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Daily Kos Sun, 24 May 2015 23:03:35 GMT  

American reality distorted by media coverage and police response
In the last few days America witnessed something many have been stating for decades. The media coverage and interpretation of events is demonstrably race based.

I walked into my home from after blogging for five hours at Starbucks. My daughter was in the couch with her face pasted on her Twitter feed on her phone.

"Dad, what is going on at Twin Peaks?” She asked.

"I don't know?" I replied.

"Nine people got killed in Waco," she said. "There are rival biker gangs shooting and stabbing each other and shooting at police."

"Really?" I replied. "Turn on CNN."

We turned on CNN and they were doing regular programming. We turned to Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC. They were all doing regular programming on a slow news day.

Everyone knows that especially on a slow news day the most mundane gets covered as breaking news. So what happened here? Nine human beings were killed, murdered in a gang fight. Gangs were reportedly shooting at the police. It was mayhem. It was extremely violent behavior.

The riots in Ferguson had many casualities. The riots in Baltimore had many casualties. There was incessant coverage as breaking news. But it was the display of those inner city people acting violently that made the news, a disparity I discuss more below the fold.


Pensito Review Sun, 24 May 2015 23:03:35 GMT  

Who Needs Political Reporters?

The 2016 election may be the first one in which the political press is totally sidelined. Politicians now have a professional grasp of social media — Barack Obama just got his third Twitter account — and they don’t need media middlemen to communicate with voters. ... What’s more, no journalist has the kind of celebrity and cultural credibility (as Tim Russert used to have) that once made interviews mandatory for aspiring presidents.

— Ryan Cooper, in the Week.

The 2016 election may be the first one in which the political press is totally sidelined. Politicians now have a professional grasp of social media — Barack Obama just got his third Twitter account — and they don’t need media middlemen to communicate with voters. … What’s more, no journalist has the kind of celebrity and cultural credibility (as Tim Russert used to have) that once made interviews mandatory for aspiring presidents.

— Ryan Cooper, in the Week.


http://blogs.ajc.com/mike-luckovich/feed/ Sun, 24 May 2015 23:03:35 GMT  


ThinkProgress Sun, 24 May 2015 23:03:36 GMT  

Ohio Governor After Cop Acquitted: ‘The People Of Cleveland Should Be Proud’

"Well, look, the verdict is the verdict," Kasich said. "What I will say is that I think the people of Cleveland handled this, I mean, they should be so proud of themselves and we should look at Cleveland as a model."

The post Ohio Governor After Cop Acquitted: ‘The People Of Cleveland Should Be Proud’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Cleveland Police Shooting

CREDIT: AP

“[T]he people of Cleveland should be proud of what’s been happening here in the last 24 hours,” Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) told ABC News on Sunday. Seventy-one people were arrested in the city when protests broke out following the acquittal of a white police officer in the shooting deaths of two unarmed black people in 2012.

When asked if he believed justice was served by the verdict, Kasich told ABC’s Jonathan Karl, “Well, look, the verdict is the verdict, John. What I will say is that I think the people of Cleveland handled this, I mean, they should be so proud of themselves and we should look at Cleveland as a model.”

Protests in Cleveland did not result in the looting and vandalism that occurred at the height of outrage over police brutality in Ferguson and Baltimore. While Cleveland police readied themselves for protests to turn violent, reports described the scene as largely peaceful and organized. ‘


Nonetheless, the tensions between police and protesters remained evident, as activists become increasingly exasperated with failures to hold police accountable in the months after two other prominent deaths involving Cleveland police — that of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, and mentally ill woman Tanisha Anderson.



Kasich referred to new data collection and oversight mechanisms to monitor police miscommunication and mishandling that contributed to the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in November.

“Fortunately,” he said, “We started this months ago. We’re the only task force on police in the community that I’m aware of in the country. And it’s serving us well.” When asked about the fatal shooting of Tamir Rice, he said only that he’s hoping for a resolution “sooner than later.”

