What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White
Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.
This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
A California Uber driver helped rescue a 16-year-old girl from sex trafficking after giving her a ride to a hotel along with two alleged female pimps, police say.
Elk Grove cops arrested three people on Monday after the vigilant cabbie dialed 911 after dropping the group off at a Holiday Inn.
Keith Avila, a married father of one in Sacramento, had just logged in to Uber and was picking up his first passengers for the night: the teenager, whom authorities would later reveal was a runaway, and two older women.
“What gave me chills is, the next day [police] said she was reunited with her family,” Avila, 34, told The Daily Beast. “She was missing. I felt kind of good about that.”
Avila has only been driving Uber for about a month. By day, he’s a photographer specializing in the quinceañera, or celebration of a Latina girl’s 15th birthday. In recent weeks, he had photographed a teenager’s party at that Holiday Inn.
Now he was there dropping off a girl of a similar age for criminal activity.
“I take pictures of girls exactly her age,” Avila said. “When I take pictures, everyone’s happy and smiling. To see that, compared to what I saw [the night of the arrests], I knew, ‘OK, there’s something wrong here.’”
After dropping the women off, Avila called police over the suspected child prostitution.
Upon arrival, officers arrested Destiny Pettway, 25, and Maria Westley, 31, who allegedly arranged for the victim to meet a man, ABC10 reported. Cops arrested the women outside the hotel and charged them with pimping and pandering.
Disney Vang, the suspected john, was arrested for unlawful sexual activity with a minor after police located him inside the hotel room with the victim.
The victim, who had been reported as a missing person to a different police department, was transported to an alternative housing location, authorities said.
Avila recorded his reaction to the incident on Facebook Live shortly after giving a statement to police. His video, which had more than 100,000 views as of Wednesday, reads, “I just caught a group Child Sex Trafficking ring!!! No joke!!!”
Uber Driver Saves Girl From Sex Slavery - The Daily Beast
Saturday, December 17, 2016
“There is nothing foreordained about our march toward a more just and peaceful future,” Ms. Lynch said Monday, speaking to an interfaith group at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center in northern Virginia. “Our centuries-long project of creating a more perfect union was not the product of fate or destiny. It was the result of countless individuals making the choice to stand up, to demand recognition, to refuse to rest until they knew that their children were inheriting a nation that was more tolerant, more inclusive and more equal.”
She delivered a gentler version of that message on Tuesday as she sat with students at New York City’s Harvey Milk High School, which serves mainly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teenagers. She beamed as students described how they had blossomed at the school, which offers a refuge from bullying, scorn and self-doubt.
“You all are the ones who have the courage to walk with us,” Ms. Lynch told the students at the school in Manhattan. “Without people who are willing to stand up and say that they have an issue or a problem or something that has happened to them, we would not be able to move these issues forward.”
Left unsaid, but widely understood, is that the Justice Department under Mr. Trump is likely to abandon groundbreaking civil rights litigation carried out during the Obama administration. Transgender Americans will be especially vulnerable. Both Ms. Lynch and Eric Holder, her predecessor as attorney general, embraced interpretations of civil rights law to extend protections to people facing discrimination for their gender identity. In May, Ms. Lynch delivered an impassioned speech about transgender rights in explaining the Justice Department’s lawsuit to strike down a discriminatory state law in North Carolina. The department has also backed the legal claims of transgender students fighting for the right to use the restroom that matches their gender identity.
“Those cases are still pending, and we don’t know what’s going to happen to them,” Ms. Lynch told me in an interview. As she prepares to clear out her office — which could soon be occupied by Senator Jeff Sessions, a man who 30 years ago was deemed too racist to be confirmed as a federal judge — she is cognizant that other civil rights are under assault. Republican lawmakers around the country have spent the last several years creating new laws and tactics to suppress voting by racial minorities and young voters — many of which Mr. Obama’s Justice Department has fought with some success. During the interview, she appeared to acknowledge that the Justice Department may no longer be on the front lines of beating back this scourge.
“The way we achieved voting equality in this country was always from the community level up,” she said. “It was the leaders on the ground who raised these issues, who had people out there on the streets, who had people out registering people to vote.”
It is sobering to hear a departing attorney general implicitly telling vulnerable Americans that the federal government may fail to protect their rights and that they will have to do this work themselves. But any other message would whitewash the painful truth."
Loretta Lynch’s Parting Message - The New York Times
Friday, December 16, 2016
But the Russian authorities moved quickly to persuade Thailand not to extradite him, saying that he should be prosecuted at home. American officials knew what that meant. If Mr. Ukrainsky got on a plane to Moscow, they concluded, he would soon be back at work in front of a computer.
“The American authorities continue the unacceptable practice of ‘hunting’ for Russians all over the world, ignoring the norms of international laws and twisting other states’ arms,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The dispute over Mr. Ukrainsky, whose case remains in limbo, highlights the difficulties — and at times impossibilities — that the United States faces in combating Russian hackers, including those behind the recent attacks on the Democratic National Committee. That hack influenced the course, if not the outcome, of a presidential campaign and was the culmination of years of increasingly brazen digital assaults on American infrastructure.
The United States has few options for responding to such hacks. Russia does not extradite its citizens and has shown that it will not easily be deterred through public shaming. At times, the American authorities have enlisted local police officials to arrest suspects when they leave Russia — for vacation in the Maldives, for example. But more often than not, the F.B.I. and Justice Department investigate and compile accusations and evidence against people who will almost certainly never stand trial."
