a complaint was filed
saying that the letter he sent [upholding a citizens’ complaint]
was written before the officer under investigation had exhausted
the appeals process.

Tedesco’s questioning came as city officials learned that the chief
asked the City Council to investigate the police department’s
operations and internal affairs unit under Police Commissioner
Anthony Magnetto.

Tadesco’s attorney claimed in a letter that Buchanan was biased
in favor of the local PBA, which opposes Tadesco, because they
employ him off-hours. The attorney, who in an eight-page letter
called for an inquiry into the internal affairs department, also
said the police chief “firmly believes that a zero-tolerance policy
against egregious misconduct must be strictly enforced to prevent
future incidents of brutality and that his other ‘best practices’
and policies must be reinstated for effective and efficient
management of the Police Bureau.

The City Council appointed Magnetto police commissioner in
February, while Tadesco was away for training. His wife blasted the
council for appointing Magnetto, and the PBA president made
comments about the police chief that illuminate some of the source
of the conflict. Via
the Record of Troy
:

Police Benevolent Association President Bob Fitzgerald…
criticized Tedesco for his decision to deactivate the Emergency
Response Team, listing the various instances it’s been called upon
for assistance not just in the city but surrounding municipalities.
Fitzgerald also critiqued Tedesco’s decision to take officers off
U.S. Marshals detail and also taking school resource officers out
of the schools, even going as far to suggest the 14-year-old girl
who leaped off the top of Lansingburgh Middle School was looking
for the officer before she jumped.

“The Troy PBA members respect Anthony Magnetto and know his
experience will lead to success in the department,” Fitzgerald
said. “He ingrained in our minds early on, go out and do your job
and don’t embarrass this department.”

Tedesco was also
interviewed
by the FBI this morning, which he said he
welcomed.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/04/troy-ny-police-chief-wants-zero-toleranc
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Jacob Sullum in Time: Why the Sandy Hook 911 Recordings Matter

Today the city of Newtown, Connecticut, finally
released recordings of the 911 calls police received during the
massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Deccember 2012. In a
Time essay, Senior Editor Jacob Sullum argues that
such primary materials can help people assess police and
legislative responses to highly publicized crimes.


Read the article
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/04/jacob-sullum-in-time-why-the-sandy-hook
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Wanting to Testify in No-Fly List Lawsuit Lands Person on No-Fly List

Government officials petty, you say? I'd put on my shocked face but it was confiscated by TSAA civil rights trial was
supposed to begin this week in San Francisco targeting the
Department of Homeland Security’s opaque, mystifying and utterly
inaccessible no-fly list. It immediately hit a snag. The daughter
of Rahinah Ibraham, the individual suing the government for being
placed on the list, was denied permission by the Department of
Homeland Security to fly to the United States herself in order to
testify. Techdirt
takes note
today:

Apparently, one of the people set to testify in the case,
Ibrahim’s oldest daughter, Raihan Mustafa Kamal (an American
citizen, born in the US), was blocked from boarding her flight to
the US to appear at the trial, and told that she was on the no fly
list as well. Kamal, a lawyer, was an eye witness to her mother
being blocked from boarding her flight. The US knew that Kamal was
set to testify and from all indications, in a move that appears
extremely petty, appears to have purposely blocked her from flying
to the US. Kamal was directly told by the airline that DHS had
ordered them not to let Kamal to board. The airline even gave her a
phone number for a Customs and Border Patrol office in Miami,
telling her to call that concerning her not being able to
board.

Judge William Alsup, who is known for his rather no-nonsense
approach in court (and his willingness to dig very deep into
understanding the issues), quickly noted that this apparent
blocking of Kamal was ridiculous, and demanded that the government
explain what happened. When they insisted they knew nothing about
it, Alsup wasn’t satisfied. Nor was he satisfied with the story
they eventually came back with.

A government lawyer then apparently claimed that Kamal had
merely missed her flight. The next day, lead counsel for the
plaintiff came back with evidence that, no, really, DHS ordered an
airline not to let her on board. Courtesy of blogging from
The Identity Project
, a group devoted to defending the right
for Americans to move around the country freely:

None of that was true, Ms.
[Elizabeth] Pipkin told the court this morning. “She didn’t miss
the flight. She was there in time to check in. She has not been
rebooked on another flight.” And most importantly, it was because
of actions by the DHS — one of the defendants in Dr. Ibrahim’s
lawsuit — that Ms. Mustafa Kamal was not allowed to board her
flight to SFO to attend and testify at her mother’s trial.

Ms. Pipkin said that Ms. Mustafa Kamal had sent her a copy of
the “no-board” instructions which the DHS gave to Malaysia
Airlines, and which the airline gave to Ms. Mustafa Kamal to
explain as much as it knew about why it was not being allowed to
transport her.  Ms. Pipkin handed Judge William Alsup a copy
of the DHS “no-board” instructions to Malaysia Airlines regarding
Ms. Mustafa Kamal.

