Shake Shack Proves You Can Make Money & Pay Your Workers Well
By: Steve - December 30, 2014 - 11:00am
Note to McDonalds, Walmart, Burger King, etc. Pay your workers a living wage or your sales will continue to decline, we the people are starting to boycott places that do not pay their workers a living wage. And yes, we are willing to pay a little more for your products so you can pay your workers more, if you don't, prepare for boycotts and lower sales.
Here's proof that it's possible for a burger joint to both pay its workers well and still make money.
Monday afternoon Shake Shack declared its intention to go public, filing the necessary paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In those documents, the New York-based burger chain reported blockbuster growth in recent years, even as it pledged to keep paying its workers better than the industry standard.
If the Shake Shack model continues to thrive as the company grows, it could provide fodder for workers and protesters who say fast-food giants can afford to pay their low-wage employees more and still reap huge profits.
Shake Shack workers in Manhattan make a starting wage of $10 an hour, according to Shake Shack's filing. That's higher than both New York's current minimum wage of $8 an hour and the $8.75 an hour that will become the state's base wage starting on January 1st, 2015.
That starting wage makes Shake Shack an exception in the fast-food industry, where workers median pay hovers between $8 and $9 an hour. Unlike the typical fast-food chain, Shake Shack suggests this is good for business.
"We believe that this enables us to attract a higher caliber employee and this translates directly to better guest service," Shake Shack wrote in its filing. So far, the strategy seems to be working. Shake Shack's sales grew from $21 million in 2010 to $140 million last year.
That growth bucks a broader trend in the burger industry, which is shrinking slightly, according to August data from Technomic, a food research firm. Shake Shack hasn't closed or relocated any of its 63 eateries since opening its first restaurant in 2004. Unlike McDonalds who is having a sales drop.
Shake Shack's reputation for quality food, with burgers and fries that have a cult following, also gives it room to charge more. That makes keeping labor costs low less of a priority.
But fast-food joints are starting to follow the lead of Shack Shack and other better burger restaurants that feature limited menus with quality ingredients.
McDonald's recently announced it would expand its Create Your Taste program, which lets diners customize burgers with fancy toppings like guacamole and creamy garlic sauce. Now if they just pay their workers a living wage they could see their sales go back up, if not, they will continue to decline, no matter what tricks they try to use with propaganda marketing campaigns.
Another Stupid Republican Signs Welfare Drug Testing Law
By: Steve - December 29, 2014 - 11:00am
Welfare recipients in Michigan will soon be tested if they're suspected of using drugs, under a set of bills signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.
The Senate and House bills, which were signed into law Friday, will create a yearlong pilot program in three counties that will screen welfare recipients and applicants to determine whether or not they're suspected of using drugs. If they are, the applicants or recipients must submit to a drug test. If the test comes back positive, they will be referred to a treatment program, and if they choose not to enter the program, they will lose their welfare benefits.
Applicants and recipients will also lose their eligibility for welfare benefits for six months if they refuse to take a drug test, but according to a statement from the governor's office, the benefits can be restored once they submit to and pass a drug test.
Which is a total waste of taxpayer money, that has been done before in Florida, and they found that less than 3 percent of the people tested positive, making the program a waste of time and a waste of taxpayer money to catch a very small number of people who were on drugs.Not to mention, it is unconstitutional.
Snyder's office says the program, which will be completed by September 2016, will help remove barriers keeping Michigan residents from finding work and supporting their families.
"This pilot program is intended to help ensure recipients get the wrap-around services they need to overcome drug addiction and lead successful lives. We'll then have opportunity to assess effectiveness and outcomes," Snyder said in a statement.
But research has shown that drug testing welfare recipients can be costly. Last August, state figures showed that Utah had spent $30,000 to screen for and test welfare recipients who were suspected of abusing drugs, and had found only 12 people who had tested positive for drug use.
In Florida, where a law requiring drug tests on welfare applicants was struck down last December, just 2.6 percent of the people tested by the state in 2011 were found to be using narcotic drugs.
That program, according to state records, cost the state more money than it saved. And in August, after about a month of testing applicants for welfare, Tennessee had tested just one welfare applicant positive for drug use, and had disqualified four others from benefits for refusing to take part in the drug testing process.
Some state legislators in Michigan weren't happy about the bills passage.
"This is the war on the poor. Are we going to drug test other people who receive tax dollars? I don't think so," Coleman Young (D) said earlier this month after the bills passed the Senate. "We're going after a law that has been found unconstitutional in Florida and other states."
Still, Michigan isn't the only state to consider drug testing recipients and applicants for welfare and other benefits in recent years. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has said that he wants to make drug testing of applicants for food stamps and unemployment benefits a priority in the next legislative session.
There aren't many details yet about Walker's proposal, but creating a way of drug testing these applicants was something he promised to do as part of his re-election campaign. In 2014, at least 18 states introduced proposals or addressed bills that would require some form of drug testing or screening for applicants for or recipients of public assistance.
In total, at least eleven states -- now twelve, counting Michigan -- have passed laws on drug testing for public assistance applicants or recipients, though Florida's has since been halted.
And btw, Bill O'Reilly supports the drug testing for people on welfare, even though it has been shown to be a massive waste of taxpayer money, and found to be unconstitutional.
Paul Krugmans 4 Things Republicans Got Very Wrong
By: Steve - December 28, 2014 - 11:00am
And btw, O'Reilly and virtually every dishonest hack at Fox News also got them wrong.
In his Friday column, Paul Krugman writes about "Tidings of Comfort," if not quite tidings of great joy. The reason? Despite all the miserable messages from Republicans about a world spinning out of control and a government completely not up to the task of confronting tough problems, "a number of major government policies worked just fine," he writes.
"And the biggest successes involved the most derided policies. You'll never hear this on Fox News, but 2014 was a year in which the federal government, in particular, showed that it can do some important things very well if it wants to."
Here are the four areas where Krugman posits the government, and in particular, the Obama administration showed its competency:
Just about a month ago some idiots in the media were in a full-blown panic about Ebola coming to this country. And the message of many Republican policiticans was that our public health officials were in no way up to the task of dealing with it using conventional methods. Instead, they insisted, we needed to "ban all travel to and from West Africa," Krguman writes, "imprison anyone who arrived from the wrong place, and close the border with Mexico. No, I have no idea why anyone thought that last item made sense."
And Bill O'Reilly was at the head of the line, pretty much every night for a month he called for Obama to ban all travel to the US from West Africa, saying if we do not it will be a disaster and Ebola will be a crisis.
This was all wrong. It turned out that the epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually knew what they were doing. Ebola is still killing people in Africa, but there was no outbreak here, despite what O'Reilly and the right-wing fearmongers predicted.
2. The Economy
The story you hear all the time portrays economic policy as an unmitigated disaster, with President Obama's alleged hostility to business holding back investment and job creation. So it comes as something of a shock when you look at the actual record and discover that growth and job creation have been substantially faster during the Obama recovery than they were during the Bush recovery last decade (even ignoring the crisis at the end), and that while housing is still depressed, business investment has been quite strong.
What's more, recent data suggest that the economy is gathering strength -- 5 percent growth in the last quarter! Oh, and not that it matters very much, but there are some people who like to claim that economic success should be judged by the performance of the stock market. And stock prices, which hit a low point in March 2009, accompanied by declarations from prominent Republican economists that Mr. Obama was killing the market economy, have tripled since then. Maybe economic management hasn't been that bad, after all.
Obama's stewardship has been on track. Not that you'll ever see that acknowledged Bill O'Reilly on Fox or by any Republicans.
Krugman cites one of his favorite topics, "the hidden-in-plain-sight triumph of Obamacare," at the end of its first full year. Krugman says he is asked, even by liberal friends, whether the program can be made to work. Apparently, they have not gotten the memo. It is working.
In fact, Year 1 surpassed expectations on every front. Remember claims that more people would lose insurance than gained it? Well, the number of Americans without insurance fell by around 10 million; members of the elite who have never been uninsured have no idea just how much positive difference that makes to people's lives.
Remember claims that reform would break the budget? In reality, premiums were far less than predicted, overall health spending is moderating, and specific cost-control measures are doing very well. And all indications suggest that year two will be marked by further success.
4. Foreign policy
Krugman writes that Obama's foreign policy of containing threats like Putin's Russia and Islamic State. rather than waging all-out war on them, is "looking pretty good."
The message is that, despite all the right-wing propaganda to the contrary, 2014 shows that the government can be part of the solution, which is not to say that problems have disappeared from the world. Or that Fox News and their flunkies will admit it.
Not mentioned: Gas prices at record lows, and unemployment down below 6 percent. All of which O'Reilly ignores and never reports on, because he does not want you to know he was wrong about them, Obamacare, and that the Obama economic policies are actually working.
America Is Doing Great & O'Reilly Ignores It All
By: Steve - December 27, 2014 - 11:00am
Here is how America is doing today, it's almost all good news, and O'Reilly ignores it all because he hates Obama and can not admit the Obama policies have worked and are working. And the fact that he ignores all this is 100% proof O'Reilly is a right-wing hack.
Good news! The U.S. economy grew at a whopping 5 percent rate in the third quarter. Oh, and it added 320,000 jobs in November, the best of its unprecedented 57 straight months of private-sector employment growth. Just in time for Christmas, the Dow just hit an all-time high and the uninsured rate is approaching an all-time low.
Consumer confidence is soaring, inflation is low, gas prices are plunging, and the budget deficit is shrinking. You no longer hear much about the Ebola crisis that dominated the headlines in the fall, much less the border crisis that dominated the headlines over the summer.
So things in the U.S. do look rather awesome.
Mitt Romney promised to bring unemployment down to 6 percent in his first term; it's already down to 5.8 percent, half the struggling eurozone's rate. Newt Gingrich promised $2.50 gas; it's down to $2.08. Crime, abortion, teen pregnancy and oil imports are also way down, while renewable power is way up and the American auto industry is booming again.