U.S. Faces Tall Hurdles in Detaining or Deterring Russian Hackers - The New York Times
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
"Although Americans are already looking ahead to the next presidential administration, President Obama retains the power to shape his legacy and our nation in his remaining weeks in office. He has already used his final months to create several national monuments, and we urge him to create another, one that will speak as much to the nation’s present and future as it does to its past: the first national monument dedicated to Reconstruction — the turbulent, misunderstood era after the Civil War — in Beaufort, S.C., which has one of the country’s highest concentrations of Reconstruction-related sites.
Work on the monument is already underway. Community leaders in Beaufort have submitted a formal request to the National Park Service for a monument that encompasses key sites of emancipation and postwar community-building. In May, two South Carolina representatives — James Clyburn, a Democrat, and Mark Sanford, a Republican — sponsored a resolution to establish a national monument to the Reconstruction era. And last month, a group of 17 historians who have been helping the National Park Service study Reconstruction, as well as the American Historical Association and other professional historical groups, endorsed this effort.
This is a crucial time to commemorate Reconstruction. The period after the Civil War created the modern United States: Three constitutional amendments ended slavery, created equal legal protection and birthright citizenship, and prohibited racial discrimination in voting laws. Four million formerly enslaved Americans reconstructed their families and communities, establishing thousands of churches and schools and civic organizations.
Reconstruction was the nation’s first great experiment in biracial democracy, with hundreds of thousands of black men able to vote for the first time, and significant numbers holding elective office. Largely for that reason, Southern planters led coups against local governments that supported Reconstruction, and went on to bar blacks and many poor whites from voting and to construct a system of Jim Crow racial exclusion."
Why We Need a National Monument to Reconstruction - The New York Times
Donald Trump’s New Old Boys’ Club -Trump’s new inner circle is a rogue’s gallery of women-beaters, sexual harassers, men who would do away with equal pay and the pill and the Violence Against Women act. Welcome back to the 1960’s, America. The Daily Beast
Donald Trump’s New Old Boys’ Club
Trump’s new inner circle is a rogue’s gallery of women-beaters, sexual harassers, men who would do away with equal pay and the pill and the Violence Against Women act. Welcome back to the 1960’s, America.
Erin Gloria Ryan
ERIN GLORIA RYAN
12.14.16 3:03 PM ET
Donald Trump, a man who once owned beauty pageant without a talent or interview portion, has been elected President. He has surrounded himself with people who will enable and reinforce his worldview, because that’s what he’s always done. When the behavior that was acceptable within his self-constructed and insular world—pussy-grabbing, victim-insulting, daughter-caressing—went public, we first reacted with revulsion. Donald Trump is a strange person, who behaves strangely and does strange things. But after awhile, we got used to it. Everything weird about him will soon be normal and, by extension, the way it’s manifested in his cabinet will be. How did this happen so fast?
A year ago, the all-star team of creepy uncles Donald Trump rubs elbows with would have caused an uproar. Women would have taken to the streets to protest their nominations. Men who cared about women would have joined them. Congressional switchboards and email inboxes would have been flooded with constituents voicing their disgust.
But now, it seems like we’re pretending that this is normal, and it’s always been normal. It isn’t, and it hasn’t.""
Donald Trump’s New Old Boys’ Club - The Daily Beast
"Why does the C.I.A. think Russia wanted to help Mr. Trump?
• The C.I.A.’s assessment is not public, but is thought to turn on another alleged hack. Russia also hacked data from the Republican National Committee but declined to release whatever it found, intelligence agencies told Congress. That has given credence to theories that Moscow actively favored the party’s candidate.
• Mr. Trump has repeatedly promised to realign the United States with Russia and has praised its president, Vladimir V. Putin. Many in Moscow view Mrs. Clinton as hostile to Russia.
• The evidence in any assessment of Russian government motives is circumstantial, and not all American intelligence agencies share the C.I.A.’s view.
• The timing suggests that, if Moscow decided to help Mr. Trump, it did so only after hacking the servers of both parties’ national committees. Both were infiltrated well before Mr. Trump’s rise.
• Mr. Trump, at a July news conference, publicly urged Russia to hack Mrs. Clinton’s emails. But this could not have precipitated or encouraged the Russian hacks — they had taken place months earlier.
Did Russia spread pro-Trump fake news?
• Russian state media outlets have favored Mr. Trump and opposed Mrs. Clinton, but their reach in the United States is limited. (Their influence in Europe is much stronger.)
• A firm called PropOrNot claimed that the Russian government had flooded American social media with fake election news. But several independent analysts challenged the report’s methodology, which classified mainstream sites as Russian propaganda and did not demonstrate a link to Moscow.
• Fake news is a growing problem, at times driven by companies in Eastern Europe that write and spread the articles. But those companies appear to be motivated by profit-seeking rather than any political agenda.
What was Russia’s goal in meddling?
• There are two schools of thought: first, that Russia sought to weaken the United States by stirring up uncertainty and miring Mrs. Clinton, who seemed all but certain to win, in scandal; and second, that Russia sought specifically to elevate Mr. Trump to the presidency.
