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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

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, August 31, 2017

Mnuchin Says Putting Tubman on $20 Bill a Matter for Review

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"U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin may find himself dragged into the debate about America’s racial history after declining to commit to Obama administration plans to feature abolitionist Harriet Tubman on redesigned currency notes.
Asked in a CNBC interview on Thursday whether he supports his predecessor’s decision to put Tubman on $20 bills, he said, “ultimately we will be looking at this issue. It’s not something that I’m focused on at the moment.” The top issue to consider when redesigning notes is security against counterfeiting, he said. 

Tubman, a former slave who helped others to freedom, was to become the first woman and first minority to appear on U.S. paper currency. Andrew Jackson, the seventh U.S. president, is currently on $20 bills. “Right now we have a lot more important issues to focus on,” Mnuchin said.
“People have been on the bills for a long period of time," Mnuchin said. “This is something we will consider.”

Mnuchin Says Putting Tubman on $20 Bill a Matter for Review

(Via.)

Cobb County Georgia Cop Reassures Woman During DUI Stop: 'Remember, We Only Kill Black People' I lived in Cobb County From 1992-2016| HuffPost

"UPDATE: 5:15 p.m. ― The officer involved in this case has been fired, according to Police Chief Mike Register, who delivered remarks Thursday.

‘I don’t know what is in his heart, but I know what came out of his mouth,’ Register said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ‘We recommend that he be terminated and we are moving forward on that.’ 

PREVIOUSLY:

An outrageous video surfaced online this week showing a Georgia police officer reassuring a woman that she was safe in his presence because she wasn’t black.

‘Remember, we only kill black people,’ Cobb County Police Lt. Gregg Abbott is heard saying on dashcam video obtained by WSB-TV Wednesday. ‘We only kill black people, right?’

The video, which was reportedly captured after the woman was pulled over during a DUI stop, was taken last year and recently resurfaced after WSB-TV submitted an open-records request. The woman can be heard telling the officer that she was afraid to move her hands because she had seen too many videos of police encounters with motorists ending deadly, as was the case for a number of black Americans like Sam DuBose and Philando Castile."

(Via.). Cop Reassures Woman During DUI Stop: 'Remember, We Only Kill Black People' | HuffPost:

Burning Texas Plant Was Just Fined for Mishandling ‘Explosive Chemicals’

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Burning Texas Plant Was Just Fined for Mishandling ‘Explosive Chemicals’

Exclusive: Mueller Enlists the IRS for His Trump-Russia Investigation

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"Special counsel Bob Mueller has teamed up with the IRS. According to sources familiar with his investigation into alleged Russian election interference, his probe has enlisted the help of agents from the IRS’ Criminal Investigations unit. This unit—known as CI—is one of the federal government’s most tight-knit, specialized, and secretive investigative entities. Its 2,500 agents focus exclusively on financial crime, including tax evasion and money laundering. A former colleague of Mueller’s said he always liked working with IRS’ special agents, especially when he was a U.S. Attorney. And it goes without saying that the IRS has access to Trump’s tax returns—documents that the president has long resisted releasing to the public."

(Via.)   Exclusive: Mueller Enlists the IRS for His Trump-Russia Investigation:

New Hazard in Storm Zone: Chemical Blasts and ‘Noxious’ Smoke - The New York Times

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"HOUSTON — A series of explosions at a flood-damaged chemical plant outside Houston on Thursday drew sharp focus on hazards to public health and safety from the city’s vast petrochemical complex as the region begins a painstaking recovery from Hurricane Harvey.

The blasts at the plant, owned by the French chemical company Arkema, came after its main electrical system and backups failed, cutting off refrigeration systems that kept volatile chemicals stable. While nearby residents had been evacuated, 15 public safety officers were treated at a hospital after inhaling smoke from chemical fires that followed the explosions.

The Arkema plant has been identified as one of the most hazardous in the state. Its failure followed releases of contaminants from several other area petrochemical plants and systemic breakdowns of water and sewer systems in Houston and elsewhere in the storm-struck region.

The explosions — more are expected, the company said — will bring fresh scrutiny on whether these plants are adequately regulated and monitored by state and federal safety officials."

(Via.).  New Hazard in Storm Zone: Chemical Blasts and ‘Noxious’ Smoke - The New York Times:

Trump Attorneys Lay Out Arguments Against Obstruction-of-Justice Probe to Mueller - WSJ

"WASHINGTON—Lawyers for Donald Trump have met several times with special counsel Robert Mueller in recent months and submitted memos arguing that the president didn’t obstruct justice by firing former FBI chief James Comey and calling into question Mr. Comey’s reliability as a potential witness, people familiar with the matter said.

One memo submitted to Mr. Mueller by the president’s legal team in June laid out the case that Mr. Trump has the inherent authority under the constitution to hire and fire as he sees fit and..."

(Via.).  Trump Attorneys Lay Out Arguments Against Obstruction-of-Justice Probe to Mueller - WSJ:

Is Robert Mueller Trying To Keep Trump From Issuing Russia Probe Pardons...

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

REPORTER GOES OFF ON Oil INDUSTRY Than GETS CUT OFF While covering Hurri...

Legal challenge to Arpaio pardon begins - The Washington Post



"Put simply, the argument is that the president cannot obviate the court’s powers to enforce its orders when the constitutional rights of others are at stake. “The president can’t use the pardon power to immunize lawless officials from consequences for violating people’s constitutional rights,” says one of the lawyers who authored the letter, Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for People. Clearly, there is a larger concern here that goes beyond Arpaio. “After repeatedly belittling and undermining judges verbally and on Twitter, now President Trump is escalating his attack on the courts into concrete actions,” says Ian Bassin, executive director of Protect Democracy. “His pardon and celebration of Joe Arpaio for ignoring a judicial order is a threat to our democracy and every citizen’s rights, and should not be allowed to stand.”



Legal challenge to Arpaio pardon begins - The Washington Post

The Quite Rational Basis for North Korea's Japan Overfly - The Atlantic

A missile launch.



"Finally someone in the media states what should be obvious about Pyongyang's strategy.



"On a strategic level, Pyongyang hopes that these kinds of tests get Japan and South Korea to question the utility of their respective alliances with the United States. North Korea made clear it undertook this launch because Washington ignored its previous overture—yes, the Guam saga was actually an invitation to negotiations—and carried on with the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise with South Korea.



Pyongyang didn’t mention Japan’s recent military drills with the United States, curiously enough. The implication was clear anyway: Tokyo is facing adverse security outcomes because of activities the United States is carrying out with South Korea. North Korea’s new long-range missiles allow it to make the stakes very real for Japan, and it may hope to drive a wedge between it and the United States.



In this case, the technology and strategy work together to rattle America’s allies’ confidence in Washington’s security commitments in Northeast Asia—the cornerstone of what Pyongyang calls its “hostile policy” in East Asia. This is precisely why U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a rare readout of a post-launch phone call with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, emphasizing that the alliances remained “ironclad” despite North Korean provocations."



The Quite Rational Basis for North Korea's Japan Overfly - The Atlantic

The Quite Rational Basis for North Korea's Japan Overfly - The Atlantic

A missile launch.



"Finally someone in the media states what should be obvious about Pyongyang's strategy.



"On a strategic level, Pyongyang hopes that these kinds of tests get Japan and South Korea to question the utility of their respective alliances with the United States. North Korea made clear it undertook this launch because Washington ignored its previous overture—yes, the Guam saga was actually an invitation to negotiations—and carried on with the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise with South Korea.



Pyongyang didn’t mention Japan’s recent military drills with the United States, curiously enough. The implication was clear anyway: Tokyo is facing adverse security outcomes because of activities the United States is carrying out with South Korea. North Korea’s new long-range missiles allow it to make the stakes very real for Japan, and it may hope to drive a wedge between it and the United States.