There's overwhelming evidence the resurgence is real. The O'Reilly's, an the Chicken Littles who predicted a double-dip recession, runaway interest rates, Zimbabwe-style inflation, a Greece-style debt crisis, skyrocketing energy prices, health insurance "death spirals" and other horrors have been totally wrong.
Come to think of it, the 62 percent of Americans who described the economy as "poor" in a CNN poll a week before the Republican landslide in the midterm elections were also wrong. I guess that sounds elitist. Second-guessing the wisdom of the public may be the last bastion of political correctness; if ordinary people don't feel good about the economy, then the recovery isn't supposed to be real.
But aren't the 11 million Americans who have landed new jobs since 2010 and the 10 million Americans who have gotten health insurance since 2013 ordinary Americans? It's true that wage growth has remained slow, but the overall economic trends don't jibe with the public's lousy mood. And the public definitely does get stuff wrong. A Bloomberg poll this month found that 73 percent of Americans think the deficit is getting bigger, while 21 percent think it's getting smaller and 6 percent aren't sure.
In fact, the deficit has dwindled from about $1.2 trillion in 2009 to less than $500 billion in 2014. My favorite part is the mere 6 percent who admitted ignorance; 73 percent are definitely sure the shrinking deficit is actually growing.
The point isn't that the midterm election's discontent was illegitimate. The point is that Americans should cheer up! Six years ago, the economy was contracting at an 8 percent annual rate and shedding 800,000 jobs a month. Those were Great Depression-type numbers. The government was pouring billions of dollars into busted banks, and experts like MIT's Simon Johnson were predicting that the bailouts would cost taxpayers as much as $2 trillion.
In reality, the bailouts not only quelled the worst financial panic since the Depression, they made money for taxpayers. Nevertheless, last week, after the government sold its stake in Ally Bank, its last major holding in a financial institution, Johnson complained to The New York Times about the "unfortunate and inappropriate message" being sent by people pointing out the bailouts were actually profitable.
In this holiday season, can't we be a little bit happy we didn't have to waste the $2 trillion he thought we were going to waste?
The economic data keeps showing that fewer Americans are hurting every month. No one is satisfied with 5.8 percent unemployment, but it's way better than the 10 percent we had in 2010 or the 11 percent Europe has today.
Declining child poverty and household debt and personal bankruptcies are also worth celebrating. Better is better than worse. Whether or not you think Obamacare had anything to do with the slowdown in medical cost growth, it’s a good thing that Medicare’s finances have improved dramatically, extending the solvency of its trust fund by an estimated 13 years.
It's a good thing that U.S. wind power has tripled and solar power has increased tenfold in five years. And while it's true that the meteoric rise of the stock market since 2009 has produced windfalls for Wall Street, it has also replenished state pension funds and 401(k) retirement plans and labor union coffers. It definitely beats the alternative.
Let's face it: The press has a problem reporting good news. Two Americans died of Ebola and cable TV flipped out; now we're Ebola-free and no one seems to care. The same thing happened with the flood of migrant children across the Mexican border, which was a horrific crisis until it suddenly wasn't.
Nobody's going to win a Pulitzer Prize for recognizing that we're smoking less, driving less, wasting less electricity and committing less crime. Police are killing fewer civilians, and fewer police are getting killed, but understandably, after the tragedies in Ferguson and Brooklyn, nobody's thinking about that these days.
The media keep us in a perpetual state of panic about spectacular threats to our safety -- Ebola, sharks, terrorism -- but we're much likelier to die in a car accident. Although, it ought to be said, much less likely than we used to be; highway fatalities are down 25 percent in a decade.
The other problem in acknowledging good news, not just for the press but for the public, is that it has come to feel partisan, like an endorsement of whoever occupies the White House.
Republican leaders have exacerbated this problem by describing everything Obama has done -- his 2009 stimulus package, his 2010 Wall Street reforms, his 2013 tax hikes on high earners, his various anti-pollution regulations aimed at coal-fired power plants, and most of all Obamacare -- as "job-killing" catastrophes that would obliterate the economy.
It's hard not to point out that the economy is humming along nicely without making those doom-and-gloom predictions sound ill-advised and over-the-top. Because they were. As ideologically inconvenient as that may be for chronic complainers on the right -- and for pundit types invested in their bad-year-for-Obama narrative -- it’s wonderful for the country.
Last week, polls finally found a majority of Americans recognizing that the economy is improving, which is to say a majority of Americans are recognizing reality. It's probably time for politicians to discover a new Ebola to scream about.
There is no shortage of candidates in this less-than-perfect union. The U.S. is still plagued by inadequate public schools, crumbling infrastructure, soaring college tuition costs, stark inequality. Many Americans want accountability for reckless bankers, torturers and fatal choke-holders.
And if you only watch the Factor for your news, you would not know any of this, because Bill O'Reilly is a partisan hack of a pretend journalist. He is biased and his entire show is 99% Republicans who put out right-win spin and lies. Yes he has a Democratic guest on once in a while, by my count 1 out of every 7.5 Republican guests, but that is just to make it look good, so he can say he has a balanced guest list.
Reality Check: There Is No War On Christmas
By: Steve - December 26, 2014 - 11:00am
Two things you should know about the so-called "War on Christmas" Bill O'Reilly claims he won:
1. There isn't one.
2. And anyone telling you there is, is either delusional, a liar, or both.
This year's fake war on christmas outrage comes in the form of one billboard released by an atheist group, yes, one billboard in the entire United States, O'Reilly claims that is a war on christmas.
"Dear Santa," the billboard reads. "All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I'm too old for fairy tales."
The fairy tale they mean isn't the Santa fairy tale, it's the religious one. Past billboards from like-minded groups go back several years and, as in years past, none have lived up to the worst fears of their critics at Fox.
The real war on Christmas begins every year just after Halloween, when big-box retailers set out their displays of poinsettias and Christmas knickknacks. We then explain why they can't wait until Thanksgiving, which, once upon a time, was the true beginning of the holiday season, but we've since turned Black Friday excess into a weeklong debauchery of dollars.
The truth, the so-called war on Christmas is actually good business. Groups such as the Mississippi-based American Family Association, and legal groups such as the Alliance Defense Fund and the Liberty Counsel, annually sell buttons, bumper stickers, trinkets and trifles to Christian enthusiasts.
The Liberty Counsel's "Help Save Christmas Action Pack," costing a few pennies to make, sells for $25 - a suggested donation, no doubt.
Fox News crusade began in 2005 with the sale of then-network anchor John Gibson's "The War on Christmas." The very day Gibson's drivel hit bookstores nationwide, Fox News aired the first of five dozen segments about this evil plot, complete with a ton of plugs for the book or for the Christmas baubles peddled by Bill O'Reilly on his website.
Ironically, the same people who should be horrified by the crass commercialization of Christmas are, instead, contributing to it.
Countless examples exist, from Hawaii to the Northeast, from the woman who called a talk-show host last week to demand that atheists shut up -- the host agreed -- to lawmakers demanding that atheist billboards be taken down, to death threats directed at those who put them up.
Proving that religion does not always make you a better person.
Atheist groups say the billboards highlight a broad national mistrust, marginalization and even discrimination the nonreligious face. Laws in eight states ban atheists from holding public office. Mississippi law prohibits atheists from testifying in court. The laws are unenforceable thanks to a mid-20th century Supreme Court decision, but you can guess why no lawmaker has suggested that those laws be changed.
Some religious groups even post billboards insulting atheists, like this: "To All of Our Atheist Friends. "Thank God You're Wrong."
"Attention Lunatic Atheists & their Lawyers," reads another, "Anti-God is Anti-American, Anti-American is Treason, Traitors lead to a Civil War."
Others suggest that since God doesn't matter to them, you don't matter to atheists. The image features someone pointing a gun at you.
The larger point is not whether the billboards are offensive, but imagine the reaction if billboards called religious people anti-American, traitors or violence-prone lunatics.
How can religious people complain about those using billboards to advertise a cause when they themselves do it? And then demand that such groups exercising their free-speech rights have those billboards removed and even banned?
The whole thing is made even crazier by the fact that Christmas occurs on a pagan feast day, Saturnalia. In the week leading up to Dec. 25, ancient Romans celebrated Saturn, the god of agriculture and the coming growing season, as days stopped getting shorter. It was highlighted by public banquets, private gift-giving and a carnival atmosphere. Sound familiar?
The early Christians deliberately moved the birth of Jesus to Dec. 25, making it easier to sell Christianity to the Romans. So anytime anyone starts crying about Christmas being corrupted, stolen or secularized, just remember that the Christians messed with Christmas from Day one.
Bill O'Reilly, who's made a career of this phony war, now declares that thanks to his crusade, the war is over, Christmas won. No Billy, Christmas never lost because there never was any war against it, and there never will be. One billboard by one group, is not a war, it's not even a battle, it's nothing. And most people would not even know about it if O'Reilly did not report on it.
Now, every Christmas comes with a war on Christmas. As much as I desire that people finally come to their senses and realize this for the insufferable nonsense that it is, that Christmas wish will have to go unfilled. You'll see. O'Reilly will bring out this garbage next year. And plenty of people will fall for it.
For 3 years now O'Reilly has been saying he won the war on christmas, the war that never was, and a war he has claimed to have won 3 times already. If he won it 3 years ago, how can he have won it again this year? It's ridiculous.
Police Officer Body Camera Not Turned On During Shooting
By: Steve - December 25, 2014 - 11:00am
The Berkeley, Missouri, police officer who fatally shot a black teenager on Tuesday was issued a body camera earlier that night, but wasn't wearing it at the time of the shooting. The dashboard camera in his police cruiser also was not activated.
On Wednesday, St. Louis County Chief of Police Jon Belmar said that the officer -- who is still unnamed, but was described as a white 34-year-old and six-year veteran of the police force -- was responding to reports of a theft at a Mobil station when he confronted 18-year-old Antonio Martin and another person.