Cleveland’s Police Chief Calvin D. Williams said after the verdict, “While the first amendment rights of those wishing to lawfully express their thoughts and views will be supported by the Division of Police, any unlawful behavior, acts of violence or destruction of property, will not be tolerated.”




As ThinkProgress reported, Cuyahoga Country Judge John O’Donnell, who presided over the case, said he did not have enough certainty that Cleveland Police Officer Michael Brelo killed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, after he mounted the hood of their car and fired 15 shots through its windshield:

In his ruling Saturday morning, O’Donnell reasoned that he couldn’t find beyond a reasonable doubt that the deaths of Russell and Williams were caused by Brelo’s gunshots, since some of the 12 other officers who fired gunshots could have contributed to their deaths. He also said the actions of all of the officers were justified by their reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm at the time, even though the officers later learned that neither Russell nor Williams had a gun in their car as they fled from officers.

The car driven by Timothy Russell after it was pummeled with 137 bullets.

The car driven by Timothy Russell after it was pummeled with 137 bullets.

CREDIT: AP

“I’m just so mad we never get justice from any of the police killings,” Alicia Kirkman, a Cleveland resident who said she joined a march which converged on the site of Tamir Rice’s death.

Kirkman told the Associated Press that she joined the march in honor of her son who was killed in a police shooting eight years ago. She settled with the city after her son’s death but no charges were filed.



The post Ohio Governor After Cop Acquitted: ‘The People Of Cleveland Should Be Proud’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Qatar Won’t Let Nepalese World Cup Workers Go Home For Earthquake Funerals

Qatar won't allow Nepalese workers to return home for funerals of earthquake victims, according to the Nepal government.

The post Qatar Won’t Let Nepalese World Cup Workers Go Home For Earthquake Funerals appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Workers on a construction site of one of Qatar's World Cup stadiums.

Workers on a construction site of one of Qatar’s World Cup stadiums.

CREDIT: (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

Nepal’s labor minister this week blasted the government of Qatar for not letting Nepalese migrant workers return home for funerals of those who died in the earthquake that rocked the country in late April. Qatar has allowed some workers to return to Nepal briefly, but has denied that opportunity to those working on construction projects related to the 2022 World Cup, The Guardian reported.

“After the earthquake of 25 April, we requested all companies in Qatar to give their Nepalese workers special leave and pay for their air fare home,” Tek Bahadur Gurung, the Nepal labor minister, said. “While workers in some sectors of the economy have been given this, those on World Cup construction sites are not being allowed to leave because of the pressure to complete projects on time.

“They have lost relatives and their homes and are enduring very difficult conditions in Qatar. This is adding to their suffering.”

The Qatari government said that it had given more than 500 workers permission to return to Nepal temporarily (under the country’s labor system, workers cannot leave Qatar without permission from their employers or the government), but Gurung countered that there are “far more than 500 Nepalese working on different World Cup construction sites.”

Nepalese migrant workers make up a significant portion of Qatar’s labor force and have suffered some of the worst consequences of the country’s restrictive labor system, which international organizations have likened to “modern slavery.” A 2014 report from the International Trade Union Confederation estimated that 4,000 migrant workers could die as part of the World Cup construction efforts; in December, The Guardian revealed government documents showing that Nepalese workers died at a rate of one every two days last year.

Gurung said the Nepal government wants to work with “the Qatari government and bodies like FIFA,” international soccer’s governing body, to improve working conditions for laborers. FIFA president Sepp Blatter, however, has largely remained silent on the problems facing the nation’s migrant workers since it awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Blatter has previously said that businesses in Qatar “are responsible for their workers and not FIFA.” He has also lauded the country for producing “better conditions” for workers.

But despite announcing reforms to its labor system last year, Qatar has made little progress in actually instituting them, according to international labor and human rights groups. One recent estimate showed that 62 workers would die for each World Cup game played in the country.