In this case, the technology and strategy work together to rattle America’s allies’ confidence in Washington’s security commitments in Northeast Asia—the cornerstone of what Pyongyang calls its “hostile policy” in East Asia. This is precisely why U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released a rare readout of a post-launch phone call with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, emphasizing that the alliances remained “ironclad” despite North Korean provocations."



The Quite Rational Basis for North Korea's Japan Overfly - The Atlantic

Mueller teams up with New York attorney general in Manafort probe - POLITICO Trump cannot pardon a crime charged by the State of New York.

Robert Mueller. | AP



"Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on its investigation into Paul Manafort and his financial transactions, according to several people familiar with the matter.



The cooperation is the latest indication that the federal probe into President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is intensifying. It also could potentially provide Mueller with additional leverage to get Manafort to cooperate in the larger investigation into Trump’s campaign, as Trump does not have pardon power over state crimes.



The two teams have shared evidence and talked frequently in recent weeks about a potential case, these people said. One of the people familiar with progress on the case said both Mueller’s and Schneiderman’s teams have collected evidence on financial crimes, including potential money laundering.



No decision has been made on where or whether to file charges. “Nothing is imminent,” said one of the people familiar with the case.



Manafort has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has previously denied it. A spokesman for Manafort didn’t return phone calls seeking comment."



Mueller teams up with New York attorney general in Manafort probe - POLITICO

Confidence in Trump low worldwide | Pew Research Center

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"Relatively few people across the globe have confidence in U.S. President Donald Trump to do the right thing when it comes to world affairs. And some of his most prominent policy proposals – such as building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, withdrawing from trade and climate agreements, and restricting people from some Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. – are deeply unpopular. Opposition to the United States’ possible withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement is less intense worldwide, and such a move would be welcomed by a majority of the public in Jordan and Israel.

In terms of personal characteristics, Trump is seen by most publics around the world as arrogant, intolerant and even dangerous. At the same time, he is seen by sizable percentages as a strong leader.

Despite widespread unease over the new U.S. president’s character and his policies, the prevailing view across the publics surveyed is that the relationship between the U.S. and their country will not change during Trump’s tenure. Those who do anticipate change, however, are more likely to expect relations to worsen rather than improve, particularly in Western Europe.

With Trump in office, confidence in U.S. president drops precipitously

Across the 37 countries surveyed in 2017, a median of only 22% say that they have at least some confidence in Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs. Almost three-quarters (74%) have little to no confidence in the new U.S. leader.

Trump’s greatest support in the current poll comes from Filipinos, 69% of whom say they have confidence in the U.S. president. Other publics in which more than half offer a positive opinion of him include a diverse array of countries such as Nigeria (58%), Vietnam (58%), Israel (56%) and Russia (53%).

In contrast, only 5% in Mexico and 7% in Spain have confidence in Trump. He gets consistently low ratings across Latin America and Europe, where medians of only 14% and 18% respectively have confidence in him.

Around the globe, confidence in the U.S. president is at some of the lowest levels measured by Pew Research Center over the past decade and a half."

(Via.). Confidence in Trump low worldwide | Pew Research Center:

Is Trump's Mission to Undo Obama's Legacy? | MSNBC

Is Trump's Mission to Undo Obama's Legacy? | MSNBC: ""

Comey's friend calls for impeachment

Digging Into "Transgender Ban"

How the pardon power could end Trump’s presidency - The Washington Post




"Philip Allen Lacovara, a former U.S. deputy solicitor general in the Justice Department, served as counsel to Watergate special prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski.



President Trump’s pardon of former Arizona sheriff and civil rights abuser Joe Arpaio raises the question of whether the president may act with impunity to pardon individuals caught up in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia. Based on my experience studying the pardon power during the Watergate investigation, I believe the answer is no.



Almost certainly, a presidential decision to preemptively pardon any of those caught up in Mueller’s investigation, whether former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn or Donald Trump Jr., would be effective and would spare those pardoned from prosecution, at least on the federal level.



So Trump may be tempted to use this mechanism to extricate himself from what he calls derisively “the Russia thing.”



But issuing pardons to his own friends, associates and relatives could be a perilous path for Trump, creating additional exposure on two levels, criminal and political — both flowing from an important proposition that is often overlooked in the debate over presidential power. Our legal system provides mechanisms for probing the intent and motives behind the exercise of power. The president may have the power to grant effective pardons in the Russia investigation, but both Congress and the federal prosecutor are entitled to determine whether the exercise of that power violates constitutional and statutory norms."



How the pardon power could end Trump’s presidency - The Washington Post

Did Team Trump Reveal Their Middle Man to Moscow?: The Daily Show

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

#ImpeachTrump . #TrumpMustGo


Profiles in Tremendousness: Pardon Edition - Sheriff Joe Arpaio: The Dai...

Trump defends Arpaio pardon, assumed ‘ratings would be far higher’ by announcing during hurricane - The Washington Post

"

"President Trump defended his controversial pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio on Monday, saying his decision to announce it during Hurricane Harvey likely earned it “far higher” ratings. Speaking at a joint news conference with the president of Finland, Trump made his first comments on Arpaio since his decision to pardon the Arizona lawman Friday — defending both the timing of the pardon late Friday evening, as Harvey made landfall, and the decision itself. “He’s done a great job for the people of Arizona, he’s very strong on borders, very strong on illegal immigration, he is loved in Arizona,” Trump said. “I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly when they came down with their big decision to go get him, right before the election voting started.” He added: “I thought that was very, very unfair thing to do.”

 

(Via.). Trump defends Arpaio pardon, assumed ‘ratings would be far higher’ by announcing during hurricane - The Washington Post

Monday, August 28, 2017

Trump exemplifies abuse of power - The Washington Post

"President Richard Nixon faced impeachment not for any crime but, under the first article of impeachment, because, “in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice.” It does not say — and it was not established — that he committed a crime. In essence, the House of Representatives concluded that impeachment and removal would be justified if Nixon used the instruments of power not for the country’s benefit but to save his own political skin (“using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation” of the Watergate break-in).



As one charged with enforcement of the laws and the fair administration of justice, the president is not acting in the public interest when he uses his powers as a shield against inquiry. That seems particularly relevant as we begin to look at the case for impeachment against President Trump. Following on The Post’s blockbuster story that Trump was seeking a major deal with Russia at the time he was running for president, the New York Times reports:



A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.



The business associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin and predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would be a political boon to Mr. Trump’s candidacy.



“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote in an email. “I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”



As the Times notes, there is no evidence Sater “delivered” for Trump, but what we do get is a clear picture, in conjunction with previous disclosures, of gross conflicts of interest and abuse of power."



Trump exemplifies abuse of power - The Washington Post

Top Trump Organization executive asked Putin aide for help on business deal - The Washington Post




Top Trump Organization executive asked Putin aide for help on business deal - The Washington Post

Rachel Maddow: TRUMP'S business sought deal on a Trump Tower in MOSCOW w...

With Arpaio pardon, Trump's 'law and order' vow becomes a cynical joke | MSNBC

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“Over the course of seven months, Donald Trump has made several outrageous moves, but the president’s pardon of Joe Arpaio is among the toughest to defend. To be sure, this is a story with multiple angles. The White House waited until late on a Friday evening, with much of the country focused on a major national disaster, to announce that the president was abusing his power to aid a political ally. It was a dishonorable act, done in a dishonorable way.

Arpaio, among other things, was accused of violating people’s civil rights. When a court ordered him to stop, the Arizonan ignored the order, which led a judge to find Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt. The racial aspect of this is tough to miss: on the heels of Trump’s inflammatory response to Charlottesville, the president delivered his first pardon to help his confederate – who deliberately targeted people of color – before he could face any consequences for his illegal actions.