Belmar said Martin "produced a pistol with his arm straight out, pointing at the officer," at which point the officer responded by firing three shots at Martin, striking him once and killing him. The person with Martin then fled.
Surveillance footage from the Mobil station has been released, and appears to show a person in the background -- said to be Martin -- raising his arm in the direction of a police cruiser and officer. The camera seems to be too far away from the incident, however, for anything to be to determined conclusively from the video.
Video captured by a body camera or dashboard camera likely would have been able to reveal more details about the incident. Belmar said the car's dashboard camera wasn't activated because the cruiser's emergency lights hadn't been turned on at the time, which would have automatically triggered the recording.
At a later press conference on Wednesday, Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins said he wasn't concerned that the officer hadn't turned on his body camera. He noted that the equipment is new for the town's police department and that officers haven't received full training yet.
"In the future and when we get well trained, there will be a severe penalty for an officer who does not turn their body camera on," Hoskins said.
Body cameras are frequently cited as a key way to bring transparency to interactions between law enforcement and civilians, especially in the wake of the police killings of Michael Brown and other unarmed individuals who died in encounters that weren't recorded.
One frequently cited pilot program in Rialto, California, found that between 2012 and 2013, in the first year of the city using police cameras, the number of complaints filed against officers fell by 88 percent and use of force by officers fell by almost 60 percent.
While President Barack Obama has joined the call for the implementation of body cameras with the announcement of a $75 million grant for the equipment, the limitations of the devices have already been exposed. In the case of Eric Garner, for example, there was video of the confrontation that led to his death, and yet a grand jury declined to indict the police officer who put him in an illegal chokehold.
In addition -- as the Police Executive Research Forum presented to the Department of Justice in a 2014 report -- there are still plenty of concerns from both the law enforcement and civil rights communities about how, exactly, a large-scale police camera program would be implemented.
Which interactions, for example, would be recorded? How would the review process work? What would the penalties be for failing to record an interaction?
Such questions are further complicated by state laws that differ on when and where people may be recorded, as well as how such recordings may be stored and accessed by the public.
And while these questions might be addressed as more police departments adopt such programs, the Berkeley shooting reminds us of a simpler truth: A camera is useless if it's not recording.
Fox Affiliate Dishonestly Edits Protest Footage To Make Them Look Bad
By: Steve - December 24, 2014 - 11:00am
Baltimore news station Fox45 ran a story Sunday night attacking protests against police brutality and racial disparity by running deceptively edited footage to suggest protesters were chanting "kill a cop" during a demonstration.
The dishonest hacks at Fox cut off a chant and misinterpreted the words to make it seem to the viewers like a protest leader was saying those words during a protest gathering in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.
Reality Check: The protesters were chanting a much different phrase.
The demonstrations have been ongoing for months but really grew after two separate grand juries decided not to indict the police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
C-SPAN coverage of the very same protest that Fox45 used for its story showed that instead of saying "kill a cop," the protesters, led by Jones, can clearly be heard shouting the following chant:
We can't stop!What Fox did was 100% dishonest and shows their right-wing bias, they took the actual video footage from CSPAN and edited it to make it look like the protesters were saying kill a cop. This was not an accident, it was done on purpose, and they only put out a correction after it was reported on the internet by Gawker.
And of course neither O'Reilly or anyone at Fox News headquarters said a word about it. But if MSNBC or CNN had done the same thing to make conservatives look bad O'Reilly and Fox would be all over it. Making them just as guilty as the Fox Affiliate who did the dishonest edit.
After Fox45 had run its story Sunday night, Tawanda Jones reacted on Facebook, pointing out that the station had misinterpreted her words. She urged friends and anyone else seeing the post to call Fox45 to complain and ask that they retract the story.
Jones is well-known in the Baltimore area due to her brother, Tyrone West, being killed by Baltimore police last year while in police custody. Charges were not filed against any of the officers present at the time of his death.
She has been staging rallies since then calling for justice for her slain brother.
The senseless murder of two police officers is now being used by certain media groups, police unions and conservative pundits as an opportunity to shame and silence the protesters who are looking to affect real and positive change in our society.
Prominent members of law enforcement have taken this opportunity to ratchet up the rhetoric and toss blame at not only the protesters, but any left-leaning politician that may have expressed even the tiniest bit of support for the protesters, even President Obama.
Stunning Admission By Prosecutor Could Restart Case Against Wilson
By: Steve - December 23, 2014 - 11:00am
And of course Bill O'Reilly has not said a word about it.
Ferguson prosecutor Bob McCulloch admitted that he presented evidence he knew to be false to the grand jury considering charges against Darren Wilson.
In an interview with radio station KTRS on Friday, McCulloch said that he decided to present witnesses that were "clearly not telling the truth" to the grand jury. Specifically, McCulloch acknowledged he permitted a woman who "clearly wasn't present when this occurred" to testify as an eyewitness to the grand jury for several hours.
The woman, Sandra McElroy, testified that Michael Brown charged at Wilson "like a football player, head down," supporting Wilson's claim that he killed Brown in self-defense.
McElroy suffers from bipolar disorder but is not receiving treatment and has a history of making racist remarks. In a journal entry, McElroy wrote that she was visiting Ferguson on the day of Michael Brown's death because she wanted to "stop calling Blacks N------ and Start calling them people."
McElroy also has had trouble with her memory since being thrown through a windshield in a 2001 auto accident.
By intentionally presenting false testimony to the grand jury, McCulloch committed a serious ethical breach. Under the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct, lawyers are prohibited from offering "evidence that the lawyer knows to be false."
McCulloch justified his actions by asserting that the grand jury gave no credence at all to McElroy's testimony. But this is speculation. Under Missouri law, the grand jury deliberations are secret and McCulloch is not allowed to be present.
A Missouri lawmaker, Karla May, called Friday for a legislative investigation of McCulloch's conduct. May said that there is evidence to suggest that McCulloch "manipulated the grand jury process from the beginning to ensure that Officer Wilson would not be indicted."
Even before Friday's interview, many legal experts were highly critical McCulloch's use of the grand jury. Marjorie Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, said she believed McCulloch "did not want an indictment" of Darren Wilson and turned the grand jury process on its head, acting as an advocate for the defense.
Mae Quinn, a law professor at Washington University School Of Law, said that the unusual decision to present testimony he believed to be false to the grand jury -- along with other atypical aspects of the prosecutor's conduct in the Wilson case -- could be an issue.
"In terms of personal or professional interest playing a role in the grand jury process, I am struck by the double-bind we keep hearing about. That is, the county prosecutor feeling unable to simply present Darren Wilson's case like any other without concern for perceived relationships with local law enforcement and others - and then making strategic decisions not singularly focused on representing the county," Quinn said.
If Maura McShane, the Presiding Judge of the 21st Circuit, agrees with this assessment, she could appoint a new prosecutor and effectively restart the case against Darren Wilson.
Under Missouri law (MO Rev Stat § 56.110) the presiding judge of the court with criminal jurisdiction -- in this case Judge McShane -- can appoint another prosecutor if the prosecuting attorney demonstrates a conflict of interest or bias. Courts have interpreted this provision broadly to include "conflicts that reveal themselves through the prosecutor’s conduct in the case."
In State v. Copeland, a 1996 case, a Missouri court replaced the prosecutor because the judge "sensed that the prosecutor's sympathies for the defendant prevented him from being an effective advocate for the state." The judge "found the adversarial process to have broken down in that the prosecutor appeared to be advocating the defendant’s position."
The recent admission that the prosecution knowingly presented false testimony to the grand jury builds on a pattern of conduct benefiting Wilson's defense that could justify the appointment of a new prosecutor. This included: vouching for police conduct to the grand jurors, gentle questioning of Wilson himself and aggressive questioning of any witness adverse to Wilson's defense.
A prosecutor handling any case where a law enforcement officer is accused of misconduct, nevermind one that attracts national attention, finds themselves in "a really hard position," Quinn said.
Quinn added that "if such outside considerations weigh on the mind of a prosecutor, ultimately impacting the way a case is handled, that seems unfair not only to the victim and community - but the prosecutor, too. A special prosecutor in police cases, one who is insulated from these ongoing relationships and concerns, likely would engage in far less second-guessing and ancillary analyses."
It's now up to Judge McShane to decide if a new, independent prosecutor is warranted in the Darren Wilson case.
And btw, people who write me and say I am anti-police are idiots. I have said this a thousand times. I am not anti-police, I support the police. I am anti-bad police, I think 99% of the police are good people who do a good job. But there are some bad cops that need to be fired, that is not being anti-police.
I even have two good friends who are cops, one works for the East Peoria police department and the other works for the Morton police department. And for the record, they both agree with most of what I say, they also want to get rid of the bad cops because it makes them all look bad. I only want to get rid of bad cops who choke people to death for no reason, and cops that shoot and kill unarmed people when they do not have to.
Key Witness Who Corroborated Wilson's Testimony Exposed As A Fraud
By: Steve - December 22, 2014 - 11:00am
And of course, Bill O'Reilly has not said a word about it, nothing, he just ignores it as if it was never reported.
On Monday, The Smoking Gun published a lengthy report exposing "Witness 40," a woman who testified before the St. Louis County grand jury who corroborated all of the main details of former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson's story regarding his encounter with unarmed teenager Michael Brown in August.
TSG was able to identify Witness 40 as Sandra McElroy, a 45-year-old St. Louis resident who has a history of making false statements and previously interjected herself in a high-profile case in the St. Louis area. McElroy's testimony has been used by a number of conservative pundits, most visibly Sean Hannity, to bolster their support of Wilson's account.
After St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced Wilson would not be indicted in the shooting death of Brown, he publicly released all of the evidence and testimony from the grand jury proceeding. News outlets started sifting through all of the pages.