Major props to Malaysia Airlines for providing a copy of the DHS
instructions to Ms. Mustafa Kamal. Other airlines receiving similar
instructions have acquiesced to DHS orders to keep the instructions
from the DHS, and the reasons for the airlines’ actions, secret
from the would-be travelers whose rights are affected. So far as we
know, this is the first time an actual no-fly order has been
disclosed to a would-be traveler or potentially to the public.

Read more of the Identity Project’s court coverage
right here
, which includes a lengthy background about the
case.

Follow this story and more at Reason
24/7
.

Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and
Reason articles. You can get the
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here
. If you have a story that would be of
interest to Reason’s readers please let us know by emailing the
24/7 crew at 24_7@reason.com, or tweet us stories
at 
@reason247.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/04/wanting-to-testify-in-no-fly-list-lawsui
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The Disingenuous Arguments Behind the One-Year Delay in Releasing the Sandy Hook 911 Calls

Today, nearly a year after Adam Lanza murdered 20
children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown,
Connecticut, the city finally released
recordings
of 911 calls made from the scene of that horrifying
crime. The long delay was due to opposition by State’s Attorney
Stephen Sedensky, who while overseeing the investigation of the
massacre became so concerned about the feelings of the victims’
families that he lost sight of his legal obligations.
Connecticut’s Freedom
of Information Act
 creates a presumption in favor of
making public records public, and Sedensky fell far short of
showing that the 911 recordings qualified for any of the
recognized exceptions. 

How far short? In his
November 26 order
 upholding the Connecticut Freedom of
Information Commission’s rejection of Sedensky’s bid to keep the
recordings under wraps, Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott said
one of the prosecutor’s arguments “borders on the frivolous.” He
was referring to Sedensky’s claim that 911 calls, which are
routinely released by police in cases that attract public
attention, should be treated like “signed statements from
witnesses” taken as part of a criminal investigation.

Prescott was similarly unimpressed by Sedensky’s claim that the
recordings would reveal the identities of previously unnamed
witnesses, subjecting them to “threat or intimidation.” Prescott
concluded that “the plaintiff has not come close to meeting his
burden to demonstrate that such circumstances exist in this case.”
Having listened to the calls, the judge noted that “only one
individual is mentioned by name, and there is nothing to suggest
his or her identity as a witness is currently unknown to the
public.” Furthermore, the only evidence Sedensky cited that such
exposure might result in threat or intimidation was a reference to
a man who lived across the street from the school and sheltered
children who escaped during Lanza’s attack. Sedensky said this Good
Samaritan was “bothered by what is going on in the media, in terms
of people writing things about him.”

Sedensky also argued that releasing the 911 recordings would
jeopardize “prospective law enforcement action.” What action might
that be, you may wonder, since the perpetrator killed himself
before police entered the school? Prescott wondered the same thing.
Sedensky argued that even if he did not plan to prosecute anyone
the case was not closed until he said it was, and releasing the
recordings before them would be unacceptably risky. “This court
disagrees with the plaintiff’s expansive definition of ‘law
enforcement action,'” Prescott wrote. “The plaintiff has cited no
legal authority for his broad characterization of the phrase.” Even
if a prosecution were possible, the judge observed, Sedensky had
not explained why letting the public hear the 911 calls would
compromise it.

Even more of a stretch was Sedensky’s argument that the 911
recordings constituted records of “child abuse” that by law had to
be kept confidential. As Prescott patiently shows, the statute on
which Sedensky relied very clearly refers to records kept by the
Department of Children and Families concerning child abuse by “(1)
a person responsible for such child’s health, welfare, or care, (2)
a person given access to the child by such responsible person, or
(3) a person entrusted with the care of a child.” The
confidentiality requirement does not apply to the murder of
children by total strangers, a kind of violence that is handled by
“the appropriate local law enforcement agency.”

On the whole, Prescott concluded, Sedensky’s arguments “lack
merit.” That is not surprising, since they were nothing more than
covers for his actual motive, which was to shield the parents of
Lanza’s victims from further pain. That impulse is understandable,
but it does not carve out an exception to the Freedom of
Information Act. If it did, police and prosecutors could suppress
information about crimes at will by arguing that releasing it would
cause victims or their survivors further suffering. Any decent
person feels for the families devastated by the Sandy Hook
massacre. But there is nothing admirable about Sedensky’s
willingness to sacrifice the rule of law, government transparency,
and freedom of the press on the altar of sympathy.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/04/the-disingenuous-arguments-behind-the-on
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Donate to Reason in Bitcoin, You Kooky, Decentralizing, Alt-Culture Freakazoids!

Click-thru functionality on the Donations page! https://coinbase.com/assets/buttons/donation_large-6ec72b1a9eec516944e50a22aca7db35.png ||| It’s Day One of Reason’s
annual webathon, in
which we
cajole
,
bargain with
, and
tickle
you into donating whatever you can–$10, $100,
$10,000
—for the cause of helping create ever-more libertarian
journalism and commentary. Our ambitious goal is to raise $100,000
of tax-deductible donations during this week-long bell-ring, and so
far we’re off to a pretty good start…except in one key
category.