• Those theories are not mutually exclusive. For instance, Moscow may have started with the first goal and then added the second as a hoped-for bonus.
• Russia is waging similar campaigns across Europe, at times through cyberattacks and selective leaks, with the apparent goal of undermining Western unity.
• The Kremlin sees itself as under siege by a hostile West that it perceives as bent on Russia’s destruction. Russian military leaders advocate shadowy “new generation warfare” — through propaganda and cyberattacks, for example — to destabilize adversaries from within.
• Not all misconceptions are directed by Moscow, however. Social media rumors that overstate Russia’s involvement in the United States election risk playing into Moscow’s goal of undermining Americans’ faith in the legitimacy and integrity of their democracy.
Russia and the U.S. Election: What We Know and Don’t Know - The New York Times
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Alexander Hamilton explains the Electoral College: A way of opposing “cabal, intrigue, and corruption” - Salon.com
It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.
It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief. The choice of SEVERAL, to form an intermediate body of electors, will be much less apt to convulse the community with any extraordinary or violent movements, than the choice of ONE who was himself to be the final object of the public wishes. And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all to be convened at one time, in one place.
Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union? But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention. They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment. And they have excluded from eligibility to this trust, all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office. No senator, representative, or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States, can be of the numbers of the electors. Thus without corrupting the body of the people, the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free from any sinister bias. Their transient existence, and their detached situation, already taken notice of, afford a satisfactory prospect of their continuing so, to the conclusion of it. The business of corruption, when it is to embrace so considerable a number of men, requires time as well as means. Nor would it be found easy suddenly to embark them, dispersed as they would be over thirteen States, in any combinations founded upon motives, which though they could not properly be denominated corrupt, might yet be of a nature to mislead them from their duty."
Alexander Hamilton explains the Electoral College: A way of opposing “cabal, intrigue, and corruption” - Salon.com
Monday, December 12, 2016
Sunday, December 11, 2016
"When President-elect Donald Trump officially becomes the president of the United States in January, he will take complete control of America’s nuclear arsenal. Should he decide to start a nuclear war, there are no legal safeguards to stop him. Instead, a much less tangible web of norms, taboos, and fears has reined in US presidents since World War II. But as North Korea escalates its nuclear weapons tests and the president-elect of the United States openly contemplates using nukes, experts worry that this fragile web could start to tear.
During his campaign, Trump called nuclear proliferation the “biggest problem” in the world. But he also said that Japan and South Korea might want to get nukes of their own. He wouldn’t take nuking ISIS, or even Europe, off the table. But he’s also characterized himself as “highly, highly, highly, highly unlikely” to ever use nuclear weapons. This calculated ambiguity isn’t unusual for America’s presidents. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush left nuclear first strikes on the table, too.
But for a US president to talk so openly and frequently about using nuclear force is a clear break with history, says Frank Sauer, an international security researcher at the Bundeswehr University Munich and author of the book Atomic Anxiety: Deterrence, Taboo and the Non-Use of U.S. Nuclear Weapons. And it could be potently destabilizing in a world where nations’ nuclear doctrines are shaped more by posture than by policy."
What’s standing between Donald Trump and nuclear war? - The Verge
A quarter of the US prison population, about 364,000 inmates, could have been spared imprisonment without meaningfully threatening public safety or increasing crime, according to a new study.
Analyzing offender data on roughly 1.5 million US prisoners, researchers from the Brennan Center for Justice concluded that for one in four, drug treatment, community service, probation or a fine would have been a more effective sentence than incarceration.
Obama made progress on criminal justice reform. Will it survive the next president?
“The current sentencing regime was largely a knee-jerk reaction to crime, not grounded in any scientific rationale,” said Inimai Chettiar, director of the justice program. “While it may have seemed like a reasonable approach to protect the public, a comprehensive examination of the data proves it is ineffective at that task.”
The study also concluded that another 14% of incarcerated individuals had already served an appropriate sentence. These people could be released within the next year “with little risk to public safety”, the researchers said. Combined, these two populations represent 39% of the current incarcerated public."
Quarter of inmates could have been spared prison without risk, study says | US news | The Guardian
Saturday, December 10, 2016
"The CIA’s conclusion that Russia covertly intervened to swing last month’s presidential election in favour of Donald Trump but its actions did not place the overall credibility of the result in doubt will be hard to swallow for some.
The classified CIA investigation, which has not been published, may also have implications for the integrity of Britain’s Brexit referendum last June, and how upcoming elections in France and Germany could be vulnerable to Russian manipulation. The latest revelations are not entirely new. What is fresh is the bald assertion that Moscow was working for Trump.
Democrats have been agitating for months for more decisive action by the White House following earlier reports of Russian-inspired hacking designed to undermine their candidate, Hillary Clinton. Some of the thousands of emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee and members of Clinton’s campaign staff that were leaked, reportedly by Russian proxies, were used to reinforce a key Trump campaign narrative, that of “Lying Hillary”.
Pre-empting the CIA’s disclosures, Barack Obama finally acceded on Friday to public pressure to investigate the full extent of Russian meddling, ordering a review reaching back to previous elections. “We have crossed a new threshold,” said Lisa Monaco, a top security adviser.
The suggestion that Russia’s interventions had limited or no impact on the outcome of one of the most divisive US elections in modern history will sit badly with ordinary voters, especially in closely-fought states such as Michigan, where a legal battle has been in progress over a possible recount."