Outside of Wilson's own testimony, it was noticed that there was really only one other witness who fully supported his story: Witness 40. However, right off the bat, it was apparent that there was something fishy about her testimony, especially how she ended up on the street at the exact time Wilson shot Brown, despite not living anywhere near the neighborhood.
What makes the report so damning is not that it shows how ludicrous McElroy's testimony is, but that it identifies her and questions why someone with her mental issues and criminal past would even be brought forth by the prosecution to speak to the grand jury.
What good would her testimony be other than to help the accused's case?
After being initially questioned, wouldn't a prosecutor know that she was a complete fraud and not even bother putting her out there to give her testimony?
In their report, TSG pointed out that Fox News and others have clung to McElroy's testimony to refute that of Dorian Johnson's. Johnson was Brown's friend who was with him when Wilson stopped them for jaywalking on Canfield Drive in Ferguson. The site also provided details on how they were able to accurately identify McElroy, saying this.
While the hands-up account of Dorian Johnson is often cited by those who demanded Wilson's indictment, Witness 40's testimony about seeing Brown batter Wilson and then rush the cop like a defensive end has repeatedly been pointed to by Wilson supporters as directly corroborative of the officer's version of the August 9th confrontation.
The Witness 40 testimony, as Fox News sees it, is proof that the 18-year-old Brown's killing was justified, and that the Ferguson grand jury got it right.
However, unlike Johnson, we now know that Witness 40, a 45-year-old St. Louis resident named Sandra McElroy, was nowhere near Canfield Drive on the Saturday afternoon Brown was shot to death.
Though prosecutors have sought to cloak the identity of grand jury witnesses, a TSG investigation identified McElroy as Witness 40. A careful analysis of information contained in the unredacted portions of Witness 40's grand jury testimony helped reporters identify McElroy and then conclusively match up details of her life with those of Witness 40.
TSG examined criminal, civil, matrimonial, and bankruptcy court records, as well as online postings and comments to unmask McElroy as Witness 40, whose grand jury testimony and law enforcement interviews are deserving of multi-count perjury indictments.
Throughout the body of the report, TSG gives details of McElroy's life, through public records and social media activity, to prove without a doubt McElroy is indeed Witness 40.
They also show how McElroy involved herself in the high-profile case of Shawn Hornbeck, a St. Louis boy who was kidnapped and held hostage for more than four years by Michael Devlin before being rescued in 2007.
After Hornbeck's rescue and Devlin's arrest, McElroy spoke to local news station KMOV and claimed that she had known Devlin for 20 years and had gone to the police after Hornbeck went missing to tell him she had seen the boy with Devlin. She also claimed that she knew that another missing boy from the early 90s was taken by Devlin. Police regarded her claims as completely fraudulent.
McElroy did the same thing with the Ferguson case. With it being a very big case, and her sympathies lying with Wilson, McElroy decided to put together false testimony and claim she was a witness based solely on public accountings of Wilson's story.
She fabricated a diary in which she documented her travels to Ferguson to get to know black people so she wouldn't be so racist anymore. (McElroy has a long history of making racist statements.) She then gave an incredulous account of how she ended up on Canfield Drive the very moment Wilson shot Brown, claiming she saw Brown rushing at Wilson like a football player, just as Wilson had claimed.
One has to wonder how a crazy racist with a criminal past and a penchant for lying to get attention somehow finds herself testifying before a grand jury in one of the most explosive cases in recent American history. How in the hell does a prosecutor, who is supposed to be trying to get an indictment against the accused, allow somebody to spin obvious fairy tales to bolster a defendant's story?
Of course, we all know why -- McCulloch planned from the get go to throw this case and make sure Wilson never saw a trial.
One would like to see this bombshell about Witness 40 lead to something, like perhaps another grand jury proceeding with another prosecutor. But, it seems like the political machine in St. Louis and Missouri won't let that happen.
NY Public Defenders Walk Out Of Court Protesting Eric Garner's Death
By: Steve - December 21, 2014 - 11:00am
Over 100 Legal Aid Lawyers in NYC staged a walkout and die-in outside Brooklyn Criminal Court to protest what they say is a broken criminal justice system.
And of course Bill O'Reilly never said a word about it, even though he lives in New York, and does his show there. But if a few black mean, like LeBron James, Derrick Rose, and Samual L. Jackson protest it O'Reilly calls them stupid people that do not know what they are talking about.
O'Reilly can not call the Public Defenders stupid, so he just ignores their protest. Not to mention this, O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly both said the protests would die out in a week, but it is not happening.
12-17-14 -- Around 100 New York public defenders staged a walkout at Brooklyn Criminal Court Wednesday, marking five months since Eric Garner died after an NYPD officer placed him in a chokehold.
The protest, organized by the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (ALAA), saw hundreds of lawyers walk out of court as part of the #ThisStopsToday 11 days of action movement for Garner.
The #ThisStopsToday movement was in response to the Staten Island grand jury’s decision to not indict the officer involved in Garner’s death and to call for accountability for other victims of police brutality.
The movement, which began on Dec. 10, calls for 11 days of action -- one day for each time Garner told police "I can’t breathe" while the chokehold was applied.
The public defenders (who were about 90% white) were also protesting racism and inequality they say is prevalent in the criminal justice system.
The attorneys staged a seven-minute die-in outside the Brooklyn Detention Center shouting "We can't breathe" -- Garner's last words.
"Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail," the lawyers shouted as they continued their march back to the Brooklyn Criminal Court.
Leah Maloney, a Legal Aid attorney, said that during her daily shift she gets one to two clients who have been beaten up by cops without any charges against them.
And yet, O'Reilly never reports any of it, nothing, ever.
"We want to seize the opportunity to highlight the broken system now that there's public attention and engagement with these issues," Maloney said.
"We get clients who are beaten, assaulted, and in some cases, sexually assaulted, by cops every day," Anne Oredeko, a Legal Aid attorney and part of the Attorneys of Color Caucus within the ALAA.
"As attorneys, we are in the belly of the beast," Oredeko said. "We encounter countless people being assaulted by police officers who get off scot-free."
"We are experts on the system, and we know the system is broken," Roy Wasserman, a Legal Aid attorney said, adding, "grand juries are rigged."
O'Reilly Proves He Is A Right-Wing Idiot Once Again
By: Steve - December 20, 2014 - 11:00am
Now think about this, Bill O'Reilly has said in the past that he believes in Global Warming. Then he makes fun of Al Gore when he talks about it, he then says that people "choose" to believe in it, like it is not real and some people simply choose to believe it is. Which is just idiotic, and more proof O'Reilly is a lying right-wing stooge. He does not believe in Global Warming, he just says he does.
O'Reilly: People "Choose To Believe" In Man-Made Climate Change
O'Reilly "It's Easier To Believe In A Benevolent God, The Baby Jesus" Than Global Warming Theory
Here is the video:
He is comparing the people who believe in God to the people that believe in Global Warming, which is just ridiculous, and a comparison only a right-wing nut would make.
Insane Bill O'Reilly Slams Samuel L. Jackson Over A Song
By: Steve - December 20, 2014 - 10:00am
Bill O'Reilly went after Samuel L. Jackson Thursday night for his "I Can't Breathe" song telling people to stand up to racist police.
O'Reilly slammed Jackson for trying to diminish America.
O'Reilly spent most of his Talking Points Memo going down a list of why black Americans "dislike this country."
He defended the U.S. as a place of great opportunity for people of color, and singled out President Obama and Jackson as two great success stories.
And that's why O'Reilly claimed Jackson was "jumping on the grievance train."
He went point-by-point through Jackson's life story and said, "Rather than diminish his country, Mr. Jackson should be trying to make it better."
And now here is a reality check for the insane and biased right-wing idiot Bill O'Reilly.
1) Jackson is NOT trying to diminish America, that is nonsense from O'Reilly. All he is doing is using his fame to make a point about police abuse against blacks, which is a real problem. He is NOT trying to diminish America, he is trying to make it a better place, because he likes America.
2) O'Reilly claims blacks dislike America, which is also pure right-wing nonsense. Every time a liberal or a minority speaks out about an unfair or racist problem in the country O'Reilly says they hate America. It's laughable, it's a joke, and Bill O'Reilly is a total idiot.
When conservatives speak out about problems in the country O'Reilly never says a word, he does not say they are un-American or say they hate America. Because he is a biased right-wing hack and a total idiot.
3) People like Samuel L. Jackson are great Americans, he could just keep quiet and say nothing, as he counts his money and leads the good life. Instead he goes out on a limb and makes a statement about police abuse, that is real. O'Reilly acts like Jackson is a bad guy, when all he is doing is making a point about real police abuse by some bad cops.
Bill O'Reilly is just a racist old right-wing idiot who hates people like Jackson because they do not just sit around and hide their head in the sand to police abuse. Jackson is a great American, and Bill O'Reilly should be ashamed of what he said about him. It's just more proof O'Reilly is nothing but a racist right-wing idiot.
Bill O'Reilly Dishonest On 14 Year Old Birth Rates For Blacks
By: Steve - December 19, 2014 - 10:00am
Quote from the idiot Bill O'Reilly: "African-Americans Should Wear Don't Get Pregnant At 14 On Their T-Shirts."
Here is what Tim Wise said about what O'Reilly said:
Naturally, Bill O'Reilly once again slanders black folks and spreads ignorance. Must be a day ending in the letter "y."
His assumption that the "problem with black people" is that they are having babies at 14 is so statistically illiterate as to render me almost speechless.
Luckily, one needn't speak to actually look up the data to debunk this widely believed BS. So here's the deal: according to the National Vital Statistics Reports, published by the CDC/National Center for Health Statistics, in 2012 (the latest year for which data were available), there were exactly 1,263 children born to black girls between the ages of 10 and 14, in the entire U.S.
That's it. Not multiple thousands, not a national "epidemic," and not a "cultural norm."
That is less than 1 birth for every 1000 black girls that age.
