Peace and Freedom Commentary
Actually, the last few presidential election years in America were rather boring. But this year, every politico we know is excited about someone or something or some issue that’s in the news. It’s the “Rumble in The Jungle” and “The Thrilla In Manila” all rolled into one.
We call it “Felony Vs Misogyny.”
A friend of ours just launched into a tirade while we were sipping coffee in Starbucks. He said if he was Donald Trump, he’d ratchet up the rhetoric even more.
“Chicago has become the Black on Black Murder Capitol of the World,” he proclaimed loudly. “It’s Barack Obama’s Home Town — and he thinks so little of the the poor African-Americans in America that he hasn’t lifted a finger or said a thing to save lives in Chicago. The Mayor is Obama’s best friend for God’s sake and he doesn’t seem to care if Black People Kill Other Black People.”
“If Obama really believed that Black Lives Matter — he would have visited his home town and asked for peace…”
“Obama has played golf 2,000 time longer than he’s helped African-Americans.”
“And you don’t help people with give-aways. You help people with good jobs!”
“Why in God’s Name is Apple the biggest employer in Ireland? Because Obama has made it impossible to have corporations make money in America, that’s why.”
“Then we have has-been loser quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He has decided he has no respect for the national anthem of the nation that made him a millionaire for playing a game. And he doesn’t even play it very well!”
“I didn’t even know he was black. I thought he was going for that tanned Roman Emperor look.”
“If I was Donald Trump, I’d kidnap Colin Kaepernick and fly him to Beijing or Hanoi and drop him off in a place that really has millions of oppressed people. I mean really oppressed. If you don’t salute when China plays their national anthem you go into ‘The Black Prisons’ where torture is used to teach obedience and compliance! He’ll beg them to stop — and swim the Pacific Ocean to get home to San Francisco and the Good Old U.S.A.”
“Trump’s going to have to ramp up his rhetoric if he wants to win. No more political correctness. He needs to torpedo Obama and all his ideas and start taking real hard hitting shots at Hillary Clinton. Those are the oppressors in America! They have most of us handcuffed by political correctness and unable to speak the truth. Throw the bums out.”
“If Hillary keeps going without saying one truthful thing yet this year, she doesn’t deserve our votes. She deserves to be in jail. And not with Huma Abedin.”
Chicago Mayor Emanuel Says Police Oversight Plan Keeps Control at City Hall
By Hal Dardick , Bill Ruthhart and Dan Hinkel
August 31, 2016
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday began pushing his plan to overhaul civilian oversight of the beleaguered Chicago Police Department, a proposal that ensures the mayor’s office will retain a significant measure of control in how cops are investigated and disciplined.
The long-in-the-works blueprint calls for disbanding the much-maligned and often-distrusted Independent Police Review Authority and replacing it with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Unlike its predecessor, the new agency would have more power to probe alleged police misconduct, ranging from officer-involved shootings to domestic incidents involving cops.
In addition, Emanuel wants to beef up scrutiny of the Police Department with a new deputy inspector general for public safety, a watchdog who would audit the new police accountability system and identify patterns and practices that violate constitutional rights.
“The end goal is to have an independent entity that has oversight to make sure that there’s integrity in the work that police are doing. There’s another set of eyes there,” Emanuel said during a Tuesday night appearance on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight.” The objective, the mayor said, is to rebuild Chicagoans’ trust in the Police Department, which he labeled “an essential foundational piece to public safety.”
Emanuel wants the City Council to pass the proposal within a month, a move that would allow the city to appear proactive even as the U.S. Justice Department continues its civil rights investigation into the Police Department following the emergence of the Laquan McDonald police shooting controversy in November.
While the mayor’s changes take away some authority from the Police Department’s internal affairs division and create some stronger safeguards for oversight, influence from the mayor’s office remains in at least four ways.
Emanuel’s plan ensures that his pick to clean up the soon-to-be vanquished IPRA, former federal prosecutor Sharon Fairley, will become the first head of COPA. And the ordinance doesn’t spell out how future agency directors will be chosen. Emanuel aides have indicated that job will be left to a civilian oversight board, but the mayor has yet to spell out who will pick the members, leaving the possibility that he will control most of its appointments.
The new police watchdog would be selected by the city’s inspector general — who is appointed by the mayor.