Russian involvement in US vote raises fears for European elections | US news | The Guardian
Singapore expands its paternalistic policy on race | The Economist
Friday, December 09, 2016
Profound dispair in a land of plenty. In Chicago, Bodies Pile Up at Intersection of ‘Depression and Rage’ - The New York Times
The Times returned to the blocks in the 11th District where the Memorial Day weekend shootings occurred to try to better understand Chicago’s crisis of violence.
Residents along Walnut Street and at other crime scenes told of a fractured community — isolated by this city’s entrenched segregation, hollowed out by joblessness and poverty, and battered by resignation and indifference.
Here, graystone homes and brick cottages line elegant boulevards with wide, grassy medians. Garfield Park, once known as Chicago’s Central Park, sits in the 11th’s middle.
But on Walnut Street, one vacant lot has been there so long that walking paths are worn through it. Young men gather on this section of the street, and neighbors say they hear calls for “Pills!” or “Flats!”— slang for drugs — in the middle of the day.
In places like this, cycles reinforce themselves: Poverty and joblessness breed an underground economy that leads to jail and makes it harder to get jobs. Struggling, emptying schools result in the closings of the very institutions that hold communities together. Segregation throws up obstacles to economic investment. And people and programs with good intentions come and go, thwarting hopes, reinforcing frustrations while never quite addressing the underlying problems, anyway.
Into it all comes a lethal mix of readily available guns, a growing number of splintering gangs and groups, and a sense among some here that the punishment for carrying a weapon on these streets will never be larger than the risk of not carrying one."
In Chicago, Bodies Pile Up at Intersection of ‘Depression and Rage’ - The New York Times
Wednesday, December 07, 2016
"In his interview with Time magazine for his Person of the Year award, the mogul discussed the plight of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who have otherwise followed the law and pursued jobs and education. In 2012, President Obama unilaterally created a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, that let these people apply for temporary work permits and protection from deportation. In the years since then about 730,000 people have received DACA status.
The program drew scorching, unremitting, intense criticism from many Republicans on the Hill, as well as Tea Party activists and party leaders (including Reince Priebus). Opponents called it “executive amnesty,” and Priebus promised that if Republicans won the Senate in the 2014 midterm elections, they would do everything possible to stop DACA. Rep. Steve King, an immigration hawk from Iowa, even suggested that the program might protect drug traffickers.
“For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” he told Newsmax. “Those people would be legalized with the same act.”
People with criminal records are ineligible for DACA status, and King’s statement drew criticism for its absurdity (then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor called it “inexcusable,” and former Speaker of the House John Boehner described as “hateful”).
So Republicans invested significant political capital in criticizing the program, suggesting it was undermining the Constitution and rule of law, and that DACA recipients would steal American jobs and weaken the economy. Trump also promised on the campaign trail, repeatedly, that he would undo Obama’s move if elected——which he now will have the power to do.
But the prospect of deporting hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding people who have jobs and educations may have lost its shine for Trump. So he’s now suggesting what his top supporters have spent years opposing: amnesty.
“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” he told Time. “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
It’s unclear what exactly that “something” is that Trump will “work out.” And parsing his words is often an exercise in silliness and futility. But the comment is the kind of thing that sites like Breitbart despise. One Breitbart article, published April 20, 2015, grilled a Marco Rubio spokesman over the issue, suggesting that any legal amnesty for DACA recipients that came before the border was secured would be unacceptable."
Donald Trump Supports Immigration Amnesty—For Now - The Daily Beast
Sunday, December 04, 2016
At Least 2,000 Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Protest Dakota Pipeline - ABC News
"America has always been aspirational to me. Even when I chafed at its hypocrisies, it somehow always seemed sure, a nation that knew what it was doing, refreshingly free of that anything-can-happen existential uncertainty so familiar to developing nations. But no longer. The election of Donald Trump has flattened the poetry in America’s founding philosophy: the country born from an idea of freedom is to be governed by an unstable, stubbornly uninformed, authoritarian demagogue. And in response to this there are people living in visceral fear, people anxiously trying to discern policy from bluster, and people kowtowing as though to a new king. Things that were recently pushed to the corners of America’s political space—overt racism, glaring misogyny, anti-intellectualism—are once again creeping to the center."
Now Is the Time to Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About - The New Yorker
Subway riders in New York stand by as three men verbally assault Muslim teenager.
"On Nov. 28, a legal collective representing Native Americans opposing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline filed a lawsuit against two North Dakota counties and their sheriffs, and the city of Mandan, North Dakota, and its police chief. Eight days before, the suit alleges, law enforcement officers from those places had used excessive force against a group of peaceful protesters, injuring more than 200.
The allegations in the case are striking — the lawsuit describes officers using water cannons on protesters despite freezing temperatures, shooting people in the head with non-lethal plastic rounds, and shooting a woman in the genitals with a flash-bang grenade. But this single event is part of a bigger history — one in which Native Americans interact frequently with outside law enforcement and where those interactions are often deadly.