Meaning that 999 of 1000 black girls between 10 and 14 will NOT have a baby in a given year.
By the way, this birth rate for young black girls is actually DOWN by more than 80 percent since 1990 (at which point there were 5 births per 1000 such black girls).
By O'Reilly's logic, he should be applauding the black community for their increasingly "responsible" child birth patterns. But of course, he won't.
Because he is a racist asshat. Link to the data is below...Table 3, on page 17. It took me 5 minutes to find this. That's how long it takes to debunk this clown.
Money-Hungry Lawmakers Say To Hell With The Will Of The People
By: Steve - December 18, 2014 - 10:00am
And O'Reilly never said a word about any of it, nothing, not a word. Because he is a Republican and one of the rich who will benefit by the corrupt bill.
Just when you thought the influence of big money in politics hit a fever pitch this year with our $4 billion midterm, our elected lawmakers snuck in a closing reminder that money reigns supreme in Washington.
Congress approved a $1.1 trillion end-of-year spending bill, known as "Cromnibus," full of handouts benefiting the super-rich. It was a glaring power grab by wealthy special interest groups and evidence of their corrupt grip on our lawmakers.
Wall-Street-friendly lawmakers added a retrograde piece of legislation (written by lobbyists from Citigroup) deregulating the banks again, allowing them to make high-risk trades with taxpayer dollars (the same type of high-risk activities that led America to the 2008 financial crisis).
While most Democrats voted against the bill, the ones that did vote in favor of Cromnibus received twice as much money from the financial industry than the ones who voted against it. Wall Street spent $1.5 million per day in the last election cycle and it is certainly paying off.
The spending bill came with another holiday surprise. Cromnibus will increase the amount that individuals can give to a political party -- tenfold. This means there's going to be a whole lot more money buying political favors in Washington.
Republicans and Democrats are both to blame for not vetoing this backsliding policy on campaign finance. They chose to keep it in the bill and, by passing it through, they have further downgraded our democracy into a service center for America's most wealthy few.
And as our representatives help big money get even bigger, it's at the expense of the American people.
For example, although 70 percent of Washington, D.C. voted to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, it was nullified in Cromnibus with the help of Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD). One of the Congressman's biggest campaign donors is a pharmaceutical company that sells pain-killing meds.
While Rep. Harris ascribed his anti-marijuana zeal to keeping teenagers drug-free, he failed to mention the fat checks he received from big pharma who would hate to have marijuana competing with their products.
This is an appalling example of money-hungry legislators undermining the will of the people.
"It is breathtakingly cynical to give even more power to the wealthy and well-connected on the heels of an election that ushered in a new, dangerous era of big money in politics," stated Rep. John Sarbanes.
Many of our lawmakers would rather advance the interests of their wealthy donors than actually represent the people. 91 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress already, and this spending bill has generated even more distrust between Washington and voters.
As our politicians continue to collude with big moneyed groups, it's up to all of us -- the public -- to take a united stand to stamp big money in politics.
The Stamp Stampede is nearly 30,000 citizens that are mad as hell and doing something about it. We're legally rubber stamping paper currency with messages like "Not To Be Used for Bribing Politicians" in order to create a mass visual demonstration of support for common-sense reform that ends the culture of corruption in Washington.
With hundreds of new people joining every day, we're creating a petition on steroids to take back our democracy.
Republicans & Fox News Win PolitiFact's 2014 Lie Of The Year Award
By: Steve - December 17, 2014 - 10:00am
Republicans and Fox News have won PolitiFact's lie of the year award for spreading inaccurate information and hysteria about Ebola.
PolitiFact explained why they chose the right's Ebola hysteria as the lie of the year.
PolitiFact and PunditFact rated 16 separate claims about Ebola as Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire on our Truth-O-Meter in 2014. Ten of those claims came in October, as Duncan's case came to the fore and as voters went to the polls to select a new Congress.
Fox News analyst George Will claimed Ebola could be spread into the general population through a sneeze or a cough, saying the conventional wisdom that Ebola spreads only through direct contact with bodily fluids was wrong.
"The problem is the original assumption, said with great certitude if not certainty, was that you need to have direct contact, meaning with bodily fluids from someone, because it's not airborne," Will said. "There are doctors who are saying that in a sneeze or some cough, some of the airborne particles can be infectious."
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., described Ebola as "incredibly contagious, very transmissible" and "easy to catch."
Members of Congress even came up with their own scenarios, with some suggesting that Ebola could be a security threat to the United States carried in by illegal immigrants or terrorists. But such ideas contradicted basic facts about the disease.
In early October, Fox News posted a list of the top nine scariest pandemic movies. At the top was the 1995 film Outbreak, in which a virus mutates, becomes airborne and forces the Army to consider dropping a nuclear weapon on a sleepy California town.
PolitiFact also called out the cable news networks for endlessly hyping the hysteria, but make no mistake about it; the hysteria was being fueled by false information being delivered by Bill O'Reilly, Fox News, and the Republicans on a daily basis.
President Obama spent the better part of a month debunking Ebola misinformation that O'Reilly, Fox, and the Republicans kept putting out there.
O'Reilly and his Republican friends lied about Ebola because they were using panic and fear to create mistrust of the government in order to win an election. Once Republicans won control of the Senate, Ebola stopped being a pressing issue, and O'Reilly suddenly stopped reporting on it.
Ebola was such a non-issue that House Republicans took the country to the brink of another government shutdown that would have delayed more funding for combating Ebola.
The cable news networks tried to use Ebola to increase ratings. Republicans used Ebola to win an election. Lost in all of the needless hysteria was the fact that the American people never had anything to fear about Ebola.
Which I reported on this blog, so I got it right, O'Reilly, Fox, and the Republicans had it wrong.
The Ebola panic demonstrated that fear based politics didn't die with the Bush administration. Fear remains the Republican weapon of choice, and the corporate media are happy to go along for the ride if it means increased ratings and profits.
O'Reilly Claims Protesters Want To See The Justice System Torn Down
By: Steve - December 16, 2014 - 10:00am
Which is total lies from O'Reilly, because all the protesters want is for the cops to quit killing unarmed black people, not one of them want the justice system torn down, they just want it to be fair to everyone.
Here is what the right-wing idiot O'Reilly said:
O'Reilly claimed to know the real deal behind the Michael Brown and Eric Garner protesters (saying most of them are partying and all of them are being organized by shadowy outside forces), and he continued, asserting that their goal is to completely take down the justice system.
He likened the police brutality protesters to people opposing the CIA; they're trying to take down what keeps America safe for their own selfish ends.
And the protesters are doing this, O'Reilly said, because "they don't like the police and they want to see the justice system torn down."
He slammed the protesters and Samuel L. Jackson for singing about "racist police," charging that they give into a mentality that will lead to "anarchy in the streets."
When the anarchy in the streets is caused by the racist and bad cops who kill unarmed black kids, which O'Reilly totally ignores in his biased speculation filled rant. That btw, he never says he does. O'Reilly claims to have a no speculation zone and says that he only deals in the facts, as he is speculating the protesters want to tear down the justice system, with no proof.
O'Reilly said the police make mistakes, but they "do not deserve the demonization" they've been getting from protesters and in the press.
O'Reilly lives in a world where it is ok for the cops to do anything they want, simply because they are cops, and he does not care that they are biased and racist to blacks. Then he defends the bad cops, because he is an idiot.
Nobody is demonizing ALL the cops, only the bad ones, most cops are good. O'Reilly does not care, he wants everyone to leave ALL the cops alone and just move on. Well they have been doing that for years, but no more, it is time to stop the racism and the unfairness to blacks from white cops.
Cheney Admits Bush Knew About The Torture & Approved It
By: Steve - December 15, 2014 - 11:00am
So I guess what he is saying is that if you want to put him on trial from breaking the torture laws, you have to put Bush on trail too, because he knew about it and approved it. Which is what you would call throwing your so-called friend under the bus.
On Meet The Press, former vice president Dick Cheney claimed that he did not need a presidential pardon because he did not commit a crime, but he also threw George W. Bush under the bus by providing evidence that the former president knew they were violating the torture laws.
Cheney repeatedly tried to hide behind 9/11. And even went as far as defining torture as 9/11. Later, Cheney said that Bush was not misled. He claimed that the president authorized torture.
Cheney said this:
CHENEY: He was briefed. I was heavily involved as was the National Security Director, Condi. The president writes about it in his own book. What happened was he and I met every single morning with the director of the CIA, with the National Security Advisor six days a week and reviewed everything basically in the intelligence arena.The reason Cheney's statements matter is because according to international law senior administration officials who knew about the torture program can be prosecuted.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson explained the law, "International law prohibits the granting of immunities to public officials who have engaged in acts of torture. This applies not only to the actual perpetrators but also to those senior officials within the US Government who devised, planned and authorised these crimes."
"However, the heaviest penalties should be reserved for those most seriously implicated in the planning and purported authorisation of these crimes. Former Bush Administration officials who have admitted their involvement in the program should also face criminal prosecution for their acts."
Cheney admitted that Bush authorized the program, which means Bush is subject to the harshest international prosecution. But the odds of the United States government turning over Cheney and Bush for prosecution are absolutely zero, despite Cheney's denials his words suggest that he wants to take George W. Bush down with him.
The two war criminals are turning on each other, and Dick Cheney provided the evidence that is needed to prosecute George W. Bush. And of course O'Reilly never says a word about it, because he supported both Bush andCheney and the torture they used.
O'Reilly even still refuses to call it torture, he calls it enhanced interrogation. Which is just ridiculous, a play on words, and the very same thing Cheney says it is while trying to defend himself as not using torture, when that is exactly what he did. Under International law and the Geneva Conventions (that we signed on to) it is defined as torture, waterboarding is also torture under International law.
O'Reilly and Cheney can call it anything they want, it's torture under the law, and that is a fact.