Thirdly, Emanuel’s plan does not include a guaranteed level of funding for the new civilian agency as many police accountability advocates have called for, opening the possibility that the mayor or aldermen could weaken the office’s power through budget cuts down the road.
Also not included in Emanuel’s plan: a provision to allow COPA to hire its own attorneys separate from the Emanuel-controlled city Law Department. Last week, Fairley recommended the new agency have the autonomy to hire its own lawyers, noting the Law Department also defends the mayor’s administration and cops who are sued for misconduct.
Ald. Leslie Hairston, 5th, who has drafted her own ordinance for revamping the city’s police accountability system, criticized Emanuel on two points: not including the citizen oversight board as part of the package and not guaranteeing a minimum level of funding for the new agency.
“Why do a half-baked job with no funding? That is hollow,” Hairston said. “If you’re going to change the relationship between the city — the police — and the citizens, you’ve got to come correct. You can’t do this piecemeal.”
Other aldermen were reluctant to comment before they had read the fine print. The Emanuel administration waited until shortly before 5:30 p.m. to unveil the ordinance, ensuring less time for initial public scrutiny. And in a flood-the-zone approach, the mayor’s office released the plan just hours after police Superintendent Eddie Johnson formally filed the paperwork to fire five officers involved in the Laquan McDonald police shooting case.
It is the McDonald case that has forced Emanuel to address the long-festering issue of excessive force and misconduct by Chicago’s cops.
The city’s ineffective police accountability system came under a harsh national spotlight late last year after a Cook County judge ordered Emanuel to release a police video that showed the fatal shooting of McDonald as he walked away from officers while holding a knife. Officer Jason Van Dyke wasn’t charged with murder for shooting the teenager 16 times until hours before Emanuel released the video, leading to widespread accusations of a City Hall coverup, weeks of street protests and calls for the mayor’s resignation.
As detailed in a recent Tribune investigation, IPRA has conducted slow, superficial investigations and almost always cleared police, even when physical evidence indicated misconduct. In the tiny fraction of allegations the agency has upheld, it frequently has recommended light punishment.
Emanuel’s plan aims to address that in part by giving the agency more investigative authority, including broader subpoena power.
Under the mayor’s plan, the agency’s authority to probe misconduct also would be expanded to include alleged Fourth Amendment violations, such as illegal searches and seizures, and alleged psychological coercion and intimidation of witnesses and suspects — all of which now fall under the purview of the Police Department’s bureau of internal affairs and not the civilian-run agency.
A City Council committee hearing on the plan is scheduled for Sept. 13, but Emanuel has backed off his initial proposal for a final vote the following day in the face of aldermanic pushback. Instead, that’s scheduled for Sept. 29.
Leading the council push are Ald. Ariel Reboyras, 30th, chair the public safety committee, and Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th, chair of the budget committee. Both led community hearings on police oversight in recent weeks.
But illustrative of the City Council leadership’s lack of independence from the mayor’s office, it was the Emanuel administration that issued a joint statement from Reboyras and Austin on the new ordinance. The two aldermen said they were “pleased to have been part of the process all along to implement real, concrete changes,” according to the mayor’s office.
The mayor’s Police Accountability Task Force, appointed in the wake of the McDonald video release, recommended the new police oversight agency have a guaranteed budget to make it more independent. That’s not in Emanuel’s plan, however.
Ald. Scott Waguespack, a frequent Emanuel critic, called the mayor’s ordinance “pretty decent” but suggested the city should fund the new agency “and don’t play games with the budget.”
The 32nd Ward alderman also said the new agency should be allowed to hire outside attorneys because the Law Department could be defending civil lawsuits involving the same cops who are being investigated by COPA.
Asked about that issue, Emanuel said he was “not going to litigate every little point here and negotiate publicly because I don’t think that’s true to the spirit of the way we worked.”
Left out of the ordinance is the politically challenging task of who serves on the citizen board that would select the future head of the police oversight agency. The panel is vital to establishing more trust between cops and residents, say Hairston and police accountability advocates who have pushed for far more public input on the creation of that board.
Emanuel would not answer specific questions Tuesday afternoon about the proposed community police oversight board — including whether the mayor’s office would get to appoint a majority of the members — except to say work will continue.
