What? You want to know about a time when I wasn’t such a crusty old bastard so down on Democrats? You want to hear about a piss-filled young progressive? Well pull up a chair Jason990. Let me tell you a little story about the olden days. It must be about forty years ago now that […]
In the multiple threads we’ve had here in the Ferguson incidents and the operation and obligations of the police, we had a request to talk about the long-standing poor relationship of African Americans with the police. Frankly, I think that the long history of this poor relationship pretty well mirrors the status of African Americans in the American community. When you are subject to slavery and apartheid for most of your history here, you aren’t going to see the country’s police forces as allies and friends. On the other hand, throughout our history, newly immigrant populations have documented problems with over-policing as well. Irish and Italian immigrants in particular lived with the kind of policing that African Americans have always been subject to and that’s reflective of the wishes and prejudices of the majority population that the politicians who direct the police are responsive to. Bu rather than rehash history, I’m going to post the Storify record of a series of Tweets from Gene Denby, the editor of NPR’s Code Switch blog. In about 25 tweets, Denby breaks down why different demographics may view Ferguson and other incidents like it through very different lenses. I admire what he did here — it is focused and too the point without fingerpointing that inspires defensive postures rather than conversation.
GOP columnist and consultant David Frum is down but not yet out on his Republican Party.
Three big trends have decisively changed the Republican Party over the past decade, weakening its ability to win presidential elections and gravely inhibiting its ability to govern effectively if it nevertheless somehow were to win. First, Republicans have come to rely more and more on the votes of the elderly, the most government-dependent segment of the population — a serious complication for a party committed to reducing government. Second, the Republican donor class has grown more ideologically extreme, encouraging congressional Republicans to embrace ever more radical tactics. Third, the party’s internal processes have rigidified, in ways that dangerously inhibit its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. The GOP can overcome the negative consequences of these changes and, in time, surely will. The ominous question for Republicans is, How much time will the overcoming take?
And yet… he still delusionally believes that a multiethnic, socially tolerant conservatism is ready to take over in the cyclic response to the Liberal Obama years, just as the alleged Compassionate Conservative Bush years followed the Liberal Clinton years, just as the law and order conservative Nixon years (a contradiction in terms) following the chaos of the liberal 1960′s. Just as, more generally, small government Reaganism was in response to New Deal Rooseveltism.
I wish this kind of thing happened enough to make this a regular feature, but today we have James Woods, Democratic Congressional candidate for AZ-5 who has been targeted by a letter-writing campaign from an anti-abortion group (National Pro-Life Alliance), trying to get him to sign some anti-abortion pledge. The Woods campaign is responding to these letters to him with his own letter explaining why he is not supporting the position of the National Pro-Life Alliance:
So the U.S. Supreme Court indicated this week that it will decide marriage equality for the entire country next year. A new Marist Poll shows that a “majority of Americans favor legalizing same-sex marriage, but there is little consensus about whether the decision should be made on the federal or state level.”
“Supporters of legalizing same-sex marriage think the issue should be decided for the entire country by a federal law. Half of those who oppose it believe it should be determined by the states. And, while Americans’ position on legalizing same sex marriage is a driving factor in the debate, political party affiliation matters, too. Democrats are more likely to turn to the federal level, and Republicans look more to the states. Independents are closer to the Democrats on whether to seek federal or state action.”
And here is a host of new polls from the last week….
After most of America’s high profile shootings, you can count on the NRA to immediately get their PR Offensive on — using tragic incidents to extend their lobbying for the gun manufacturers who call the tune over there now and to do even more fundraising. All of this is focused around pushing back on any common sense controls on weapons and advocating that more of us carry — so that everyday can be the OK Corral or some such. But for this — a cop shooting an unarmed kid over jaywalking — they’ve been pretty quiet. It is a surprise, because you’d think that they’d see the government tyranny that they keep insisting that people need guns for and would be out defending this community that is clearly pushing back against that tyranny. As Cliff Schecter points out in the Daily Beast:
Do you dread opening your daily newspaper and internet news source each morning like I do? Ferguson, Wilmington, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and countless other hotbeds of conflict, hate and destruction. And America is at the center of it all.
On August 7th I wondered aloud what kind of chaos a GOP controlled Senate would unleash on the nation. There is no longer any need to wonder. Senate Minority Leader and soon to be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is very candid about the mayhem he is going to sow.
Interviewed by Politico aboard his campaign bus, the Senate minority leader offered his vision for the Senate should he be promoted to majority leader: confrontation, manufactured crises, and the ever-present threat of a government shutdown:
In an extensive interview here, the typically reserved McConnell laid out his clearest thinking yet of how he would lead the Senate if Republicans gain control of the chamber. The emerging strategy: Attach riders to spending bills that would limit Obama policies on everything from the environment to health care, consider using an arcane budget tactic to circumvent Democratic filibusters and force the president to “move to the center” if he wants to get any new legislation through Congress.
“Move to the center” is a clever euphemism for “pay ransom in exchange for hostages.” And I’m not putting words in anyone’s mouth here – back in 2011, McConnell was asked what lessons he learned from threatening to put the government in default in order to extract concessions from the White House, and he said the debt limit was “a hostage that’s worth ransoming.”