In fact, in Friday night’s announcement, the president praised Arpaio for his crimes, which the disgraced former sheriff committed without remorse.

All of which raises some important questions about Donald Trump and his appreciation – or lack thereof – for the rule of law.

As a candidate, the Republican embraced the restoration of ‘law and order’ – a phrase with a complex racial history – as of one of his campaign’s core promises. Elect Trump to the presidency, he assured Americans, and we’d see a president who’d demonstrate an unflinching commitment to law enforcement and forceful execution of the nation’s laws.

It wasn’t long before the vows were exposed as absurd. Once he was inaugurated, Trump fired U.S. attorneys under unusual circumstances, fired an acting U.S. Attorney General who dared to give the White House sound legal advice, and fired the director of the FBI in the hopes of derailing an ongoing investigation. The president hadn’t even been in office four months when it became painfully obvious that his interest in the rule of law was something of a joke.

But Friday night, when he hoped Americans weren’t looking, Trump took this broken promise in a farcical direction. A day later, a Washington Post report took the story in an even more alarming direction.

As Joseph Arpaio’s federal case headed toward trial this past spring, President Trump wanted to act to help the former Arizona county sheriff who had become a campaign-trail companion and a partner in their crusade against illegal immigration.

The president asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions whether it would be possible for the government to drop the criminal case against Arpaio, but was advised that would be inappropriate, according to three people with knowledge of the conversation.

Instead, Trump let the case go to trial, knowing all the while that he’d negate the ruling if, after Arpaio’s case was adjudicated, his politically ally was found guilty.

In case this isn’t obvious, a president isn’t supposed to intervene with the Justice Department about an ongoing criminal prosecution of someone the president likes. What’s more, note that Trump didn’t even bother to consult with his own Justice Department – or pay any attention to the department’s pardon protocols – before rescuing his right-wing pal who acted as if he were above the law.

There’s also the near future to consider. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is moving forward with his investigation into the Trump-Russia affair, and as of Friday night, everyone received a stark reminder that this president is comfortable abusing the powers of his office to keep his allies out of prison.

Indeed, it’s easy to imagine Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn waking up on Saturday morning with a spring in their step. After all, in Donald Trump’s America, loyalty to the law is nice, but loyalty to the president is almost literally a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Trump has told a staggering number of lies since entering politics, but his vow to restore ‘law and order’ may be the most painfully ridiculous of them all. It’s difficult to guess where this story goes next, but let’s not forget that as recently as last month, the president reportedly sought information on his power to issue pardons to White House aides, members of his family, and even himself.

Trump boasted on Twitter soon after that ‘all agree’ an American president ‘has the complete power to pardon.’"

(Via.). With Arpaio pardon, Trump's 'law and order' vow becomes a cynical joke | MSNBC:

Trump Associate Boasted That Moscow Business Deal ‘Will Get Donald Elected’ - The New York Times

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"WASHINGTON — A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency.

The associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin. He predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would highlight Mr. Trump’s savvy negotiating skills and be a political boon to his candidacy.

‘Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,’ Mr. Sater wrote in an email. ‘I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.’

A portion of an email Felix Sater sent to Michael Cohen on Nov. 3, 2015. The emails show that, from the earliest months of Mr. Trump’s campaign, some of his associates viewed close ties with Moscow as a political advantage. Those ties are now under investigation by the Justice Department and multiple congressional committees.

Continue reading the main story The Trump White House The historic moments, head-spinning developments and inside-the-White House intrigue. Appeals Court Appears Inclined to Exempt Relatives From Travel Ban AUG 28 Trump Eyed ‘Far Higher’ Ratings in Pardoning Joe Arpaio as Hurricane Hit AUG 28 A Shark in the Street, and Other Hurricane Harvey Rumors You Shouldn’t Believe AUG 28 Trump Reverses Restrictions on Military Hardware for Police AUG 28 Trump’s Legal U-Turns May Test Supreme Court’s Patience AUG 28 See More »

(Via.).  Trump Associate Boasted That Moscow Business Deal ‘Will Get Donald Elected’ - The New York Times:

What Trump's Generation Learned About the Civil War - The Atlantic

A scene from the Gettysburg Cyclorama, an 1883 cyclorama painting depicting the climactic clash between Union and Confederate forces during the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.



This is very true.  I argued with my teachers about this in class throughout high school.  I went to 8th Street Bookstore in the Village and Liberation Bookstore in Harlem to learn the truth.  This is so important because I met a former student of mine, in the military reserve, taking courses from an Alabama school which is teaching  the same garbage history myth I spewed out.  My father had me read Carter Woodson's the miseducation of   the Negro then in college I met Tilden Lemelle, Myrna Bain and Dr. John Henrik Clarke​ who changed my life and guided my research past the lies to original source materials.  You cannot learn history from textbooks.  Original sources is the only way.  I remember a high school history teacher telling our class the Civil War was not about slavery.  I went to the library and borrowed a book with the original declarations of secession from South Carolina, Georgia Mississippi and the other States that declared War on the United States.  Mrs. Dreiband my teacher was  shocked and apologized in front of the class.  At graduation I was the first recipient of the school's history award. This was 1971. I was attending a private school on Staten Island which I hated due to it''s violent racism "Richmond Town Prep".. In 1968 there was a teachers strike in NYC because Black parents in the Brownsville Ocean Hill section of Brooklyn.  The teacher's union led by a racist man named Albert Shanker opposed Black input into the curriculum they hired and the hiring of Black teachers and the transfer of racist and incompetent White teachers.  The union went on strike for 52 days.  My mother, a teacher refused to strike.  We lived and she taught in overwhelmingly White and racist Staten Island.  Her school was closed.  For 52 days she took the bus, Staten Island Ferry and subway to the Board of  Education Headquarters on Livingston Street and Brooklyn and sat in the office every day of the strike.  I was so proud of her and still am for being on the right side of history.    



John H Armwood



What Trump's Generation Learned About the Civil War - The Atlantic

Trump to lift military gear ban for local police - CNNPolitics





"Washington (CNN)The Trump administration will unveil a new plan Monday to roll back limits on a controversial program that provides local law enforcement agencies with surplus military gear, marking the end of a policy implemented during the Obama administration.



President Barack Obama issued an executive order in 2015 prohibiting the transfer of a host of equipment, including armored vehicles, grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and camouflage uniforms following controversy over the "militarization" of the police response to unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

"We've seen how militarized gear can sometimes give people a feeling like there's an occupying force as opposed to a force that's part of the community that's protecting them and serving them," Obama said at the time. "It can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message."

President Donald Trump will sign a new executive order Monday rescinding Obama's directive and Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed the policy change during a speech at the annual conference of the Fraternal Order of Police in Nashville, Tennessee, where he received multiple standing ovations and appeared touched by the warm welcome.

"(W)e are fighting a multi-front battle: an increase in violent crime, a rise in vicious gangs, an opioid epidemic, threats from terrorism, combined with a culture in which family and discipline seem to be eroding further and a disturbing disrespect for the rule of law," Sessions said, as he walked the audience of mostly law enforcement officials through a broad tour of his policy changes at the Justice Department over the past several months.

"The executive order the President will sign today will ensure that you can get the lifesaving gear that you need to do your job and send a strong message that we will not allow criminal activity, violence and lawlessness to become a new normal," Sessions added.

Trump's new executive order was first reported by USA Today.

Civil rights groups swiftly blasted the equipment policy shift Monday, saying the Obama-era guidelines were critical to rebuilding trust with communities of color.

 Read STATE: Ferguson, affected."

Trump to lift military gear ban for local police - CNNPolitics

I am a ‘dreamer.’ I cannot rest easy. - The Washington Post





"Christian Bardales is a student at George Mason University.



Guatemala, land of eternal spring — this is the country I left at age 6, now a foreign nation not my own. I am 21. I have spent most my life here, in the great United States of America, once a foreign nation not my own.