Amid pressure from activists, Coca-Cola, Visa, and Adidas, three of FIFA’s biggest corporate sponsors, last week issued statements saying that they were concerned about working conditions in Qatar. None, however, has suggested that its sponsorship would be affected in the absence of major reforms before the World Cup.

The post Qatar Won’t Let Nepalese World Cup Workers Go Home For Earthquake Funerals appeared first on ThinkProgress.

ICE Agent Allegedly Probed U.S. Citizen Child About ‘Inappropriate Touching’ During Surprise Visit

"They cut off his fingernails to take his fingerprints," an 11-year-old recounted when immigration agents entered her home.

The post ICE Agent Allegedly Probed U.S. Citizen Child About ‘Inappropriate Touching’ During Surprise Visit appeared first on ThinkProgress.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Over the past two weeks, at least three immigrant families in the Latino-heavy Washington neighborhood of Columbia Heights stated that they received disturbing, early-morning home visits from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

One 11-year-old child, a U.S. citizen, said she felt uncomfortable when an immigration agent reportedly asked if she had been inappropriately touched and made her 17-year-old brother take his shirt off to inquire about his tattoos. A grandmother with legal status said that agents submitted her and her family to photographs, fingerprint scans, and eye scans without their permission. Another individual recently told CARECEN that her family had received an early morning visit from immigration agents.

From these visits, the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), an immigration advocacy and resource center, reported that at least one legal immigrant was handcuffed before being released to go to work. Authorities reportedly refused to return his identification card. Another undocumented immigrant was taken and is now in an immigration detention center in Virginia.

CARECEN has since denounced the encounters as a “raid” because of the tactics used to gain entry into apartments that later resulted in the apprehension of suspected undocumented immigrants.

Unannounced home visits by immigration authorities are the stuff of nightmares for undocumented individuals whose fear of deportation is rooted in reality. Over the years, immigration crackdowns to root out suspected undocumented immigrants have happened with some frequency. It’s happened in the form of a costly procession of too many agents descending on a worksite, at homes across the country, restaurants, and flea markets among other locations.

In March, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) boasted that it had arrested more than 2,000 convicted criminal immigrants in a week-long nationwide raid. Advocates have since criticized the raid because they don’t believe it comports with President Barack Obama’s policy directives of prioritizing immigrants convicted of aggravated felonies and some misdemeanor crimes.

ThinkProgress spoke with two sets of Columbia Heights residents who received visits from immigration agents at their homes on an early morning in May. Both sets of residents described agents wearing blue uniforms with the word “POLICE” across their shirts and an arm badge that read, “Immigration and Customs Enforcement” (ICE). Residents also stated that agents identified themselves as “police” and carried a red folder containing photographs of criminal immigrants.

‘What’s going to happen the next time they see us alone?’

Eleven-year-old Juliana Amaya was sleeping in the living room when she woke up to “soft knocking” at her front door at 6 a.m. “Who is it?” Juliana asked, emphasizing to ThinkProgress that as a child, she wouldn’t open the door without asking first.

“Police.”

When Juliana opened her door, a man wearing a blue uniform asked why she, and not an adult, opened the door. Juliana responded that her mother was on the way home from the graveyard shift, her dad had just left for work, and that her 17-year-old brother was in his bedroom sleeping.

“Go get your brother,” an agent told her, propping open the door. Juliana said that she rushed to her brother’s bedroom to wake him. When agents saw him, one allegedly accused him of “smoking.” Juliana recounted that her brother was asked to take his shirt off to explain his tattoos, “they cut off his fingernails to take his fingerprints,” and “kept checking a red folder every time we answered a question.”