Native American tribes are sovereign nations, but 70 percent of them are under the legal authority of police and sheriff’s departments from nearby non-tribal communities.1 And as a report in In These Times noted in October, Native Americans are killed by police at disproportionately high rates — depending on the year, either Native Americans or African-Americans have the highest rate of deaths by law enforcement. For instance, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Native Americans were killed by police at a rate of 0.21 per 100,000 from 1999 to 2014, and African-Americans (who outnumber Native Americans roughly 10 to 1) were killed at a rate of 0.25 per 100,000.2
Even so, police killings of Native Americans are probably undercounted, said D. Brian Burghart, a journalist who runs the Fatal Encounters database, one of several independent projects aimed at producing a more complete tally of the number of Americans killed by police each year. Killings by police, as a whole, are undercounted by the CDC and other federal agencies. For instance, in 2014, the CDC logged 515 such deaths, while Fatal Encounters found more than 1,300.
And when police kill Native Americans, even the more accurate independent databases often miss or miscategorize those deaths, said Burghart and Samuel Sinyangwe, co-founder of the Mapping Police Violence database."
Police Violence Against Native Americans Goes Far Beyond Standing Rock | FiveThirtyEight
Saturday, December 03, 2016
Fmr. white supremacist shares personal story -Former white supremacist, Arno Michaelis, talks to NBC’s Sheinelle Jones to discuss whether Donald Trump’s campaign reignited the white supremacist movement. | MSNBC
Friday, December 02, 2016
Thursday, December 01, 2016
Why Is My Sister Dead, Sheriff Clarke? - The Daily Beast
GOP May Stall Obamacare Replacement for Years - The Daily Beast
Facebook Runs Up Against German Hate Speech Laws - The New York Times
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
The Truth About Young Immigrants and DACA - The New York Times
“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”
Here’s where we explain what shouldn’t need explaining. Flag-burning is constitutionally protected speech. The Supreme Court has made this clear, in a ruling joined by Mr. Trump’s favorite justice, Antonin Scalia. It’s popular to want to punish flag-burners — pandering politicians, including Hillary Clinton, have tried. But the First Amendment exists to protect unpopular, even repulsive forms of expression. As the Supreme Court said in a 1990 decision finding a federal law against flag-burning unconstitutional, “Punishing desecration of the flag dilutes the very freedom that makes this emblem so revered, and worth revering.”
It’s interesting that so many of the people, like Mr. Trump, who are eager to punish flag-burners are at the same time so untroubled by speech that offends minorities, women and other Americans. They rail against any concern about that kind of speech as “political correctness.” But in this country, flag-burning is about as politically incorrect as anything you can do. Where is their courageous defense of speech now? Isn’t Mr. Trump the man who stood up for the freedom to say brutally unpleasant things? Who said, at the Republican convention: “I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.”
The court, by the way, has also declared that citizenship cannot be stripped away, not by Congress or the president, not in this democracy..."
Mr. Trump, Meet the Constitution - The New York Times
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Trump tweets on 'consequences' for flag burning. Trump is incredibly ignorant. Does he read newspapers? "Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989), was a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States that invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag enforced in 48 of the 50 states." | MSNBC
Monday, November 28, 2016
This is a lie, part of Mr. Trump’s pattern, stretching back many years, of disregard for indisputable facts. There is no evidence of illegal voting on even a small scale anywhere in the country, let alone a systematic conspiracy involving “millions.” But this is the message that gets hammered relentlessly by right-wing propaganda sites like InfoWars, which is run by a conspiracy theorist who claims the Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax — and whose absurdities Mr. Trump has often shouted through his megaphone, which will shortly bear the presidential seal. Mr. Trump added more fuel to the fire with the false claim of “serious voter fraud” in California, Virginia and New Hampshire — all states that went for Hillary Clinton.
In addition to insulting law-abiding voters everywhere, these lies about fraud threaten the foundations of American democracy. They have provided the justification for state voter-suppression laws around the country, and they could give the Trump administration a pretext to roll back voting rights on a national scale...."
Donald Trump’s Lies About the Popular Vote - The New York Times
Sunday, November 27, 2016
"When it came to matching words with deeds on the topic of racial equality, the most stalwart leader of the Western hemisphere, over the course of the 20th century, was Fidel Castro.
Why black Americans love Fidel Castro — Quartz
Hundreds of churches offer sanctuary to undocumented migrants after election | US news | The Guardian
"Hundreds of churches in the US have said they are willing to provide sanctuary for undocumented migrants threatened with deportation following the election of Donald Trump as president.
Hundreds of churches offer sanctuary to undocumented migrants after election | US news | The Guardian
Saturday, November 26, 2016
"The wealth discrepancy between blacks and whites is one of the most stark examples of inequality in America. White American families have, on average, around $142,000 in savings and assets, minus debt. Black families’, meanwhile, amounted to only $11,000, according to a 2014 Pew Research study. The gulf between black and white wealth is the worst it has been since the 1980s. Put differently, an average white family has 13 times the wealth of an average black family.
But as though the median numbers for the country as a whole weren’t bad enough, things look much worse in America’s cities, according to a new paper from the Urban institute—even cities such as D.C. where the prevalence of public-sector jobs, a large black population, and a high share of black business owners might make it seem like a place that black families could thrive. But in Washington D.C., the median white family has a staggering 81 times as much wealth as the median black family.
D.C. is not an outlier: In general, urban areas have much more severe racial inequalities, in part because of the concentration of white wealthy people, and the fact that their wealth has not “trickled down” to poor and middle-class black families. According to a 2015 National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Colors, D.C.’s racial wealth gap falls just behind Los Angeles’s, where median wealth for whites was closer to 89 times as much as blacks’. In Miami it was 30 times as high; in Tulsa, 18 times."