O'Reilly & Kelly Wrong About Protests Dying Out After A Week
By: Steve - December 14, 2014 - 11:00am
As usual both Bill O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly have no clue about what the people will do or not, they say what they hope will happen, instead of actually what did happen. They make these predictions as if they are sure of it and they know what they are talking about, when in reality they were dead wrong.
On December 1st, Bill O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly both predicted that Ferguson protests wouldn't last and would just die out within the week.
On December 3rd, the Eric Garner grand jury decision was handed down, triggering even more protests all around the country.
As expected they "did not have their finger on the pulse of the protests," and lots of planned protests are happening this weekend, and all over the world, including the Justice for All march in D.C. and a potentially huge protest in New York.
O'Reilly and Kelly live in a right-wing bubble and they have no idea what average Americans say, think, or do, and that is a fact.
Tea Party Has Racist & Offensive Obama Protest In Washington
By: Steve - December 13, 2014 - 10:00am
About 20 of these far-right loons stood outside the White House calling for Obama to be hung by a rope on one of the trees, carrying US flags, as they called him a Kenyan traitor.
The tea partiers shouted obscene, racist chants on Wednesday while gathered outside of the White House to protest President Obama's executive actions on immigration.
Among the shouts, captured on video by one of the activists, protestors could be heard calling for the hanging of Obama.
"Hang the lying Kenyan traitor!" one protester could be heard saying in the video.
"Plenty of trees in the front yard," another said. "Wouldn't be the first one hung on one of them trees."
"We've got rope," said another.
"Don't snap his neck, you pull him up watch him choke to death," someone else said.
The rally was meant to show support for a group of sheriffs who were supposed to meet on the Hill later Wednesday in an effort to voice opposition to the immigration actions.
In fact, they looked like Ted Nugents kind of people, dressed in camo and with full beards.
Here is the video:
And of course neither O'Reilly or anyone at Fox News reported any of this, because they do not want you to see this side of the Republican party. Even though they deny that any of the Tea Party protests have been racist. It was basically an all white far-right lynch mob who wanted to hang Obama from a tree, which is about as racist as it gets.
Former Tea Party Congressman Says We Should Be Proud We Torture
By: Steve - December 12, 2014 - 10:00am
Maybe that explains why he is a "former" Congressman, because that is an idiotic position to take. It makes us look bad to the world, it's illegal under US and international law, and it makes it worse for our people when they get captured in a foreign country.
Not to mention this, how can we tell other countries they can not torture people when we are doing it, and our moron Congressman are saying we should be proud of it. The terrorists also use it to get more terrorists to join their terror groups.
But this former idiotic Congressman still praised it. Former Republican Congressman and current conservative radio host Joe Walsh appeared on CNN Wednesday morning to discuss his tweets and comments in the aftermath of the release of the Senate's report on the CIA's use of torture.
Walsh, who has a history of making inflammatory and offensive comments, especially regarding Muslims, sent out a series of tweets Tuesday calling Muslims "animals" and saying he was happy the report was released because America should use torture against others, specifically radical Islamists.
The takeaway from Walsh, other than he is a disgusting bigot who only thinks on a binary level, is that he feels America is justified to use torture on Muslims (he doesn't differentiate between Islamic terrorists and Muslims) because they hate America and are animals.
He doesn't defend it as a way to get meaningful intelligence. No. He just thinks that if other people in the world dislike America then they deserve to be treated harshly and inhumanely.
CNN's Carol Costello challenged Walsh on his line of thinking. Walsh did not back off of his tweets, instead expanding on them and making sure everyone who was watching knew he was a downright horrible person. At one point in his conversation with Costello, he said it was part of an American hero's "job description" to use torture techniques like rectal feeding and waterboarding.
When Costello seemed shocked, Walsh reiterated that Muslims are "animals" who behead and exterminate people. Costello then asked, "So we should be animals?" Walsh responded that sometimes you have to act like an animal to defeat one.
I also want to point out that Walsh has never served a day in the military. He is no longer in Congress because he faced off against Democratic candidate Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, in 2012.
During his campaign, he said that Duckworth, who lost both legs and part of an arm in Iraq after the Black Hawk helicopter she was piloting was hit with a rocket, was not a true hero because she had the gall to bring up her service during the election.
It is apparent that Walsh is nothing more than a far-right chickenhawk who loves to talk tough, while insulting actual veterans. I personally do not care if we torture some towel head or not, what bothers me is that the terrorists will use that to justify the torture of an American and say we do it so they can too. Not to mention, it's illegal under US law and international law.
Why Dick Cheney Is Freaked Out About The New Torture Report
By: Steve - December 11, 2014 - 10:00am
The Senate Intelligence Committee will release an executive summary of a long-awaited CIA report on the government's use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques on Tuesday, showing that the agency relied on sexual threats, water-boarding, sleep deprivation and other methods to interrogate terror suspects in the wake of the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks.
The document will also show that CIA officials misled the Bush administration about the effectiveness of the methods.
Information that Bush, Cheney, O'Reilly, and other Republicans used to justify the use of torture, and yet, none of them have said they were sorry for using bad information to justify it, including O'Reilly, who constantly used the bogus information to justify the torture while defending Bush and Cheney.
Members of the intelligence community, former Bush administration officials who authorized the techniques in Aug. of 2002, and many Republicans in Congress have urged the Senate against publicizing the findings, arguing that they pose a threat to American security around the world.
Which is bull, the reality is they just do not want people to know the truth.
Former Bush officials, led by Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush, also continue to defend the enhanced interrogation techniques (which President Barack Obama has described as "torture" and banned in 2009) characterizing the methods as "absolutely justified."
"What I keep hearing out there is they portray this as a rogue operation, and the agency was way out of bounds and then they lied about it," Cheney said in a telephone interview with the New York Times on Monday. "I think that's all a bunch of hooey. The program was authorized. The agency did not want to proceed without authorization, and it was also reviewed legally by the Justice Department before they undertook the program."
Which is what Cheney has to say, otherwise he would have to admit they lied and used torture illegally, something he will never do, even though we now know the truth, that far-right neo-cons at the CIA were most likely told by Cheney or someone in the White House to lie and give them bad information so they could use the torture and cover their ass legally.
Critics of the Bush administration have long questioned the effectiveness of torture in providing interrogators with truthful and actionable intelligence. The CIA's findings are just the latest in a long line of reports from the Department of Justice, Senate Armed Services Committee, and the C.I.A.'s Inspector General to completely discredit the Bush administration's long-standing claims that torture prevented attacks against America and helped capture high value terrorist targets.
The document will show that water-boarding the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) did not "produce the intelligence that allowed us to get Osama bin Laden" as Cheney and O'Reilly had claimed, nor did torture techniques help stop future attacks on American soil from the likes of Jose Padilla, who sought to detonate a radioactive dirty bomb in 2002.
Which is why they do not want it released to the public.
In reality, both pieces of information were obtained by interrogators before the EIT program officially began, using traditional techniques. So in other words, they used torture and it got them nothing, then they lied about it to justify using the illegal torture methods.
And O'Reilly fell for it, hook, line, and sinker, and has never once admitted it or said he was sorry for using bad information to defend Bush and Cheney for using the torture. In fact, O'Reilly called everyone a traitor if you did not support the torture, saying you did not want to protect Americans.
Detainees who were tortured, in turn, provided interrogators with the information they wanted to hear, including fictitious connections between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, which the Bush administration later used to bolster its case for invading Iraq. Those connections proved to be lies, lies, lies.
Which is what Democrats and liberals have said all along, while O'Reilly and the right said they were wrong, when it turns out the Democrats and liberals were 100% right.
"It is also important to note that some detainees who were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques attempted to provide false or misleading information," former CIA Director Leon Panetta wrote in a letter to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in 2011, disputing Bush administration claims that torture helped capture bin Laden.
"In the end, no detainee in CIA custody revealed the facilitator/courier's full true name or specific whereabouts. This information was discovered through other intelligence means."
So nothing Bush, Cheney, or O'Reilly said about it was true, it was all lies.
Military and intelligence officials questioned the administration's torture protocol (which, a Justice Department inquiry concluded was hastily drafted after a prisoner had already been subject to water-boarding) in the very early days of the program. Military lawyers "protested that the brutal interrogation methods may have violated anti-torture laws," while career interrogators argued that the practices would not produce valuable intelligence.
The Bush interrogation program was based on the U.S. military program known as Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE), which is used to train American troops who are tortured by an enemy and was designed around "torture methods used by Communists in the Korean War...that had wrung false confessions from Americans."
Deputy Commander of the Defense Department's Criminal Investigative Task Force at Guantanamo Bay raised concerns that SERE techniques were "developed to better prepare U.S. military personnel to resist interrogations and not as a means of obtaining reliable information."
The Air Force cited "serious concerns regarding the legality of many of the proposed techniques." The Army, Navy, and Marine Corps raised similar issues, citing "maltreatment" that would "violate federal law."
In 2009, a bipartisan Senate Armed Services Committee report concluded that the Bush administration's use of enhanced interrogation techniques "conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees in U.S. custody" and directly led to the abuses of detainees at Abu Ghraib in 2003.
Those practices ultimately served as a powerful recruitment tool for terrorist groups.
Now, Bush administration officials maintain that shedding light on the CIA's practices could "ignite the kind of violence that killed four Americans at a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012."
But as Mark Fallon, a career interrogator, notes in Politico, that's not an argument "against the kind of transparency and Congressional oversight inherent to a well-functioning democracy; it's an argument against torture.
And by employing such an argument, people are implicitly acknowledging that torture saps the country's credibility and threatens its national security.
New Poll Shows Majority Think NY Cop Should Have Been Charged
By: Steve - December 10, 2014 - 10:00am
WASHINGTON - Americans by nearly 3-1 say the white police officer responsible for the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man being arrested for selling cigarettes, should have faced charges from a Staten Island grand jury, a nationwide USA TODAY/Pew Research Center poll finds.