Matthew Yglesias at Vox brings up an important question. Above you’ll see a picture of Scott Olson, the Getty photographer who’s brought us many of the most striking images of protests and police crackdown that followed the shooting of Michael Brown. [Click on the link in my first sentence to see the picture] The other two men in the […]
Some on the left expect President Obama to wade into the Ferguson protests and demonstrations and condemn the police, to excuse the violence as justified and righteous, and take sides. Some expect a new Race Speech, like what he gave in Philadelphia during the 2008 campaign during the height of the Jeremiah Wright mess. I call bullshit on that. For a couple of reasons. First, he is the President, and as such he, as the head of the Federal Government, cannot bias any coming federal investigation or intervention with his own one sided views. Second, there is every indication that the election of President Obama was made race relations far worse in this country. It is not his fault, it is the fault of the racists. But far from isolating existing racists into further obscurity, the election of a black man as President was a Batman signal for all of the racists to let their freak flag fly. Racists, once embarrassed by admitting their racism, are now proud to. Because it is a sign of opposition to Obama, and because a legitimate political party embraced racism as an acceptable form of opposition to the President early on, even before his inauguration. So, knowing that, what can the President say that will not make the situation worse?
John Oliver takes on the militarization of the police as well as the serious lack of adult supervision in the Ferguson business. This is about 15 minutes long, but it is well worth it:
Mychal Denzel Smith writes about what matters in Ferguson, for we are in danger of losing sight of it due to continued stupid violence and looting, which of course feeds right into the county cops’ and the right wing’s narrative:
Michael Brown was shot and killed by an officer of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department. This is what matters.
The name of the officer has been released (it’s Darren Wilson, who has been on the force for six years), alongside allegations that Brown was involved in a robbery. This does not matter.
It doesn’t matter because people accused of robbery should not be shot. It doesn’t matter because people who put their hands up in surrender should not be shot. It doesn’t matter because a body should not lie in the streets for hours after being shot by a police officer.
Michael Brown was shot and killed by an officer of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department. Everything else is irrelevant.
Too bad some fucking idiot criminals have seen fit to embrace violence instead of nonviolence. Thank you for giving cover to the local police. Thank you for obscuring the story. Thank you for confirming all the biases against you. Fucking idiots.
Who could do it? Andrew Sabl at Samefacts asks this question, and sets up what any challenger to Hillary Clinton (presuming again that she is running) would need to look like:
Love how Biden crosses himself when Williams gets wound up. And Jeff Gannon! Talk about a flashback:
Copeland is really phoning it in, and why not? He doesn’t have any viable statewide candidates so why should he try to make an actual case for Republican governance? He has clearly decided to punt on this round of statewide and focus his energies on building for 2016. But he still has to make a show about caring, so while he hasn’t committed himself and the party to any coherent policies – he has chosen a campaign theme of sorts. That theme is a mild queasiness around the idea of “one-party rule” in Delaware.
This is just the latest iteration of the perfunctory messaging coming out of Greenville:
Somebody get Deval Patrick on the phone. We have to warn him.
State Treasurer Chip Flowers has announced that he is ending his campaign for reelection and his moving to Massachusetts with his soon to be new wife once his term as Treasurer is over. He will not be resigning. This makes Sean Barney (D), the defacto Democratic nominee for Treasurer, and it likely ends all GOP designs on the office. I will leave it to others to describe the incredible press conference where these announcements were made, but needless to say another ommission of fact (or as we call them, lies) was revealed in that Chip did in fact attend that Patriots game, tickets to which were purchased on the state credit card. Like I have said before, I am tired, we are all tired, and now, Chip himself is tired. Best of luck, Mr. Flowers on your future endeavors in your new state.
I don’t believe this at all, given the current state of play and what we publicly know. So there must be another shoe about to drop.
Embattled State Treasurer Chip Flowers could resign after a former deputy accused him of harassment. Delaware Public Media contributor Jeff Mordock of Delaware Law Weekly reports sources tell him Flowers may step down as early as Friday and abandon his run for second term this fall. Reports of Flowers possible resignation come about a day after reports surfaced of former Deputy Treasurer Erika Benner filing harassment claims against her former boss.
In addition to seeing that justice is done in Ferguson – this 1033 program has got to go. It is really possible that in 2013 alone, the 1033 program has transferred $449 million in military equipment to police forces?
Yes. They brag about it on the 1033 Program webpage.
The Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), the facilitators of 1033 program, originated from the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 1997 (FY 97). This law allows for the office to transfer excess Department of Defense property to law enforcement agencies across the United States and its territories.
Since its inception, the 1033 program has transferred more than $4.3 billion worth of property. In 2013 alone, $449,309,003.71 worth of property was transferred to law enforcement.
If your law enforcement agency chooses to participate, it may become one of the more than 8,000 participating agencies to increase its capabilities, expand its patrol coverage, reduce response times, and save the American taxpayer’s investment
Take a look at this picture:
I’m old enough to remember this kind of image being routine from news stories from Central and South America or the Eastern Block countries. We used to see those images as the disgrace of these dictatorships, where they have to point their armies at their citizens in order to maintain their power.
That picture is from Ferguson. This St. Louis suburb can afford to equip its police as if they were an occupying army. And they are delivering on the authoritarian behavior of an occupying army.
I am working on two major projects today: a race by race analysis of each General Assembly race and the Statewides and a look at what each candidate raised during the last reporting period and what cash they have on hand. So the Open Thread is going to be a little bare today. Like Coffee Talk on Saturday Night Live in the 90′s, I shall propose some topics for you to discuss:
1. Since Jack Markell took my advice and shaved his head, does he not look more and more like Jesse Ventura?
2. I wish I paid more attention to county politics, but they are just so boring and corrupt. Case in point.