Black-White Wealth Gap In Cities - The Atlantic
Friday, November 25, 2016
We’re featuring stories from young immigrants who were spared from deportation and permitted to work during the Obama administration."
American Dreamers - NYTimes.com
But is there any reason to believe that this would work? Let me offer some reasons for doubt.
First, a general point: Any claim that changed policy positions will win elections assumes that the public will hear about those positions. How is that supposed to happen, when most of the news media simply refuse to cover policy substance? Remember, over the course of the 2016 campaign, the three network news shows devoted a total of 35 minutes combined to policy issues — all policy issues. Meanwhile, they devoted 125 minutes to Mrs. Clinton’s emails.
Beyond this, the fact is that Democrats have already been pursuing policies that are much better for the white working class than anything the other party has to offer. Yet this has brought no political reward.
Consider eastern Kentucky, a very white area which has benefited enormously from Obama-era initiatives. Take, in particular, the case of Clay County, which the Times declared a few years ago to be the hardest place in America to live. It’s still very hard, but at least most of its residents now have health insurance: Independent estimates say that the uninsured rate fell from 27 percent in 2013 to 10 percent in 2016. That’s the effect of the Affordable Care Act, which Mrs. Clinton promised to preserve and extend but Mr. Trump promised to kill.
Mr. Trump received 87 percent of Clay County’s vote.
Now, you might say that health insurance is one thing, but what people want are good jobs. Eastern Kentucky used to be coal country, and Mr. Trump, unlike Mrs. Clinton, promised to bring the coal jobs back. (So much for the idea that Democrats need a candidate who will stand up to the fossil fuels industry.) But it’s a nonsensical promise.
Where did Appalachia’s coal mining jobs go? They weren’t lost to unfair competition from China or Mexico. What happened instead was, first, a decades-long erosion as U.S. coal production shifted from underground mining to strip mining and mountaintop removal, which require many fewer workers: Coal employment peaked in 1979, fell rapidly during the Reagan years, and was down more than half by 2007. A further plunge came in recent years thanks to fracking. None of this is reversible.
Is the case of former coal country exceptional? Not really. Unlike the decline in coal, some of the long-term decline in manufacturing employment can be attributed to rising trade deficits, but even there it’s a fairly small fraction of the story. Nobody can credibly promise to bring the old jobs back; what you can promise — and Mrs. Clinton did — are things like guaranteed health care and higher minimum wages. But working-class whites overwhelmingly voted for politicians who promise to destroy those gains.
So what happened here? Part of the answer may be that Mr. Trump had no problems with telling lies about what he could accomplish. If so, there may be a backlash when the coal and manufacturing jobs don’t come back, while health insurance disappears.
But maybe not. Maybe a Trump administration can keep its supporters on board, not by improving their lives, but by feeding their sense of resentment.
For let’s be serious here: You can’t explain the votes of places like Clay County as a response to disagreements about trade policy. The only way to make sense of what happened is to see the vote as an expression of, well, identity politics — some combination of white resentment at what voters see as favoritism toward nonwhites (even though it isn’t) and anger on the part of the less educated at liberal elites whom they imagine look down on them."
The Populism Perplex - The New York Times
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
The Trumpgate investigation has begun.
"President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has admitted to the Internal Revenue Service that it violated a legal prohibition against “self-dealing,” which bars nonprofit leaders from using their charity’s money to help themselves, their businesses or their families.
The admission was contained in the Donald J. Trump Foundation’s IRS tax filings for 2015, which were recently posted online at the nonprofit-tracking site GuideStar. A GuideStar spokesman said the forms were uploaded by the Trump Foundation’s law firm, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius."
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Monday, November 21, 2016
We need to talk about the online radicalisation of young, white men | Abi Wilkinson | Opinion | The Guardian
No, not the bit you’re thinking of. Somewhere far worse. That loose network of blogs, forums, subreddits and alternative media publications colloquially known as the “manosphere”. An online subculture centred around hatred, anger and resentment of feminism specifically, and women more broadly. It’s grimly fascinating and now troubling relevant.
In modern parlance, this is part of the phenomenon known as the “alt-right”. More sympathetic commentators portray it as “a backlash to PC culture” and critics call it out as neofascism. Over the past year, it has been strange to see the disturbing internet subculture I’ve followed for so long enter the mainstream. The executive chairman of one of its most popular media outlets, Breitbart, has just been appointed Donald Trump’s chief of strategy, and their UK bureau chief was among the first Brits to have a meeting with the president-elect. Their figurehead – Milo Yiannopoulos – toured the country stumping for him during the campaign on his “Dangerous Faggot” tour. These people are now part of the political landscape.
We need to talk about the online radicalisation of young, white men | Abi Wilkinson | Opinion | The Guardian
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Immigration lawyers are advising undocumented youths, known as “Dreamers”, to stop applying for temporary work permits under a program introduced by Barack Obama on the grounds that it could expose them to potential deportation once Trump is in power. The president-elect has plans to scrap the scheme, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca), as one of his first acts in office.
The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is now giving standard guidance to all Dreamers that “if you do not currently have Daca and are considering whether to apply for it for the first time, we recommend that you NOT do so at this time”.