I had no say in coming, the choice was made for me. It was a decision made by my two loving and supportive parents, who wanted nothing more than to give me the life they never had. A life of opportunity. A life where hard work and determination could make even my wildest of dreams possible.



My parents left their homeland, my homeland, with nothing but the clothes they carried, determined to prosper in this land of liberty. And now this is my home. Virginia is my state. Sterling Park my neighborhood. George Mason my university. The United States, the land that I love.



I am a “dreamer.” I am living, walking, talking, prosperous proof that my parents’ sacrifices and hard work are paying off. I am Generation 1.5, both a child of immigrants and an immigrant myself.



By the grace of the living God I believe in, my parents’ journey was made possible. We arrived here safe and sound, and then my parents got right to it, working diligently at jobs the more privileged in this country did not want.



I was enrolled in first grade without knowing a lick of English. Now I am studying to become an engineer, and I thank the Obama administration, too, which let a ray of hope shine into the lives of 1.5 dreamers like me.



Through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, we children of immigrants could obtain work permits and a Social Security number. Without DACA, I would have been consigned to the shadows, like so many before me, limited in what opportunities I could pursue. But now I can thrive just as the citizens of this country can thrive, though I am still not one of them. I can obtain a license to legally drive a car. I can be legally employed. I could also apply to colleges and get quoted in-state tuition, making a once near-impossible goal a bit more attainable.



I am thankful, but I cannot rest easy. I can’t get financial aid for school, reserved only for citizens, and I can’t leave the United States because I won’t be allowed back in. This makes one of my dreams — to travel the world, to see family in Guatemala — not feasible as of now. And I can’t escape the reality that some are pushing the Trump administration to end what the Obama administration started.



But I remain thankful, because now I can work legally, and I can use this income to pay my way through college, out of pocket, even if it takes me longer to graduate. I am thankful that I can pay taxes, even if the money goes into a system that for now won’t make me one of its own. I am thankful that the Trump administration has allowed the DACA program to continue, and even to grow.



I am thankful, yes. I am the son of two honest and hard-working immigrant parents from Guatemala. I am a dreamer 1.5. But I am also a whole lot more than that."



I am a ‘dreamer.’ I cannot rest easy. - The Washington Post

Pants on Fire! Paul Ryan uses old stat to claim counties will have no Obamacare insurer in 2018


Unemployment in Black and White - The New York Times





"The recent finding by The New York Times that black students are still vastly underrepresented at the nation’s top colleges and universities is one sign of how little the country has managed to do to close racial gaps.



Unemployment rates among black workers give a similarly gloomy picture. The jobless rate for black Americans is generally about twice that of white Americans, a ratio that improves only somewhat in “good” times, like the present, and persists no matter the level of educational attainment. The overall unemployment rate for black workers is now 7.4 percent and for white workers is 3.8 percent. For college-educated workers, the recent average jobless rate was 4.2 percent for blacks, compared with 2.5 percent for whites.



The hard truth is that the persistence of twice-as-high joblessness for black workers has led policy makers to accept it is as normal. Just look at the Federal Reserve. Monetary policy is supposed to foster stable prices and full employment. But the Fed has historically favored inflation fighting over boosting employment, a policy bias that generally leads it to raise interest rates before the job market is as strong as possible, as measured by low unemployment and rising pay for all groups of workers. The Fed has already raised rates twice this year and many Fed officials appear to favor a third increase by year’s end, with evident disregard for the fact that black unemployment is now at levels that prevailed for white workers in 2012, when the economy was still very much in the shadow of the Great Recession.



Another hard truth is that even when the economy picks up and employers are on a hiring binge, black people have a harder time getting jobs and are paid less than similarly situated white workers. That is exactly what happened from 1996 to 2000, the last genuinely hot job market, and it points clearly to racial discrimination, not just in hiring, but in a range of public policies that disproportionately affect black people. These include the dearth and high cost of child care, which harms single mothers the most; poor public transportation in many rural and suburban areas, which makes keeping a job difficult; and mass incarceration of black men and the barriers to employment that go with it.



Other factors include erosion and weakness in the enforcement of labor standards and legal safeguards. The wage gap between black and white workers is larger now than it was in 1979 or in 2000, and has grown the most for college graduates.



The whole economy is weighed down by the higher unemployment among black Americans, in part because it deprived the economy of consumer demand, the main engine for growth. Worse, the job and wage gap signals a loss of human potential, a singularly valuable form of capital. The economy cannot be said to be at full employment while black workers lag behind their white counterparts. Nor can the society be said to be just or healthy."



Unemployment in Black and White - The New York Times

White ‘Power’ and the Fear of Replacement - The New York Times





"Today’s white nationalists prefer to address their target directly, which is also what they like about Donald Trump.

When white nationalists converged in Charlottesville, Va., ostensibly to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, they chanted, “You will not replace us,” and “Jews will not replace us.” But why were Jews a target of a neo-Confederate action, and who was the more generalized ‘you’?



White nationalists may have carried Confederate flags, but they also shouted the Nazi slogan “blood and soil.” Congregation Beth Israel was directly threatened by armed demonstrators during Sabbath services. And Chris Cantwell asserted in the viral Vice video that Trump was insufficiently racist because he gave “his daughter to a Jew.” These facts are central to any attempt to make sense of Charlottesville.



But the referents of the “you” chant are less clear, and unpacking this “you” is equally crucial for understanding Charlottesville. Most immediately, “you” is anyone who supports the removal of Confederate memorials. In other words: “You” will not replace “our” history and heritage with your liberal counternarrative of diversity and inclusion.



But the broader field of address includes anyone who is not a white nationalist, including white “race traitors,” but most important, black, Latino, Muslim and indigenous activists who have organized powerful movements in recent years to affirm the value and dignity of their lives and communities beyond the logic of white supremacy.



In the context of these movements, “You will not replace us” reiterates the core message of slogans like “All lives matter” and “White lives matter.” It’s another way of reasserting the supremacy of whiteness and its irreplaceable, but precarious, value in a fundamentally confused zero-sum game where one group’s gain must equal another group’s loss. From this perspective, “You will not replace us” means something like, “White lives matter uniquely” or “You will not make us feel like we don’t matter by asserting that you do.”



The collective “you” addressed by this slogan is a counterpoint to the white nationalist “us” that is struggling to constitute itself through events like Unite the Right. Paradoxically, even in its refusal to be replaced, the “we” depends rhetorically and constitutively upon both an opposition to “you” and an address to “you” in order to assert itself.



Notably, these neatly dressed angry white men did not chant, in the third-person, “They will not replace us.” (Granted, “they” doesn’t rhyme as well with “Jew.”) By formulating the chant as an address in the second person, the emerging “we” sought to draw its others — “you” — into direct confrontation. As the philosopher Andrea Pitts has argued in response to Arizona’s ethnic studies ban, when the state addresses “proper” subjects such as taxpayers and citizens in laws and speeches about “illegal” others in our midst, they also indirectly address marginalized communities, sending a message of exclusion and intimidation, while maintaining the plausible deniability of civil discourse. Today’s white nationalists prefer to address their target directly, and this is also what they like about Donald Trump.



The shift from “You” to “Jews” (and from the second person to the third person) makes explicit the totalizing nature of the opposition between “us” and everyone else. What do Jews have to do with General Lee? In one sense, nothing, apart from the usefulness of anti-Semitism for providing a “general framework of the development of the nation-state,” as Hannah Arendt argued in “The Origins of Totalitarianism.”



But today’s white nationalists seem less interested in the nation-state than in the nation as against the state (or at least, against “government”). If we understand a nation as an ethno-cultural concept defined by a sense of shared identity, history and ancestry, and the state as a political concept defined by a set of institutions, documents and structures, then it’s pretty clear that most white nationalists want precisely that: a white nation (although Cantwell and others want an “ethno-state”). But the fact that white men already occupy most positions of power in the United States is tangential to their primary interest in the nation. Trump seems to share this affection for America the Nation, and accordingly finds America the State’s institutions irrelevant and bothersome.