“You’re way ahead,” Emanuel said. “A lot of people thought that was too big of an issue and wanted to have hearings later. So we decided as it relates to the inspector general and the independent civilian body as it relates to investigations, should move forward. And that doesn’t mean we don’t continue to work on the other issue.”
As for COPA, Emanuel and aldermen have conveyed a sense of urgency in setting up the new agency, given that some of IPRA’s staff has been departing in the uncertain environment.
Fairley has acknowledged the agency’s deficiencies and enacted reforms aimed at strengthening investigations and stiffening disciplinary recommendations. In the past three months, IPRA has ruled more police shootings unjustified than it had in the prior nine years.
In a departure from past practice, the agency has extensively shared video and documents related to its investigations, recently posting video of a fatal police shooting within a few days.
But in a report this month, the agency said it struggled to close cases at the pace set in the past, in part because of staff members leaving after Emanuel announced IPRA’s demise.
The agency has 70 employees — well short of the 97 for which it has funding. It has 52 investigators; full capacity would be 79, spokeswoman Mia Sissac said.
In pushing for approval of his plan next month, Emanuel said he is trying to balance the concerns of the community and aldermen about ample time for review against the eroding staffing situation at IPRA.
“I want to be conscious of that equity against the equity that both the community, the public as a whole, and the police officers and the staff over at the accountability offices have certainty about their future, because they are losing staff who are not sure about that future,” Emanuel said. “And those are the people you’re going to rely on to do the investigations.”
Chicago Tribune’s John Byrne contributed.
Again, the Drudge Report is setting the standard for campaign coverage in 2016 — and that’s not a good thing
Some years back Washington Post reporters Mark Halperin, currently of Bloomberg News and MSNBC, and John Harris now editor in chief of Politico, wrote a book about political journalism called “The Way to Win: Clinton, Bush, Rove and How to Take the White House in 2008.” In it, they made a famous admission about how beltway journalism works in the digital age:
Matt Drudge rules our world . . . With the exception of the Associated Press, there is no outlet other than the Drudge Report whose dispatches instantly can command the attention and energies of the most established newspapers and television newscasts.
So many media elites check the Drudge Report consistently that a reporter is aware his bosses, his competitors, his sources, his friends on Wall Street, lobbyists, White House officials, congressional aides, cousins, and everyone who is anyone has seen it, too.
Mitt Romney’s former spokesman called him the political media’s assignment editor. And in 2012, on the day after the election, Halperin gave credit where credit is due:
Mark Halperin ✔ @MarkHalperin
When John Harris & I wrote “Drudge rules our world,” we were describing what IS, not what ought to be. Doubters already proven wrong today
12:48 PM – 6 Nov 2012
11 11 Retweets 3 3 likes
I had sort of assumed that Drudge’s star had faded a bit in the intervening years as fresher, sexier right-wing sites like Brietbart and The Blaze had emerged. But it turns out he’s doing better than ever:
For the first time, The Drudge Report moved into second place on Similar Web’s top U.S. Media Publisher rankings, placing just behind MSN.com with about 1.47 billion page view for the month of July. The Drudge Report’s traffic beat out the likes of news sites from Disney Media Networks (which includes ESPN.com and ABCNews.com), Yahoo, Google, Time Warner and Fox Entertainment Groups.
VIDEOPence says he has ‘Clinton controversy fatigue’
In an article last month called, The Man Who Could Have Stopped Donald Trump, Oliver Darcy of Business Insider noted his still dominant role:
Drudge was the top traffic referrer to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and other news outlets in 2015, according to a Vocativ report. The report said the site accounted for a staggering 52% of referral traffic to the Associated Press.
All those organizations are very well aware of the potential for clicks from a Drudge link and they know what kind of stories he wants to flog. The incentives to please him are obvious.
As we approach the last leg of the 2016 campaign it’s worth remembering Drudge’s original claim to fame:
Web Posted: 01/17/98 23:32:47 PST — NEWSWEEK KILLS STORY ON WHITE HOUSE INTERN
BLOCKBUSTER REPORT: 23-YEAR OLD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN, SEX RELATIONSHIP WITH PRESIDENT
The original post which went on to name various publications that were allegedly holding the item put journalists at the center of the story, and needless to say they were beyond excited. The rest, of course, is history. Drudge was fed news items for years by the media, which would often launder them through the foreign press and he would feature links with screaming headlines they could use to show “it’s out there.”