Nearly nine of 10 also say it would be a good idea for more police officers to wear body cameras to record their interactions.
It was a cellphone video of a police officer holding Garner in what appeared to be a chokehold - even as he gasped "I can't breathe" - that apparently galvanized public opinion. By 57%-22%, those surveyed say the grand jury made the wrong decision in not bringing charges against New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo.
In contrast, by 50%-37% they say a grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., made the right decision in deciding not to charge officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. In that case, a white policeman shot an unarmed African American teenager, but accounts of how the incident unfolded are in dispute.
The telephone survey of 1,507 adults, taken Wednesday through Sunday, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points. Questions about the Eric Garner grand jury, which released its decision Wednesday, were asked of 1,114 respondents; the margin of error is also 3 percentage points.
And btw, Stephen A. Smith, the black sports media figure who is a co-host of ESPN's First Take said this morning that he gets pulled over by white cops almost every month, for no reason, except that he is black. He is wealthy and drives a nice car, but he said almost every single month white cops pull him over and never give him a ticket for anything.
He said it's usually 2 white cops, then a total of 4 white cops and when he asked what he did wrong, one of the white cops yelled at him and told him to shut his mouth. Then after one of the white cops realized who he was they let him go with no ticket, and they never tell him why he was pulled over.
That is blatant racism, that O'Reilly never reports on. He simply gets pulled over because he is a black man in a nice car and they just assume he stole it. O'Reilly ignores it, as he did the poll on the Garner case, then he claims racism is gone from America and the problem is the lack of family leadership in black families, or some ridiculous nonsense like that.
Earth to Bill O'Reilly, sometimes racism is real and even cops can be racists, and that is a fact you idiot.
John McCain on CIA Report: Torture Was Ineffective
By: Steve - December 9, 2014 - 11:00am
War booster but torture critic Senator John McCain (R-AZ) took to the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon to in no uncertain terms condemn the CIA's torture practices under the Bush administration, arguing that the Senate Intelligence Committee report proved that not only was torture morally objectionable but also ineffective -- the true reason, McCain said, so many opposed this report's release.
Saying that the CIA's practices "stained our national honor, did much harm and little practical good," McCain added, "What might come as a surprise, not just to our enemies, but to many Americans, is how little these practices did to aid our efforts to bring 9/11 culprits to justice and to find and prevent terrorist attacks today and tomorrow."
"That could be a real surprise, since it contradicts the many assurances provided by intelligence officials on the record and in private that enhanced interrogation techniques were indispensable in the war against terrorism. And I suspect the objection of those same officials to the release of this report is really focused on that disclosure - torture's ineffectiveness - because we gave up much in the expectation that torture would make us safer. Too much."
"Terrorists might use the report's re-identification of the practices as an excuse to attack Americans," he added, referring to the claim that the report's release would needlessly endanger American lives, "but they hardly need an excuse for that."
McCain overall decried the notion that torture was a necessary tradeoff for the security in the war on terror. "Our enemies act without conscience. We must not," he said. "We need not risk our national honor to prevail in this or any war."
Chokehold Case Stirs Debate On Special Prosecutors
By: Steve - December 9, 2014 - 10:00am
After a police officer was not indicted in a fatal chokehold caught on video, some officials are reviving calls to entrust such cases to special prosecutors, rather than local district attorneys.
The city's elected public advocate and some state lawmakers are pressing for appointing special state prosecutors for police killings, saying Eric Garner's death has bared problems with having DAs lead investigations and prosecutions of the police who help them build cases. Similar legislation has been proposed in Missouri since the police shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson.
"This is a watershed moment," New York Public Advocate Letitia James said by phone. "It's clear that the system is broken and an independent prosecutor is needed."
She's advocating appointing such prosecutors whenever police kill or seriously injure someone. Assemblymen Karim Camara and Marcos Crespo are proposing special prosecutors for police killings of unarmed people.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" that the state should examine whether DAs should bring such cases and "potential roles for special prosecutors," as part of a broad look at the criminal justice system.
After Garner died July 17, the Staten Island district attorney's office took the case to a grand jury that spent two months hearing from 50 witnesses and scrutinizing evidence including police policy manuals, medical records and four videos, according to the few details released.
Medical examiners had found that a police chokehold (a maneuver banned by police policy) caused Garner's death. Officer Daniel Pantaleo's lawyer argued the officer used a permissible takedown. Grand jurors decided Wednesday that no criminal charges were warranted.
The decision spurred protests and questions about how prosecutors conducted the secret process. And it has prompted debate over whether special prosecutors would build public trust or undermine a system set up to put tough decisions in elected prosecutors' hands.
"There has to be a permanent special prosecutor for police misconduct because of the inherent conflict" in tasking local prosecutors with exploring allegations against the police who are often their partners, said civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel.
DOJ Uncovers Absurd Levels Of Misconduct At Cleveland Police Force
By: Steve - December 8, 2014 - 11:00am
A 59-page report released by the United States Department of Justice on Thursday reveals widespread, excessive use of force by police officers in Cleveland. Cleveland is the city where cops recently killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice while he was carrying a toy gun on a playground, and just before that, Tanesha Anderson died in police hands when cops were supposed to be transporting her for mental health treatment.
In one incident from the Justice Department's new report, a 300-pound officer sat on a 13 year-old boy who weighed half as much and punched the boy in the face repeatedly while the boy was handcuffed in the back of a police car. In another incident, police used their stun gun on a juvenile suspect, despite the fact that the boy was being held on the ground by two officers. In a third incident, an officer fired upon a man who fled after repeatedly asking the officer to produce his badge in order to prove that he was, in fact, a cop. The cop did not do so.
The overarching conclusion of the report is that Cleveland police "too often use unnecessary and unreasonable force in violation of the Constitution," and that "[s]upervisors tolerate this behavior and, in some cases, endorse it."
The report points to a "pattern or practice of using unreasonable force in violation of the Fourth Amendment," including the "unnecessary and excessive use of deadly force," similar use of non-deadly force, and "[e]xcessive force against persons who are mentally ill or in crisis."
Some of the incidents laid out in the report reflect such questionable judgment that they would almost be comic if they did not end so tragically. In one incident, a police sergeant fired upon a hostage who fled a house where he was being held against his will by armed assailants. Although the man fled the building wearing nothing but his boxer shorts, the sergeant fired upon the man because he believed that the man had a weapon when he pointed arm towards the sergeant. According to the report, "[n]o other officers at the scene reported seeing [the man] point anything at the sergeant."
Another section of the report, which details a high-speed chase involving dozens of officers, is worth quoting at length:
On November 29, 2012, over 100 Cleveland police officers engaged in a high speed chase, in violation of CDP policies, and fatally shot two unarmed civilians. . . . The incident began when Timothy Russell and his passenger Malissa Williams drove past the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland, at which point officers and witnesses outside the Justice Center heard what they believed to be a shot fired from the car.
What they actually heard was the car backfiring. A massive chase ensued, involving at least 62 police vehicles, some of which were unmarked, and more than 100 patrol officers, supervisors, and dispatchers -- about 37 percent of the CDP personnel on duty in the City.
The pursuit lasted 25 minutes, reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. During the chase, some of the confusing and contradictory radio traffic incorrectly indicated that the occupants of the car may be armed and may be firing from the car. Other radio traffic did not support that conclusion. No supervisor asserted control over the chase, and some even participated. CDP now admits that the manner in which the chase occurred was not in accordance with established CDP policies.
The chase finally ended outside the City's borders, in an East Cleveland school parking lot, with CDP vehicles located in front of and behind Mr. Russell's car. Thirteen CDP officers fired 137 shots at the car, killing both its occupants. Mr. Russell and Ms. Williams each suffered more than 20 gunshot wounds. The officers, who were firing on the car from all sides, reported believing that they were being fired at by the suspects. It now appears that those shots were being fired by fellow officers.
Just last week, nine officers involved in this incident filed a lawsuit claiming they were punished more harshly for their participation because they were not African American. Their punishment? Three days of administrative leave, followed by restricted duty for about 45 days, during which they say they were asked to do "menial and unpleasant tasks" and denied overtime pay.
The Justice Department's report, however, found that these incidents of excessive force may have flourished because the police department's mechanisms for investigating and disciplining officers who engaged in excessive force were entirely inadequate. Some officers who are "charged with conducting unbiased reviews of officers use of deadly force admitted to [the Justice Department] that they conduct their investigations with the goal of casting the accused officer in the most positive light possible."
The report found that "[d]iscipline is so rare that no more than 51 officers out of a sworn force of 1,500 were disciplined in any fashion in connection with a use of force incident over a three-and-a half-year period."
When the DOJ dug deeper into that 51 incidents, they found that "in most of those 51 cases the actual discipline imposed was for procedural violations such as failing to file a report, charges were dismissed or deemed unfounded, or the disciplinary process was suspended due to pending civil claims."
A press release accompanying the report announced that "the Justice Department and the city of Cleveland have signed a statement of principles committing them to develop a court enforceable consent decree that will include a requirement for an independent monitor who will oversee and ensure necessary reforms."
A consent decree is an agreement negotiated between the DOJ and the city that can be overseen and potentially enforced by a federal court once it is finalized.
Economy Adds Massive Number Of Jobs In November & O'Reilly Ignored It
By: Steve - December 7, 2014 - 10:00am
And the reason I keep pointing this out is because O'Reilly claims the Obama economic policies are not working, even though all the measures of the economy say the opposite. The stock market is setting record highs, unemployment is down, jobs are up to over 200,000 every month, and now over 300,000 a month, and gas prices are down to $2.50 a gallon, and heading to $2.00 a gallon by Christmas.
But O'Reilly never mentions any of that, not a word. Because it proves he is wrong and that the Obama economic policies are working. And btw, when those same measures showed good news under Bush, O'Reilly reported it every time and even gave Bush credit for it. But when it happens under Obama, O'Reilly not only does not give Obama credit for it, he does not even report any of it.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. employers added a whopping 321,000 jobs in November, the biggest burst of hiring in nearly three years and the latest sign that the United States is outperforming other economies throughout the developed world.