The distinction between nation and state helps to explain why Confederate statues are so important to white nationalists, and why Jews were the seemingly odd targets of a protest ostensibly about the removal of a Confederate statue. By identifying with the Confederacy, white nationalists (whether from the Southeast or the Midwest, or even from Quebec) get to adopt the position of an underdog white nation struggling against oppression and occupation by both a coercive state power, and by a group of “coastal elites” — a thinly veiled euphemism for rich, well-educated, powerful Jews — who are seen as not sharing “our” identity, history and ancestry, but who have nevertheless illegitimately seized the important nonstate sites of power: control of the banks and the ideological power of the media.



Framed this way, with the Jews as “global conspirators” on one side and the hoards of black and brown upstarts on the other, the demonstrators get to be activists in a valiant struggle for liberation from both sets of oppressors. The statues, which from one perspective might be construed as the effigies of losers, are from the perspective of white nationalists inspiring signs that the struggle continues, that Dixie will rise again.



In her book, “Queer Phenomenology,” Sara Ahmed shows how a sense of the “ ‘we’ emerges as an effect of a shared direction toward an object.” When the “Unite the Right” protesters tore themselves away from Reddit and Breitbart to march with their tiki torches in Charlottesville, they were gravitating toward an object that they hoped would make them a real “we,” that is, “united.” And just in case the statue didn’t work, they also brought a lot of extra swag with them: flags, homemade shields and a boatload of semiautomatic weapons.



The collective ownership of these symbolic objects is crucial to the white nationalist movement. In a landmark essay in critical legal scholarship, Cheryl Harris argues that in the United States, whiteness functions as a kind of a property. A key feature of this property is the right to exclude others from laying claim to whiteness. It is just this right, and this equation of persons with property, that Cantwell asserts when he claims that Trump gave his daughter to a Jew, and remarks that “I don’t think you could feel the way I do about race, and watch that Kushner bastard walk around with that beautiful girl.”



He is at once invoking the age-old, bedrock, patriarchal claim that women are chattel, and denying Kushner’s prima facie whiteness as a postwar American Jew. From this perspective, “You will not replace us” means more than just “You will not take down our statue.” It means, “You will not take away our right to exclude.” This can be finessed into a more defensive message appealing to a broader base: “You will not exclude us.” You will not make us feel like we don’t matter by asserting that you do.



Historically, in the United States, white people are the replacers, not the replaced. The chant, “You will not replace us,” seems to bear an unconscious trace of this history, even as it disavows the contingency of settler nationhood. The historian Patrick Wolfe argues that “settler colonialism destroys to replace,” but that “the process of replacement maintains the refractory imprint of the native counterclaim.”



We need to pry apart the equation of personhood and property at the core of white supremacy, understood as a political system and not just a collection of individuals with extreme viewpoints. This equation of personhood and property goes all the way back to Locke’s “Second Treatise on Government,” which was arguably an inspiration for the American Revolution. Both the American nation and its individual states have been founded on the constitutive exclusion of indigenous people, slaves, women and poor people from full citizenship. In order to address the violence of white (settler) nationalism, we need more than just virtuous tweets against white supremacists. We need to move toward a different understanding of power.



While on some level the people who marched in Charlottesville were motivated by a perverse, exceptional hate, they were also, on another level, driven by a very ordinary desire for power. But that desire is based in an impoverished understanding of power as the replacement and domination of others.



With this definition of power still firmly in place, it will be difficult to come up with any compelling reason white people should divest from the privilege of whiteness."



White ‘Power’ and the Fear of Replacement - The New York Times

Fascism, American Style - The New York Times





"As sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., Joe Arpaio engaged in blatant racial discrimination. His officers systematically targeted Latinos, often arresting them on spurious charges and at least sometimes beating them up when they questioned those charges. Read the report from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and prepare to be horrified.



Once Latinos were arrested, bad things happened to them. Many were sent to Tent City, which Arpaio himself proudly called a “concentration camp,” where they lived under brutal conditions, with temperatures inside the tents sometimes rising to 145 degrees.



And when he received court orders to stop these practices, he simply ignored them, which led to his eventual conviction — after decades in office — for contempt of court. But he had friends in high places, indeed in the highest of places. We now know that Donald Trump tried to get the Justice Department to drop the case against Arpaio, a clear case of attempted obstruction of justice. And when that ploy failed, Trump, who had already suggested that Arpaio was “convicted for doing his job,” pardoned him.



By the way, about “doing his job,” it turns out that Arpaio’s officers were too busy rounding up brown-skinned people and investigating President Barack Obama’s birth certificate to do other things, like investigate cases of sexually abused children. Priorities!



Let’s call things by their proper names here. Arpaio is, of course, a white supremacist. But he’s more than that. There’s a word for political regimes that round up members of minority groups and send them to concentration camps, while rejecting the rule of law: What Arpaio brought to Maricopa, and what the president of the United States has just endorsed, was fascism, American style.



So how did we get to this point?



Trump’s motives are easy to understand. For one thing, Arpaio, with his racism and authoritarianism, really is his kind of guy. For another, the pardon is a signal to those who might be tempted to make deals with the special investigator as the Russia probe closes in on the White House: Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.



Finally, standing up for white people who keep brown people down pleases Trump’s base, whom he’s going to need more than ever as the scandals creep closer and the big policy wins he promised keep not happening.



But the Trump base of angry white voters is a distinct minority in the country as a whole. Furthermore, those voters have always been there. Fifteen years ago, writing about the radicalization of the G.O.P., I suggested the hard core of angry voters was around 20 percent of the electorate; that still seems like a reasonable guess.



What makes it possible for someone like Trump to attain power and hold it is the acquiescence of people, both voters and politicians, who aren’t white supremacists, who sort-of kind-of believe in the rule of law, but are willing to go along with racists and lawbreakers if it seems to serve their interests.



There have been endless reports about the low-education white voters who went overwhelmingly for Trump last November. But he wouldn’t have made it over the top without millions of votes from well-educated Republicans who — despite the media’s orgy of false equivalence or worse (emails!) — had no excuse for not realizing what kind of man he was. For whatever reason, be it political tribalism or the desire for lower taxes, they voted for him anyway.



Given the powers we grant to the president, who in some ways is almost like an elected dictator, giving the office to someone likely to abuse that power invites catastrophe. The only real check comes from Congress, which retains the power to impeach; even the potential for impeachment can constrain a bad president. But Republicans control Congress; how many of them besides John McCain have offered full-throated denunciations of the Arpaio pardon?



The answer is, very few. Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, had a spokesman declare that he “does not agree with this decision” — not exactly a ringing statement. Yet Ryan did better than most of his colleagues, who have said nothing at all.



This bodes ill if, as seems all too likely, the Arpaio pardon is only the beginning: We may well be in the early stages of a constitutional crisis. Does anyone consider it unthinkable that Trump will fire Robert Mueller, and try to shut down investigations into his personal and political links to Russia? Does anyone have confidence that Republicans in Congress will do anything more than express mild disagreement with his actions if he does?



As I said, there’s a word for people who round up members of ethnic minorities and send them to concentration camps, or praise such actions. There’s also a word for people who, out of cowardice or self-interest, go along with such abuses: collaborators. How many such collaborators will there be? I’m afraid we’ll soon find out."