Today these stories are still generated in the British tabloid press but also at right-wing conspiracy sites and bigger operations like Breitbart. Recently, Drudge managed to widely disseminate the discredited story of Hillary Clinton’s alleged ill health by posting a picture from a fringe web-site showing Clinton slipping on the stairs some months before with this screaming headline:
2016: HILLARY CONQUERS THE STAIRS
2012: FALLS AT HOME, BLOOD CLOT
2011: FALLS BOARDING PLANE
2009: FALLS GOING TO WHITE HOUSE, BROKEN ELBOW
That story is now part of the campaign, with demands for her full medical records and the press watching her every move like a hawk for signs of brain damage.
With the news this week that Clinton’s right hand Huma Abedin had separated from her husband after yet another public humiliation, Drudge used the opportunity to tee-up one of the right’s favorite rumors: That Clinton and Abedin are secret lovers. Unsurprisingly, whispers among unenlightened right wingers about the feminist harpy Clinton being a lesbian go back decades but the Abedin insinuations, which started in 2007, have taken off in this campaign.
Mainstream publications have fed the notion with click-bait stories like this slideshow from Politico which sat at the top of its “most-read” list for months this year despite having been originally published back in 2013. As it turned out Drudge had been up to his old tricks. He had linked to a British tabloid story in which Abedin was quoted saying that she thought Clinton was beautiful which led to millions of drooling Drudge readers searching for “Clinton Huma lesbian.”
There’s no way of knowing if mainstream reporters were among those intrigued by Drudge’s dirt but we do know that The New York Times found this item worthy of a breathless front-page lead:
Among the trove of emails released from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state was this instruction to a trusted aide who needed to brief her on a matter that could not wait:
“Just knock on the door to the bedroom if it’s closed,” Mrs. Clinton wrote in November 2009 to Huma Abedin, then her deputy chief of staff.
Drudge doesn’t even try to find political relevance to his lewd, juvenile innuendo but the mainstream media’s reaction to this week’s Weiner story was hardly any better. Attempts to make it into a campaign story were downright embarrassing.
Yesterday, under the headline “Weiner free!” Drudge insinuated once again that Abedin and Clinton are lovers with a picture allegedly showing the two of them hugging with joy now that they’ve vanquished one of their husbands. As it turned out the picture wasn’t of Abedin, it was Burmese opposition leader and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi, but whatever. He made his point.
We can be sure that Drudge’s nasty little sex rumors aren’t the end of it. The more scurrilous charges of Abedin being a secret Muslim agent are just now breaking into the mainstream direct from the fever swamps, via none other than Donald Trump himself. And publications like The Hill and The New York Post, hungry for Drudge links and eager to give the monster what it wants in return are already pushing it into the mainstream. As long as Matt Drudge is driving the news cycle it will only get worse.
Heather Digby Parton, also known as “Digby,” is a contributing writer to Salon. She was the winner of the 2014 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism.
Wayne Allyn Root: Colin Kaepernick – the Dumbing Down of America
I wrote the new book, ANGRY WHITE MALE. But here’s the huge difference between liberals and conservatives. My anger is never directed at America – the greatest nation in world history. Or our flag. Or our national anthem. I love this country with all my heart. I’m only angry at the reckless liberal leaders destroying my country.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is angry too. But he directs his anger at America itself. He literally burns with rage against his own country. Kaepernick is Exhibit A for the dumbing down of America.
Kaepernick refuses to stand before NFL games for the national anthem because we are such a terrible nation to “people of color.”
The kid is young, dumb and filled with…ignorance. He is a tragic example of the liberal biased, hateful “blame America first” propaganda taught to America’s young people at schools and universities.
Here’s a black kid, abandoned at birth by his real parents, adopted by a white American family. He should be saying “God bless America. Only in this country.”
He was raised so well by his adopted mom and dad that he became an NFL star. He should be saying, “God bless America. Only in this country.”
Then he turned early promise as a young NFL star into a hundred million contract. Once again, this calls for a “God bless America. Only in this country.”