The evidence that undocumented young people are already turning away from the legal status program is the first sign that Trump’s victory has begun to push people into forms of hiding. It is also the first sign that Obama’s legacy, built partly around his attempt to bring the Dreamers into the light, has rapidly started to unravel."
Dreams of undocumented young people start to crumble after Trump victory | US news | The Guardian
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Pure Evil - Jeff Sessions as Attorney General: An Insult to Justice - By The Editorial Board, New York Times
"In 1986, President Ronald Reagan nominated Jeff Sessions, then a United States attorney from Alabama, to be a federal judge. The Republican-controlled Senate rejected Mr. Sessions out of concern, based on devastating testimony by former colleagues, that he was a racist.
Three decades later, Mr. Sessions, now a veteran Alabama senator, is on the verge of becoming the nation’s top law-enforcement official, after President-elect Donald Trump tapped him on Friday to be attorney general.
It would be nice to report that Mr. Sessions, who is now 69, has conscientiously worked to dispel the shadows that cost him the judgeship. Instead, the years since his last confirmation hearing reveal a pattern of dogged animus to civil rights and the progress of black Americans and immigrants.
Based on his record, we can form a fairly clear picture of what his Justice Department would look like:
For starters, forget about aggressive protection of civil rights, and of voting rights in particular. Mr. Sessions has called the Voting Rights Act of 1965 a “piece of intrusive legislation.” Under him, the department would most likely focus less on prosecutions of minority voter suppression and more on rooting out voter fraud, that hallowed conservative myth. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Sessions brought voter-fraud charges against three civil rights workers trying to register black voters in rural Alabama. The prosecution turned up 14 allegedly doctored ballots out of 1.7 million cast, and the jury voted to acquit.
Forget, also, any federal criminal-justice reform, which was on the cusp of passage in Congress before Mr. Trump’s “law and order” campaign. Mr. Sessions strongly opposed bipartisan legislation to scale back the outrageously harsh sentences that filled federal prisons with low-level drug offenders. Instead, he called for more mandatory-minimum sentences and harsher punishments for drug crimes. The one bright spot was his working with Democrats to reduce the 100-to-1 disparity between punishments for crack and powder cocaine offenses.
But Mr. Sessions can do plenty of damage without any congressional action. As attorney general, he would set the guidelines prosecutors follow in deciding what cases and charges to bring. In 2013, Eric Holder Jr. ordered his prosecutors to avoid the most severe charges in low-level nonviolent drug cases, which has helped cut the number of absurdly long sentences for minor players. Mr. Sessions could reverse that with the stroke of a pen. He could just as easily reverse Mr. Holder’s decision not to interfere with state marijuana laws, likely ramping up prosecutions even as states continue to legalize the drug for medicinal or recreational use. “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” he said at a Senate hearing in April.
Mr. Sessions has been the Senate’s most ardent opponent of fixing the immigration system. In 2015 he proposed a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for anyone re-entering the country illegally after being deported. That could increase the federal prison population by as much as 30 percent. As Mr. Trump’s chief law enforcer, he is likely to fully support efforts to enlist local law enforcement in a widening dragnet for people without papers. He also, during the campaign, endorsed the idea of a ban on Muslim immigrants.
Count Mr. Sessions, as well, among those Trump allies calling for a special prosecutor to continue investigating Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, a decision that, if he is attorney general, would be his to make.
Donald Trump ran a presidential campaign that stoked white racial resentment. His choice for attorney general — which, like his other early choices, has been praised by white supremacists — embodies that worldview. We expect today’s senators, like their predecessors in 1986, to examine Mr. Sessions’s views and record with bipartisan rigor. If they do, it is hard to imagine that they will endorse a man once rejected for a low-level judgeship to safeguard justice for all Americans as attorney general."
Friday, November 18, 2016
The nominatiob of this avid eacist is unaccetable. Donald Trump Selects Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General - The New York Times
In testimony before the committee, former colleagues said that Mr. Sessions had referred to the N.A.A.C.P., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other civil rights groups as “un-American” and “Communist-inspired.” An African-American federal prosecutor then, Thomas H. Figures, said Mr. Sessions had referred to him as “boy” and testified that Mr. Sessions said the Ku Klux Klan was fine “until I found out they smoked pot.” Mr. Sessions dismissed that remark as a joke.
Mr. Sessions was also accused of speaking disparagingly of the Voting Rights Act and the stringent oversight it placed on Southern states.
Mr. Sessions, who was elected attorney general of Alabama in 1995, has long considered it a personal triumph that he was able to be elected to the Senate in 1997 and become a member of the panel that rejected his nomination to become a federal judge. "
Donald Trump Selects Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General - The New York Times
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
An architect of anti-immigration efforts who says he is advising President-elect Donald Trump said the new administration could push ahead rapidly on construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall without seeking immediate congressional approval.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who helped write tough immigration laws in Arizona and elsewhere, said in an interview that Trump's policy advisers had also discussed drafting a proposal for his consideration to reinstate a registry for immigrants from Muslim countries.
Kobach, who media reports say is a key member of Trump's transition team, said he had participated in regular conference calls with about a dozen Trump immigration advisers for the past two to three months.
Trump's transition team did not respond to requests for confirmation of Kobach's role. The president-elect has not committed to following any specific recommendations from advisory groups.