Fascism, American Style - The New York Times

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Trump Pardons Joe Arpaio | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Houston Told People to Stay for Harvey, Now They Can't Get Out

"AUSTIN, Texas — Houston is slowly being submerged by a natural disaster some are saying could now rival Hurricane Katrina. Even after two feet of rain in 24 hours, Tropical Storm Harvey shows no sign of letting up until Wednesday at the earliest.
When the storm previously known as Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Friday, it was the strongest storm to batter the U.S. coast in 13 years. The National Weather Service said on Sunday afternoon that the flooding is “unprecedented,” adding "all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced." FEMA administrator Brock Long said Sunday, “FEMA is going to be there for years. This disaster is going to be a landmark event."
One-quarter of Texas' population, 7 million people, reside in the disaster area declared by President Donald Trump. Already six people are dead and thousands are homeless.
Two days ago, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told Houston residents that even in the absence of an official evacuation order “you need to strongly consider evacuating.”

Houston Told People to Stay for Harvey, Now They Can't Get Out

A Catastrophe for Houston's Most Vulnerable People - The Atlantic

An abandoned Hummer is covered in floodwaters on Interstate 610 after Hurricane Harvey inundated the Texas Gulf coast with rain.



"At least five deaths and dozens of injuries have been attributed to Hurricane Harvey, as it pummeled parts of the Houston region with 24 inches of rain and swirling winds. The storm has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, from a Category 4 at its height, but the catastrophic flooding is only expected to intensify as rains continue, according to the National Weather Service.



Like in the case of previous disasters like Katrina and Sandy, the heaviest cost of Harvey’s destruction is likely going to be borne by the most vulnerable communities in its path. Humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief has created interactive ESRI maps that show exactly where these communities are. Here’s what disaster historian Jacob Remes tweeted out about Harvey."



A Catastrophe for Houston's Most Vulnerable People - The Atlantic

The Arpaio Pardon Dangerously Accelerates Trump’s Assault on the Rule of Law | The New Yorker





"On his last day of office, in 2001, President Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, the billionaire commodity trader on the F.B.I.’s “Ten Most Wanted” list for crimes spanning from tax evasion to illegal trading with Iran during the American hostage crisis. The pardon was controversial because it was so overtly political—Rich’s ex-wife, a major Democratic Party donor, along with a powerful coterie of Israeli officials, had lobbied hard for it—and Clinton himself came to regret the pardon for the damage it did to his reputation.

Rank cronyism and political expediency are again on display in President Donald Trump’s recent pardon of Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County. Arpaio was one of Trump’s earliest and most outspoken political supporters, and a stalwart proponent of the false “birther” claim, which Trump rode to political prominence. Trump announced the likely pardon of Arpaio at the most inappropriate possible venue—a raucous Arizona political rally paid for by his 2020 reĆ«lection campaign. And the pardon was granted hours before a Category 4 hurricane was projected to hit the coast of Texas and cause “catastrophic and life-threatening” flooding. But the Arpaio pardon accelerates Trump’s assault on the rule of law and legal norms far beyond anything that could be said of Clinton’s pardon of Rich.

Fully appreciating what Trump has wrought, constitutionally speaking, requires recognizing that the U.S. executive branch is an enormous and complex machine. It dwarfs the other two branches, with over two million civilian employees. And since Watergate and the release, in 1976, of the Church Committee report, which detailed wider executive-branch abuses, this vast federal bureaucracy has increasingly accreted an intricate array of wheels and pulleys designed to insure that the President and his people not only enforce legal authorities but also abide by them. The Arpaio pardon is a perfect conflagration of all of the ways that Trump has systematically undermined these authorities over the course of his first seven months in office. It is nothing less than a multipronged attack on the executive branch’s own commitment to the rule of law.



This point has been overshadowed somewhat by Arpaio’s track record of brutal civil-rights violations, a subject that has justifiably attracted great public scrutiny. Arpaio’s crime was willfully defying a court’s attempt to halt some of these violations—specifically, his contempt of a federal court order that he stop racially profiling and detaining Latinos on nothing more than his suspicion of their immigration status. As a result, criticism of Trump’s pardon for encouraging civil-rights abuses has gone hand-in-hand with extensive commentary on how it undermines judicial authority. Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School, argued last week that, because “the only legally binding check on law enforcement is the authority of the judiciary to say what the law is,” a President who blocks the courts from sanctioning a sheriff who intentionally defies the law “is breaking the basic structure of the legal order.”



The Arpaio Pardon Dangerously Accelerates Trump’s Assault on the Rule of Law | The New Yorker

In San Antonio, ICE Leaves 50 Women And Children Stranded As Hurricane Approaches | The Intellectualist

"IN SAN ANTONIO, ICE LEAVES 50 WOMEN AND CHILDREN STRANDED AS HURRICANE APPROACHES THE INTELLECTUALIST

THE INTELLECTUALIST



POSTED ON AUGUST 27, 2017, 11:24 AM 20 SECS



In San Antonio, Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents left behind 50 women and children at a bus station after bus service was canceled due to Hurricane Harvey according to Buzzfeed news.



Federal immigration authorities left about 50 immigrant women and children, most of them asylum-seekers from Central America, stranded at a downtown San Antonio bus station after service was canceled Friday due to Hurricane Harvey.



Barbie Hurtado, a community organizer with RAICES, a nonprofit that provides legal aid to immigrant families, said Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who represents San Antonio, had called immigration enforcement officials the day before to tell them not to drop families off.



“Knowing that, they just dropped them off,” Hurtado said. “These are women and children who have been released from family detention with no money, cell phones, and don’t speak English.”



US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) did not immediately return a request for comment."



In San Antonio, ICE Leaves 50 Women And Children Stranded As Hurricane Approaches | The Intellectualist

Racist Trump's ICE Leaves 50 Stranded Immigrant Women & Children as Hurricane Harvey Onslaught Began


Donald Trump Sends Message To Robert Mueller Targets With Joe Arpaio Par...

Trump sends message to Mueller targets with Arpaio pardon Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney, talks with Ari Melber about how people like Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn might interpret Donald Trump's pardon of Joe Arpaio and how that could weaken Robert Mueller's leverage on them as witnesses against Trump - The Rachel Maddow Show on msnbc



The Rachel Maddow Show on msnbc – Latest News & Video

TrumpMustGo John Kelly is hopeless. Trump is still Trump


Rep Gallego: Trump is a racist and he's pardoning another racist | MSNBC

Rep Gallego: Trump is a racist and he's pardoning another racist | MSNBC: ""

Tillerson: Trump ‘speaks for himself’ on American values | MSNBC

Tillerson: Trump ‘speaks for himself’ on American values | MSNBC: ""

A Guide to Joe Arpaio, the Longtime Sheriff Who Escaped Strife - The New York Times





"True evil me, Arpaio and Ttump



"During his six terms as sheriff, he led his team of deputies in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, on a crusade against illegal immigration, turning himself into a nationally known figure — and a political lightning rod. It culminated in a lost election last year and conviction for criminal contempt in July.



Mr. Arpaio has been in the headlines for decades, and he grabbed another Friday when President Trump pardoned him — to the sound of outraged Democrats (and muted Republicans).



Here is a guide to The New York Times’s coverage of Mr. Arpaio’s career.





Sheriff Arpaio signed autographs at a 2009 rally sponsored by the Tea Party in Tempe, Ariz. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Photo by: Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Easing into office

The Times first mentioned Mr. Arpaio in 1994, two years after he became sheriff of Maricopa County. The article was about coffee.



It said the sheriff, having already banned cigarettes and sex magazines in prison, was nixing coffee, too, in order to cut costs — and to make sure inmates could not use the hot drink as a weapon.



The Times’s next article about Mr. Arpaio, in 1995, said he stayed awake at night thinking of ways to make headlines, and had already become one of the most popular figures in Arizona.



He would be re-elected five times.