Juliana Amaya (right) and her mother Maria Gonzalez (left)

Juliana Amaya (right) and her mother Maria Gonzalez (left)

CREDIT: Esther Yu-Hsi Lee

Juliana said that she went to the kitchen to cry, but an agent followed her. “I’m scared [that] you’re going to separate me from my mom, my dad, or my family.” He “[took] ahold of me” and whispered, “has your dad or brother ever touched you?” Juliana said that she felt “uncomfortable” by the question and responded, “No, why would they touch me if they care about me and they’re my family? If they had touched me, I would have told my mom or someone.”

Agents questioned Juliana about a sister who had come across the border in 2007 and had been detained by immigration agents at the time. Juliana’s mother, Maria Gonzalez, explained that the daughter had an order of deportation, but that she didn’t live with them.

Agents left five minutes before Gonzalez walked back from her job to her two startled, crying children.

“I can’t trust police anymore,” Juliana said, reflecting on how she’s fared since the raid. “They even said that we’re under 18. They couldn’t make my brother take off his shirt; they didn’t have the right to do that. If there’s not an adult with me, they can’t just say that they’re going to take him out. I can’t trust immigration [because] I’m scared [that] my mom and my dad don’t have papers. I’m scared that it’ll be a problem if I’m left alone.”

“Sometimes I have nightmares, but every time I tell my mom that I’m scared they’re going to come again. Can Dad stay a little later? But my mom says that he can’t because he needs to go to work. We have to have a roof over our top [sic] and I’m like, ‘okay, every time I go to sleep, they’re going to come.’ What’s going to happen the next time they see us alone? Do I open the door? What do I do? I’m just scared.”

‘He took me by the hand and took my fingerprints on a little machine.’

Maria Isabel Guevara

Maria Isabel Guevara

CREDIT: Esther Yu-Hsi Lee

When immigration agents knocked and announced themselves as “police” on the other side of the door, Maria Isabel Guevara thought it was “really strange for the police to come to our house” at such an early time of day. She recounted, “I figured we didn’t do anything wrong. … I let them in because they kept saying that they needed to talk to us.”

Agents asked to speak with all members present so with the exception of the two small children under the age of two still sleeping, Guevara woke up six other family members, who came out to the living room. Two agents speaking in Spanish asked for identification from all seven residents.

“He took me by the hand and took my fingerprints on a little machine — it’s like a telephone, but bigger and then the Hispanic took a camera and put it to my face to take pictures,” Guevara said. She explained that with the exception of her son-in-law who’s undocumented, everyone else has Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a temporary immigration status that allows beneficiaries to obtain legal work authorization but does not grant permanent resident status (green card). “They didn’t get our permission. We were all afraid and scared because they said they came to talk to us, but they came to do something else instead.”

“My son asked, ‘why are you doing this? Are you immigration or the police?'” Guevara said. “They said, ‘we’re both.'”

After agents finished the fingerprinting and eye scanning process, they pulled out a red folder and asked everyone if they knew the person in the photo. One agent joked with Guevara if she needed glasses to see better, “but I really didn’t know the person.” An agent followed Guevara’s daughter to a bedroom where her husband was sleeping. When he was woken up, Guevara said that agents handcuffed him and later took him to a detention center in Virginia.

“Because my son-in-law didn’t have a warrant for him, wasn’t convicted, and didn’t have an order of deportation, I don’t know why they came,” Guevara said.

“My daughter is very sad and depressed,” Guevara added. “[My son-in-law] has two small children that still don’t know what’s going on,” Guevara said, before cooing over her three grandchildren between the ages of 11 months (“he’s not walking yet”) and 13-years-old Brandon (“he’s very quiet and doesn’t react”).

“I’m really afraid now,” Guevara said. “We trust the authorities because if something bad happens, they’re who we turn to. But if we lose that, then we’re lost. They really have to tell the truth, stating that ‘we’re here looking for two individuals’ and not lie to us and hide these things. They should tell the truth.”