Trump, who scored an upset victory last week over Democrat Hillary Clinton, made building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border a central issue of his campaign and has pledged to step up immigration enforcement against the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. He has also said he supports “extreme vetting” of Muslims entering the United States as a national security measure.
Immigration hardliner says Trump team preparing plans for wall, mulling Muslim registry | Reuters
Monday, November 14, 2016
Sunday, November 13, 2016
“Even as we extend our congratulations to President-Elect Donald J. Trump, the NAACP, as America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, must bluntly note that the 2016 campaign has regularized racism, standardized anti-Semitism, de-exceptionalized xenophobia and mainstreamed misogyny. Voter suppression, as the courts have declared, has too become rampant and routine.
From the day that General George Washington accepted the people’s charge to become their first commander-in-chief, to the day that we elected Barack Obama as our country’s first African-American president, America has come together to ensure a peaceful transition of power. This most recent presidential election must meet this distinctly American standard. President-Elect Trump’s victory speech avoided a divisive tone and thus invoked this standard.
During this critical period of transition, we are now calling upon the next president to speak and act with the moral clarity necessary to silence the dog-whistle racial politics that have characterized recent months and have left many of our fellow citizens snarling at one another in anger and even whimpering in fear. The more than 120 million Americans who cast ballots in this election – as well as the more than 100 million more eligible voters who declined to vote – deserve no less.
The NAACP stands ready to work with a new administration to realize the racial justice concerns that not only compelled millions of people to go to the polls on Election Day but also inspired millions to protest in the streets in the preceding days and months. Depending upon the new administration’s fidelity to America’s ideals of liberty and the NAACP’s agenda for justice, we will either be at its side or in its face. We will not let this election distract or dissuade us; the NAACP will continue to stand strong at the frontlines, advocating for voting rights, criminal justice reform and equality for all."
NAACP | NAACP STATEMENT ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Saturday, November 12, 2016
What happens in these instances is indeed a warping of time. The laws of the universe are experienced without friction for white Americans because a willful denial of the past leaves them with no sense that their present is insecure or that their future is in question. It will always be O.K. in exactly one minute, day, or year from now. But this is not many blacks’ experience of time. Rather, many blacks are now morbidly amused by America’s newfound horror over black death at the hands of the state. “We must do something to stop this tragedy!” the newly awakened shout.
But for us there is nothing new in this. Indeed, if we had been truly listened to so many decades ago the timeline of many innocent blacks would have been extended; the histories of so many families would be marked by more Christmases spent together; the futures of so many of the young and living would not be tinged with the apathy born of doubt and skepticism. These people — I suspect my graduate student is among them — would not look to tomorrow wondering if it really is in their power to change. We talk unceasingly in this country about pulling oneself up by the bootstraps, but doing so isn’t only a matter of managing action, it is also about planning action, and doing that depends on what one really thinks an American minute amounts to.
To say at this point that his candidacy was controversial is, well, uncontroversial. In the time he made his case to the people we came to learn that he believes “the” African-Americans live in hell — linguistically defining us as a monolithic block of existential misery worthy of pity and more police. We learned that racial paranoia can be expressed openly by whites and left unchallenged; that nonwhite voters left unmonitored would “steal” the election; that the powerful can grab women by the genitals without remorse; that finding every way he could to avoid paying taxes and betting on a housing crisis was just called “business.”
All this indicates a man for whom normal expectations — what is supposed to happen a minute from now — are null and void. That he has been elected to the nation’s highest office indicates a largely white electorate that believes that the country’s future should be in the hands of a man to whom the present has no causal relationship to the past, and thinks that the future is what we make of it."
Trump’s Racial Time Machine - The New York Times
Wednesday, November 09, 2016
Donald Trump's presidency: What to expect on immigration, infrastructure, Obamacare, the TPP, and the US Supreme Court — Quartz
"Under the policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), implemented by Obama as an executive order in 2012, more than 700,000 immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children have been allowed to temporarily stay and work in the US. DAPA is a similar policy for the undocumented parents of American citizens; it has been challenged in court by several states.
Trump has vowed to end DACA, DAPA, and so-called “catch-and-release” policies, or the practice of not detaining immigrants while they wait for their cases to be processed. He’s also said he’s going to triple the number of US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents and will “move criminal aliens out day one.”
None of this will result in mass deportations in the short term—the US Department of Homeland Security does not have the funding to deport all 11 million people who are thought to be in the country illegally, and it’s unclear where Trump would get it. There’s also a question of physical resources; thousand of Central American women and children who showed up at the border in the summer of 2014 quickly overwhelmed existing detention facilities."
Tuesday, November 08, 2016
Sunday, November 06, 2016
Al Franken: FBI's James Comey should face Senate hearings - CNNPolitics.com
Saturday, November 05, 2016
"Top Trump ally and former federal prosecutor Rudy Giuliani has boasted more than once about being in touch with FBI agents who are hot after Hillary. One example, from Oct. 28, via the Daily Beast:
“The other rumor that I get is that there’s a kind of revolution going on inside the FBI about the original conclusion [not to charge Clinton] being completely unjustified and almost a slap in the face to the FBI’s integrity,” said Giuliani. “I know that from former agents. I know that even from a few active agents.”
Giuliani brags about connections to reactionary FBI agents.