Sheriff Arpaio speaking with members of what is believed to be the first chain gang of female inmates in 1996. Credit Jeff Topping/Reuters

Photo by: Jeff Topping/Reuters

An American lightning rod

During Mr. Arpaio’s tenure, inmates were sometimes forced to stay in outdoor tents under the hot sun, wear pink underwear or work on chain gangs. (The sheriff is widely believed to have started the nation’s first female chain gang in 1996.) His deputies have been accused of racist abuse, needless intimidation and fatal mistreatment of prisoners.



Mr. Arpaio seemed to revel in the spotlight as his tactics drew greater attention, and he often accused opponents of attacking him for political gain.



He was a strident critic of President Barack Obama and a leading proponent of the theory that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States. In 2012, he sent a posse to Hawaii to check on the president’s birth certificate.



The sheriff was an early supporter of Mr. Trump, giving his endorsement to the candidate in January 2016.



Sheriff Arpaio on a monitor at a 2012 news conference that raised questions about President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate. Credit Joshua Lott/Reuters

Photo by: Joshua Lott/Reuters

Wrong side of the law?

Mr. Arpaio has been embroiled in legal troubles for at least a decade. Some highlights:



In 2007, two owners of The Phoenix New Times, a consistently fierce critic of the sheriff, were arrested in their homes after the newspaper reported on a county subpoena seeking readers’ internet browsing records. The charges were dropped, and the paper’s owners won millions in a settlement after suing the sheriff’s office.



In 2011, the Justice Department accused Mr. Arpaio of leading an office with “a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos,” who were unfairly targeted by immigration raids and traffic stops in Maricopa County. It tried to reach a settlement to address the violations before resorting to a lawsuit in 2012.



A federal judge ruled in 2013 that the sheriff and his deputies had violated the constitutional rights of Latinos. An independent monitor was ordered to ensure that the sheriff’s office would end biased practices.





Sheriff Arpaio defended himself against the Justice Department in a news conference at his Phoenix office in 2011. Credit Joshua Lott for The New York Times

Photo by: Joshua Lott for The New York Times

But in 2014, the same judge said his order had been mocked and defied. He made similar comments in 2016, when he referred Mr. Arpaio for prosecution for criminal contempt.



Months later, Mr. Arpaio lost his sheriff’s seat in the same Nov. 8 election that gave Mr. Trump the presidency.



A conviction, a pardon

Mr. Arpaio was convicted in July, with sentencing scheduled for October. Mr. Arpaio, who had repeatedly insisted that his office was operating legally, was expected to appeal.



He ultimately did not have to.



Mr. Trump issued a pardon for Mr. Arpaio on Friday in a move that was unconventional, but almost certainly legal.



The two men exchanged laudatory tweets that evening, and Mr. Arpaio posted a link to a website where supporters could donate toward his legal fees.





A Guide to Joe Arpaio, the Longtime Sheriff Who Escaped Strife - The New York Times

Trump Asked Top Aides Months Ago if Arpaio Case Could Be Dropped, Officials Say - The New York Times





"Months before President Trump issued his Friday-night pardon of Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff, the president asked his attorney general and White House counsel whether the case could be dropped altogether, according to four administration officials familiar with the discussion.



During a wide-ranging meeting, the officials said, Mr. Trump asked both Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, and Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, what the options were for helping Mr. Arpaio, a longtime supporter who had been charged with defying a court order directing him to stop detaining people solely on the suspicion that they were undocumented immigrants.



Mr. McGahn and Mr. Sessions both promptly told the president that the case could not be dropped and the charges wiped away, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about Mr. Trump’s private conversations. Mr. Trump then asked about other options, including his power to pardon Mr. Arpaio if he was convicted. He was told he had broad pardon powers, and was satisfied with that answer, the officials said. Mr. Arpaio was ultimately convicted last month, and Mr. Trump pardoned him before he was sentenced.



Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, appeared to acknowledge that a conversation had taken place, saying in a statement: “It’s only natural the president would have a discussion with administration lawyers about legal matters. This case would be no different.” A spokesman for the Justice Department declined to comment about the exchange, which was first reported by The Washington Post.



Since taking office, Mr. Trump has often been indifferent to the notion of separation of powers: He has railed against a congressional leader over an inquiry into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian officials, and he has said he dismissed the head of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, over his handling of a related investigation.



But his pardon of Mr. Arpaio, 85, who became a lightning rod for controversy over his anti-immigrant views and accusations that he racially profiled Latinos, has prompted a fresh round of criticism, even from one of the top members of his own party.



On Saturday, the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, called the pardon an abuse of power that sent a dangerous signal.



Mr. Ryan “does not agree with this decision,” a spokesman, Doug Andres, said in a statement. “Law enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States. We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon.”



Mr. Trump ran on a message of curtailing immigration, and his message dovetailed with Mr. Arpaio’s. Republicans who were caught by surprise by Mr. Trump’s victory have been grappling with how to stand up against racism while making sure they do not alienate the older, whiter demographic of the party’s base.



Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said that the president’s pardon “undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law, as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his action.” The state’s other Republican senator, Jeff Flake, who has been attacked by Mr. Trump and who is facing a primary challenge, was more muted.



“Regarding the Arpaio pardon, I would have preferred that the President honor the judicial process and let it take its course,” Mr. Flake wrote on Twitter."





Trump Asked Top Aides Months Ago if Arpaio Case Could Be Dropped, Officials Say - The New York Times

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Mayweather Sees a Racial Double Standard in Megafight vs. McGregor - The New York Times





"I remember the stupidity surrounding the 1982 Holmes/Cooney fight like it was yesterday. I laughed at it then I refuse to pay attention to the current version of this this peculiar American soap opera."



Mayweather Sees a Racial Double Standard in Megafight vs. McGregor - The New York Times

Why I’m Not Returning My Liberty University Diploma - The New York Times





"Liberty University founded by racist evangelical preacher Jerry Falwell is lead by his son who carries on his father's bigotry.



"A number of Liberty University alumni have vowed to return their diplomas, disgusted that the college president, Jerry Falwell Jr., praised President Trump’s response to the Charlottesville, Va., tragedy. I understand the feelings behind their impulse; I, too, am completely appalled by Mr. Falwell’s statements and continued support of the president.



But I received both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Liberty, and I can say with confidence that Jerry Falwell Jr.’s disappointing stances do not reflect the guiding ethics of the school. He is an outward-facing figurehead, with minimal involvement with the student body. Returning my diploma would be giving him more influence over Liberty’s future than he deserves.



It is incredibly frustrating for many students and alumni to see someone who positions himself as the voice of the school consistently undermine its values. Following in the footsteps of his father, who founded Liberty University and then became a leading voice in the Moral Majority, Jerry Falwell Jr. has become deeply enmeshed in politics.



My time at Liberty, however, was not defined by right-wing conservatism or heated political fervor but by a thoughtful, nuanced education and the transformative relationships I built with professors and fellow students. Liberty students are not a uniform coalition of people who share the same views; we learn to think deeply, just like other college kids.



But what sets Liberty apart is the sense of community that is possible there. As we come into our own beliefs on issues like worship, gender and sexuality, and even the existence of God, it’s within a safety net of teachers and roommates and friends who genuinely support the flourishing and growth of each other — regardless of the conclusions each person reaches. And that is irreplaceable.



My freshman year, my first class was with an English professor who became as much of a maternal figure to me as an educational mentor. I can’t count the number of hours I spent talking with her about everything from Southern literature to my destructive patterns in romantic relationships, all while she lovingly supplied me with Diet Dr Peppers and made enough jokes at my expense to keep it light. Where my family or finances fell short, she would fill in the gaps.



And she wasn’t the only supportive figure in my academic community: In the English department alone, I had three other professors I could run to at a moment’s notice, cry to without embarrassment and freely ask for advice."





Why I’m Not Returning My Liberty University Diploma - The New York Times

Trump pardons Joe Arpaio, former sheriff convicted in racial profiling case | US news | The Guardian





"n Tuesday night, Donald Trump all but promised he would pardon disgraced Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt three weeks ago. “I won’t do it tonight,” he said. “But Sheriff Joe can feel good.” CNN is now reporting the White House has prepared the paperwork for Trump’s signature.