Fostering Distrust

The D.C. Council approved a bill in 2012 to restrict the city police department from holding suspected undocumented immigrants in local law enforcement custody before transferring them over to federal immigration officials for possible deportation proceedings.

Confusing municipal police with immigration enforcement could seriously impact community safety. Abel Nunez, CARECEN’s Executive Director, indicated that immigration agents wearing shirts that read “police” erodes the trust that the Latino community place in the municipal police. “If our community members begin to equate municipal police with immigration officials, they would be more hesitant to talk to the police, to open doors for issues that aren’t related to immigration, but are just about public safety issues.”

Nunez said, “When there is confusion about which agency is coming to your door, it does in the long run, impact the community’s safety. For us, that’s a concern because what we have to tell our community is not to open their doors to the police unless they have a warrant. Unless they can show proof that they have the authority to enter given to them given by a judicial branch of government.”

“When this raid happened, we as an institution, are not questioning [ICE’s] right to enforce immigration policy,” Nunez said. “We may disagree on what that policy is, but we’re challenging how [immigration agents] gained entrance. According to the testimonies, we heard they gained entrance because [residents] heard the word, ‘police’ and in terms of the treatment, we’re concerned about it. Photographs and fingerprints were taken and if that’s the protocol, we need to know that. We’re concerned with how they operated once they were in the building. If they were looking for specific individuals, there was no need for that kind of treatment for folks.”

Nunez explained, “It goes back to the level of mistrust that this has in our community. It also breaks down the level of trust that the D.C. police built up with the Latino community. This happened to documented individuals. The people, who were undocumented, like that young man, was taken away. But everyone else had some sort of status, like TPS, that allows them to be legally in this country so they should be treated with the respect that they deserve.”

The post ICE Agent Allegedly Probed U.S. Citizen Child About ‘Inappropriate Touching’ During Surprise Visit appeared first on ThinkProgress.


PoliticusUSA Sun, 24 May 2015 23:03:36 GMT  

TLC Finally Gets It. Duggars (At Least For Now) No Longer Welcome On Their Airwaves
How this punk stayed out of juvenile detention up to age 21 (and perhaps well beyond as an adult) is a mystery. A young black kid, accused of the same aberrant behaviors, wouldn't see the sun for two decades at the very least.

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CNN Highlights How Fox News Is Brainwashing The Republican Party
The conservative author of a paper that concluded that Fox News is promoting a culture of self-brainwashing in the Republican Party, Bruce Bartlett, was featured on the only Sunday show that would discuss the damage that Fox News is doing to the Republican Party.

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John McCain Celebrates Memorial Day By Calling For More Americans To Die In The Middle East
Sen. John McCain celebrated Memorial Day weekend by going on CBS' Face The Nation and calling for Americans to be sent to die in a new war in the Middle East.

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Paul Krugman Sun, 24 May 2015 23:03:36 GMT  

A Conversation About Inequality and Atkinson
Bob Solow and I discuss the great man's work.
Time Zones, Columns, and Comments (Trivial)
It's not easy being global.
Regimes and Regressions (Wonkish)
This era is different.

Media Matters for America - Latest Items Sun, 24 May 2015 23:03:36 GMT  

On Reliable Sources , Bruce Bartlett Explains How Conservatives Are "Brainwashing" Themselves With Fox News And Other Right-Wing Media

From the May 24 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources:

BARTLETT: I think many conservatives live in a bubble where they watch only Fox News on television, they listen only to conservative talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, many of the same people. When they go on to the Internet, they look at only conservative websites like National Review, Newsmax, World Net Daily, and so they are completely in a universe in which they are hearing the same exact ideas, the same arguments, the same limited amount of data repeated over and over and over again, and that's brainwashing. 


Right Wing Watch Sun, 24 May 2015 23:03:36 GMT  

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/22/15

http://blog.buzzflash.com/rss.xml Sun, 24 May 2015 23:03:36 GMT  


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  • Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
  • Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
  • Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
  • Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.




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