This very kid who disrespects the flag and dishonors the national anthem…is get this…bitter towards a country that gave him a $114 million contract, with $60 million guaranteed, $12 million in cash-up-front signing bonus and an average salary of $19 million per year. I’m sorry, but give me a minute. I have to laugh out loud before continuing.
In Kaepernick’s mind black people are “oppressed” in America. Yet he was given the one in a million life few in history have ever gotten in America…and the rags to riches life that almost no one ever gets anywhere else in the world. Kaepernick was given “the keys to the kingdom” that no middle class white kid I’ve ever met, has ever gotten.
So much for “white privilege.”
Kaepernick’s demanding “people of color” be treated better. How much better? Like a $115 million contract, instead of his minuscule $114 million contract? Maybe Kaepernick should try working a real job in the real world. I’ll work my whole life and never make anything close to what he’s being paid for five years tossing around a football. Where’s my “white privilege”? I’m still waiting.
What instantly comes to mind is the ancient wisdom…
More important than what you know, is to know what you don’t know.
Throwing around a football with God-given skills and size doesn’t make you a brain surgeon, or a political know-it-all with the answers to solve the world’s problems. Colin should stick to football. Although it’s questionable whether he actually knows football that well either. Because it appears his $114 million contract was a colossal mistake by the 49ers – an overreaction to a good start to Kaepernick’s career.
Colin is now a backup quarterback. Meaning he won’t even get into games. He’ll hold a clipboard for the 49ers (if he isn’t cut to save the money) for $114 million. It appears this guy just plain got lucky and caught lightning in a bottle…once.
Now he thinks he is Aristotle.
But his ignorance and stupidity is just starting. Kaepernick is upset because a handful of black men have been shot by police. Meanwhile there are thousands of black Americans shot each year on the streets of Chicago.
Almost 3000 shot dead so far this year. In one city. Almost all shot by other blacks. Kaepernick says nothing.
Thousands more black males have been shot and killed in other inner city neighborhoods across America by other blacks. Inner city neighborhoods are violent war zones. This is black on black genocide. Kaepernick says nothing.
Ninety-six percent of all black murders in America are committed by other blacks. Kaepernick says nothing.
And if that’s not bad enough for you, there is a shocking epidemic of heroin overdoses in black inner cities. Black Americans are either killing each other, or killing themselves in record numbers. But we see no protests from Kaepernick.
How is any of that America’s fault? How is this the fault of white people? Or Donald Trump? Or the American flag? Or the national anthem? Does Kaepernick understand personal responsibility?
More importantly, what has Colin contributed out of his $114 million to black America? To stopping black on black violence? To improving black education? To fixing black inner cities? I’m betting very little. I’m betting he’s as generous with his money in charitable giving as Hillary’s Clinton Foundation- which takes in hundreds of millions, but gives almost nothing to charity- while she complains our government isn’t spending enough.
Kaepernick showcases a perfect storm of arrogance, ignorance and stupidity.
Lastly, I’m betting Kaepernick has never traveled around the globe. He’s never seen what else is out there. Maybe it’s time he did. Have you seen South Africa, Colin? Because I’ve spent significant time there. The President is black. So are 100% of the politicians and government officials. Yet I witnessed the most horrendous and brutal poverty of my life. Blacks in South Africa live like subhumans- with no running water or electricity. It’s a disgrace. The slums of South Africa make poverty-stricken black inner cities in America look like Beverly Hills. That’s with blacks running every level of government.
So you see this has nothing to do with America, or oppression by white leaders. Black poverty is far worse in socialist countries and countries run by black leaders in Africa.
America is the only place where whites fought a war and died to give freedom to blacks. America is the only place where blacks have the opportunity to rise out of poverty. America is the only place where young black man can make $114 million.
If you don’t like America and the amazing opportunities it provided you Colin…try Africa…try Venezuela…or try Russia. Let’s see how Putin treats a young abandoned black kid.
Better yet, try Cuba. Let’s see how the Castro Brothers of Cuba treat a complainer who refuses to honor the Cuban national anthem. I’d venture a guess it won’t be with $114 million contract. More likely it would result in a lifetime of torture in prison.
Only in America can Colin Kaepernick speak out against his own country. Thank God for America.
I’m sad to say this is just another tragic example of the dumbing down of America. And this kid is so dumb, he‘s setting records that may never be broken.