As many have warned, pardoning Arpaio – famous for racially profiling Latinos in Maricopa County – would be an endorsement of racism. There’s another reason the possibility of a pardon should trouble us: it reflects Trump’s deep disdain for the judiciary and its role in our system of checks and balances.



For years, Arpaio pursued a discriminatory policy of stopping and holding people for whom there was no reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. A federal court ordered him to stop in 2011, but he continued to detain people unlawfully for another 17 months.



Last month, a different federal judge found Arpaio guilty of willfully defying the court order – a criminal charge that was fairly easy to establish, given that Arpaio repeatedly bragged to national media outlets: “I’m not going to give it up” and “nothing has changed.” In short, Arpaio’s disregard for the law and the court’s order was flagrant and sustained.




Trump pardons Joe Arpaio, former sheriff convicted in racial profiling case | US news | The Guardian

President Trump’s flagrant Friday night news dump - The Washington Post

"It's Friday night. A Category 4 hurricane is about to slam the Texas coastline, and President Trump just directed the Pentagon to ban transgender people from joining the military and pardoned a politically radioactive convicted former sheriff. News also broke that one of his more controversial advisers, Sebastian Gorka, is leaving the White House.



This isn't your average sleepy Friday news dump — a trick newsmakers use to bury unpopular news by releasing it when most people aren't reading news. This is a flagrant attempt to hide a series of politically fraught (but base-pleasing) moves under the cover of an August Friday night hurricane.



In other words, it's transparent Trump is doing controversial things he knows are controversial, and he and the White House would prefer the public and the media not focus on it.



Of course, the irony for Trump is the exact opposite is happening. In so obviously trying to downplay this news, he's framing it in neon flashing signs.



The contrast of a president making not one but two major decisions — and suffering more White House staffing turmoil — as the strongest hurricane to hit the United States in more than a decade is making landfall is stark. Oh, and North Korea just fired short-range missiles. Oh, and NBC News reports special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team have issued subpoenas for officials with ties to former campaign chairman Paul Manafort to testify to a grand jury."



President Trump’s flagrant Friday night news dump - The Washington Post

If he’ll pardon Arpaio, why wouldn’t Trump pardon those who ignore Robert Mueller? - The Washington Post




If he’ll pardon Arpaio, why wouldn’t Trump pardon those who ignore Robert Mueller? - The Washington Post

A Pardon for Arpaio Would Put Trump in Uncharted Territory - The New York Times





"This is uncharted territory. Yes, on its face the Constitution’s pardon power would seem unlimited. And past presidents have used it with varying degrees of wisdom, at times in ways that would seem to clash with the courts’ ability to render justice. But the Arpaio case is different: The sheriff was convicted of violating constitutional rights, in defiance of a court order involving racial profiling. Should the president indicate that he does not think Mr. Arpaio should be punished for that, he would signal that governmental agents who violate judicial injunctions are likely to be pardoned, even though their behavior violated constitutional rights, when their illegal actions are consistent with presidential policies.



Many legal scholars argue that the only possible redress is impeachment — itself a politicized, drawn-out process. But there may be another route. If the pardon is challenged in court, we may discover that there are, in fact, limits to the president’s pardon power after all.



The only effective means courts have to prevent or stop governmental violations of constitutional rights is through injunctions. But injunctions have teeth only when they have the potential of a contempt conviction behind them. In other words, in issuing an injunction, a court is saying, “stop doing that or else.” The “or else” is a criminal conviction for contempt, leading to a fine, imprisonment or both. Absent the “or else,” the injunction is all but meaningless.



But if the president signals to government agents that there exists the likelihood of a pardon when they violate a judicial injunction that blocks his policies, he can all too easily circumvent the only effective means of enforcing constitutional restrictions on his behavior. Indeed, the president could even secretly promise a pardon to agents if they undertake illegal activity he desires.



In American constitutional democracy, democratic choices are limited by restraints imposed by the Constitution. The due process clause of the Fifth Amendment dictates that neither life nor liberty nor property may be deprived absent “due process,” which the Supreme Court construes to require adjudication by a neutral judge.



In short, under the Constitution one cannot be deprived of liberty without a court ruling upon the legality of the detention. The power of courts to restrain government officers from depriving citizens of liberty absent judicial process is the only meaningful way courts have to enforce important constitutional protections. But if the president can employ the pardon power to circumvent constitutional protections of liberty, there is very little left of the constitutional checks on presidential power.



I am not suggesting that the pardon power itself provides for a due process exception. To the contrary, on its face the pardon power appears virtually unlimited. But as a principle of constitutional law, anything in the body of the Constitution inconsistent with the directive of an amendment is necessarily pre-empted or modified by that amendment. If a particular exercise of the pardon power leads to a violation of the due process clause, the pardon power must be construed to prevent such a violation.



I admit that this is a novel theory. There’s no Supreme Court decision, at least that I know of, that deals specifically with the extent to which the president may employ his pardon power in this way.



But if the president can immunize his agents in this manner, the courts will effectively lose any meaningful authority to protect constitutional rights against invasion by the executive branch. This is surely not the result contemplated by those who drafted and ratified the Fifth Amendment, and surely not the result dictated by precepts of constitutional democracy. All that would remain to the courts by way of enforcement would be the possibility of civil damage awards, hardly an effective means of stopping or deterring invasions of the right to liberty.



Anyone who has read the Federalist Papers knows how obsessed the framers were with the need to prevent tyranny. They were all too aware of the sad fate of all the republics that had preceded ours — rapid degeneration into tyranny. One of the most effective means of preventing tyranny was the vesting of the power of judicial review in a court system insulated from direct political pressures. Subsequent enactment of the Bill of Rights, which included the Fifth Amendment and its due process clause, only strengthened the nation’s resolve to prevent tyranny.



It has long been recognized that the greatest threat of tyranny derives from the executive branch, where the commander in chief sits, overseeing not just the military but a vast and growing network of law enforcement and regulatory agencies. Indeed, the Articles of Confederation didn’t even provide for an executive, for fear of what dangerous power he might exercise.



While the Constitution, in contrast, recognizes the very practical need for an executive, that doesn’t mean its framers feared the growth of tyranny any less. The Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of neutral judicial process before deprivation of liberty cannot function with a weaponized pardon power that enables President Trump, or any president, to circumvent judicial protections of constitutional rights."



A Pardon for Arpaio Would Put Trump in Uncharted Territory - The New York Times

Gerrymandering, Voter ID, Presidential Pardons | Overtime with Bill Mahe...

Friday, August 25, 2017

Samsung heir sentenced to 5 years in prison for bribery | Android Central

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 "One of Samsung's executives has been sentenced to five years in prison following a bribery scandal.

Lee Jae-yong, the heir to ownership of Samsung, has been sentenced to five years in prison following a bribery scandal involving Samsung and former South Korean President Park Geun-hye...

… The New York Times reports that Lee and four other Samsung executives paid $6.4 million in bribes to the Park administration. The Samsung conglomerate controls one-fifth of the South Korean economy and a large portion of its gross domestic product, and the bribes were designed to secure political backing for a merger between Samsung C&T Corp and Cheil Industries Inc. The Samsung scandal contributed to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.(Via.). 

Samsung heir sentenced to 5 years in prison for bribery | Android Central:

Trump Pardons Sheriff Joe Arpaio - The New York Times.- #ImpeachTruimp. He is a law breaking racist, misogynist and thug and obviously he is an antisemite which he tries to hide. Vote against every Republican until he is gone. It is the only way. #ResistanceIsNotFutile.

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Trump Pardons Sheriff Joe Arpaio - The New York Times: ""

(Via.)