If by "state" you mean THE MAN!!! ||| You see, as my comrade Nick Gillespie
pointed out earlier, at the bottom of our donation page,
underneath a detailed list of goodies you’ll get for different
giving levels, there is a button there saying “Donate
Bitcoins
.” Because if there’s one thing I know about you
tuned-in, far-out libertarian freakers out there is that you want
to talk in a VERY INSISTENT AND CONVINCING VOICE about how Bitcoin
is more
than just money
—it’s an entire alternative ecosystem, a source
code for routing around any centralizing force, a blueprint for
undermining the nation-state itself. My analog brain might be a bit
slow in grasping fully the momentousness of this revolution, but
thankfully we’ve got smarter minds on the case: Jerry Brito,
Brian
Doherty
, J.D.
Tuccille
and the like.

So I just knew that announcing our ability to take webathon
donations in Bitcoin would lead to the sound of big, fat coin-like
thingies clanging in our virtual inbox or whatever. Sure enough, we
checked the status this noon and saw that we had…two Bitcoin
donations, totaling $102.13.

Now, I will never look any Reason gift in the mouth,
but…really? TWO BITCOIN DONATIONS???

Do you think Commentary magazine was taking Bitcoin
during its
recent pledge drive
? Hail nah! How ’bout your local NPR affiliate? Yeah, no.
At Reason, we are not standing athwart the future yelling “Huh?”,
we’re rushing headlong into the stuff, guided in so many cases by
you, the futuretastic, spy-on-this, foundationally
experimental Reason reader.

It is through you that we’ve learned about and understood the
urgency of all sorts of what we in the June 2013 special issue
called “Experiments in
Libertarian Living
.” There are the free-cities
pioneers
(and their
seasteading antecedents
), the
Free Staters
and Jefferson-loving
secessionists
, and the DIYers vs. The
State
—from
Cody Wilson and his 3D-printable gun
to, well, whichever
weirdoes birthed
Bitcoin into the world
. We are the journalistic source that
tells these stories better and with more insider knowledge than
anyone out there, and our first and best tips come from you, the
cutting-edge, freedom-expanding readertariat.

So…two Bitcoin donations? As a great man once said, “Come on!

Won’t you please donate some Bitcoin
right the hell now
?

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/04/donate-to-reason-in-bitcoin-you-kooky-de
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Ohio Judge Rules That Police Can’t Search You For Being “Overly Polite”

An Ohio judge ruled last week
that a state highway patrolman was overstepping legal bounds when
he searched the vehicle of a driver who had been too polite to
him. 

The incident began when Patrolman Jared
Haslar, who had been patrolling a speed trap, pulled over Joshua
Fontaine for driving 45 mph in a 35 speed zone. According to the
court ruling, Ohio
v. Fontaine
:

Patrolman Haslar approached Fontaine’s vehicle, advised him
of the reason for the stop, and then requested his driver’s
license, proof of insurance, and registration, which Fontaine
immediately provided. Patrolman Haslar further stated that,
during this exchange, he became suspicious of criminal activity.
Specifically, Patrolman Haslar testified as follows: “While
speaking to Mr. Fontaine I felt that his body language and his
behavior was a little bit unusual. He was extremely — like almost
overly polite, and he was breathing heavily at times while I was
talking to him.”

Based on “reasonable suspicion” that Fontaine was up to no
good, Haslan brought the man back to his patrol car where he
patted him down for weapons and wrote up a traffic ticket. At this
point, a new officer, Patrolman Feierabend, arrived with a
drug-sniffing dog. The canine reportedly sniffed a positive so the
officers searched the vehicle sans warrant, uncovering a loaded .40
caliber handgun and a bag of marijuana. 

The trial court rejected the prosecution’s charge though and
ruled to suppress the firearm and marijuana from the evidence,
arguing that excessive politeness does not constitute probable
cause to search a vehicle. 

The state filed a motion to appeal, which Judge Mary J. Boyle
also rejected. The three-judge appellate panel considered only the
question of whether the initial search of Fontaine’s car violated
the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches. The
court found that as soon as Patrolman Haslar finished writing the
warning, he could not justify the search for drugs without some
evidence that criminal activity was afoot, reports the
Newspaper
, a political journal on driving. 

“We agree with the trial court that ‘overly polite’ and ‘heavy
breathing’ are not sufficient indicators that give rise to a
reasonable suspicion of criminal activity,” Judge Boyle concluded.
“These factors considered collectively simply do not support such a
finding. Since Patrolman Haslar did not have a reasonable suspicion
of criminal activity to warrant the canine sniff, the prolonged
detention to do so violated Fontaine’s constitutional Fourth
Amendment rights.”

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/04/ohio-judge-rules-that-police-cant-search
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