The Labor Department also said Friday that 44,000 more jobs were added in September and October combined than the government had previously estimated. Job gains have averaged 241,000 a month this year, putting 2014 on track to be the strongest year for hiring since 1999.
The unemployment rate remained at a six-year low of 5.8 percent last month.
The robust job gains come after the economy expanded from April through September at its fastest pace in 11 years. The additional jobs should support steady growth in coming months.
The job gains were fueled in part by strong hiring in retail, temporary services and transportation and warehousing. Those increases likely reflect seasonal hiring for the winter holidays. Shipping companies have announced ambitious plans: UPS has said it expects to add up to 95,000 seasonal workers, up from 85,000 last year. FedEx plans to hire 50,000, up from 40,000.
But the hiring also extended across many other parts of the economy. Manufacturers added 28,000 jobs, the most in a year. Education and health services added 38,000. And professional and business services, a category that includes temps but also higher-paying jobs in fields such as accounting and engineering, gained the most in four years.
The improving U.S. job market contrasts with weakness elsewhere around the globe. Growth among the 18 European nations in the euro alliance is barely positive, and the eurozone's unemployment rate is 11.5 percent. Japan is in recession.
Most economists say the United States will likely continue to strengthen despite the sluggishness overseas. The U.S. economy is much less dependent on exports than are Germany, China and Japan. U.S. growth is fueled more by its large domestic market and free-spending consumers, who account for about 70 percent of the economy.
That trend helps support the steady U.S. job growth. Most of the industries that have enjoyed the strongest job gains depend on the U.S. market rather than on overseas demand. Retailers, restaurants and hotels, and education and health care, for example, have been among the most consistent sources of healthy hiring since the recession officially ended in 2009.
Remember this folks, O'Reilly is saying the economy is a disaster, and that the Obama economic policies are not working. While all the facts and measures of the economy say the exact opposite. The stock market is at record highs, unemployment is down, jobs are way up, and the GDP is up every quarter.
This shows one thing, Bill O'Reilly is a partisan right-wing hack who is lying to you. He hates Obama so much he can not admit the truth, so he lies to you that things are not going well with the economy, when they are, just open your eyes and stop buying the lies from O'Reilly.
Republican Congressman Thanks Grand Jury For Not Indicting Cop
By: Steve - December 6, 2014 - 10:00am
And here is my personal opinion, Congressman Peter King is a low-life jackass that should be voted out of office. The cop used a banned choke hold that killed the guy, and at the least he should have been indicted for involuntary manslaughter, even O'Reilly thinks that. You do not thank someone for choking a person to death, especially when it was done using a chokehold that the NYPD had banned.
Nobody should be thanking that corrupt grand jury, and his explanation for why he thanked them sounds like something a mental patient would come up with.
Andrew Kirell from mediaite wrote this about it:
America's favorite Irish-terrorism-supporter-elected-to-Congress took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to thank the Staten Island grand jury for its decision not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the July death of Eric Garner after being placed in a chokehold while under arrest.
"Thanks to SI grand jury for doing justice & not yielding to outside pressure," King pecked out Wednesday afternoon. "Decision must be respected."
The congressman -- who once reaffirmed his support for Irish terrorists after their attack on Royal forces in Ireland, and who thinks journalists should be arrested for practicing free speech.
This writer remains eternally ashamed that his fellow Long Islanders have elected King to 11 consecutive terms.
And that's not all, the insane Congressman also blmed Garner for his own death saying he was too obese, saying this: "If You Can't Breathe, You Can't Talk."
Even though Garner did talk, and told the cop he could not breathe multiple times, while the cop did not let go of the banned chokehold until he died. King is such an idiot, he should not only be voted out of office, he should be impeached and kicked out of Congress now.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) followed up on his tweet thanking the grand jury for deciding not to indict the officer who killed Eric Garner with a chokehold by explaining his take on the case to Wolf Blitzer Wednesday evening.
Despite the video evidence of Garner repeatedly saying "I can't breathe" as officers tackled him the ground and choked him until he ultimately died, King would not admit that excessive force had been used.
"First of all, the death was tragic, and our hearts have to go out to the Garner family," King began. Getting that obligatory statement out of the way, the congressman reiterated that he does not believe the officer should have been indicted and proceeded to defend the police actions.
"If he had not had asthma and a heart condition and was so obese, almost definitely he would not have died for this," King said of Garner. "The police had no reason to know he was in serious condition."
While not saying one word about the NYPD policy that banned chokeholds because they are deadly, instead he blamed the man who was choked to death for his own death, which is just laughable.
On Garner repeating "I can't breathe," King said, "the fact of the matter is, if you can't breathe, you can't talk."
Except he was talking, he was telling them he can not breathe.
He even said he has "no doubt" that a "350 pound white guy" would have been treated the same way, even though that is total 100% speculation.
Finally, King addressed the likelihood that a civil rights case would be brought by the federal government against the officer. "President Obama, if he's serious about trying to bring racial peace to this country, the last thing he should be doing is having Al Sharpton sit in the White House," he said.
"When he says that people in the African-American community don't trust the police, one of the reasons is because agitators like Al Sharpton are constantly criticizing and attacking and denouncing the police before he has any idea what the facts are."
Which is just insanity, maybe they do not trust the police because they shoot and kill unarmed black kids, and use banned choke holds to choke black guys to death. And we know what the fricking facts are, because we saw the whole thing on video. People who say we do not know all the facts in this case are insane, because we see it on video with our own eyes.
Fox Only Showed 25 Seconds Of NY Mayor Chokehold Press Conference
By: Steve - December 5, 2014 - 10:00am
Fox News aired less than 30 seconds of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's press conference following a grand jury decision not to indict a police officer for the choking death of Eric Garner. The speech ran nearly 17 minutes and was aired in full by CNN and MSNBC.
On December 3rd, a New York City grand jury voted not to bring criminal charges against a police officer accused in the choking death of Garner who died after being arrested for allegedly selling loose cigarettes.
An earlier autopsy by New York City's medical examiner ruled that Garner's death "was a homicide resulting from the chokehold and the compression of his chest by police officers."
Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the decision during a press conference in Staten Island on December 3rd. The Mayor's speech, which lasted nearly 17 minutes, attempted to calm racial tensions in the city.
While CNN and MSNBC aired the speech live in its entirety, Fox News did not, airing only 25 seconds of the speech.
And btw, O'Reilly never said a word about it, while he complains about other media outlets ignoring stories for partisan reasons, when Fox does the very same thing. When CNN and MSNBC ignore stories that are negative to Obama or a Democrat, O'Reilly complains about it and says the media is corrupt, but when Fox does the very same thing, O'Reilly is silent.
Fox aired the 25 seconds so that if anyone says they did not cover the story they can say they did. But if this were a conservative cause they would have showed the entire press conference and spent hours and hours reporting on it. After the press conference they barely mentioned it, Greta spent very little time on it, and O'Reilly only had 2 segments about it.
Opening On Thanksgiving Backfires For Retail Stores
By: Steve - December 4, 2014 - 11:00am
Retailers that opened their doors on Thanksgiving Day in hopes of boosting holiday sales are shifting purchases away from Black Friday, rather than increasing the number of overall transactions.
According to an initial reading of data from consumer analytics firm ShopperTrak, "combined sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday fell 0.5 percent from the same period last year," the New York Times notes.
The data shows that sales increased 27.3 percent on Thanksgiving Day, but fell by 5.6 percent on Black Friday. A different survey from IBM also found that online shopping was up 14.3 percent on Thanksgiving Day from the same time last year.
"People are changing their behavior," said Bill Martin, ShopperTrak's co-founder. "We've seen this for two years in a row now. Stores opening on Thanksgiving are simply eroding sales from Black Friday."
Some stores decided to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day in order to preserve the holiday for their workers and avoid siphoning off Black Friday customers.
But at least 12 major chains were open on Thanksgiving Day, staffed by workers who have very little to say in the matter.
Some are told that they will face repercussions if they refused to work on Thanksgiving and those who volunteer tend to do so because they are part-time, underpaid employees who are given erratic schedules and need all of the hours they can accumulate.
Fox Senior Legal Analyst: Chokehold Cop Should Have Been Indicted
By: Steve - December 4, 2014 - 10:00am
Immediately following the grand jury decision not to indict an NYPD officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, Fox News' Shepard Smith invited legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano to share his opinion on the matter. Based on the cell phone video evidence, Napolitano quickly said the officer should have been indicted.
"My thoughts are that this ought to have been an indictment and ought to have been an indictment for some form of manslaughter," Napolitano said. "It's not first-degree murder, it's not second-degree murder but it's certainly reckless manslaughter, because of the excessive use of deadly force on a person who posed no serious or material threat to the police."
Comment by Steve: This was on video, we saw the cop choke the guy to death for no reason, it was clear to everyone who saw the video, even the Fox senior legal analyst, and yet the grand jury did not indict him for anything, nothing. Think about that, and then ask yourself how the grand jury in the Ferguson case has any credibility now.
In NY City it is against police policy to use a chokehold, the coroner ruled it a homicide, and we see the cop choke the man to death on video, and yet the grand jury still did not indict him for anything, it's insane, and the people on that grand jury should never be used again. The man was choked to death, against police policy, and they still did not indict the cop, which is an outrage, and even Bill O'Reilly said it was disturbing.
Napolitano drew a stark distinction between the Garner case and that of Michael Brown, in which there was a "struggle for the gun." Instead, he said, "This is a case of a poor, sorry individual doing nothing more than selling untaxed cigarettes and as a result of government intervention, he's dead."
Comment by Steve: And you can bet the farm his family is going to sue for wrongful death and win a big settlement, and guess who will pay it, the city, with your taxpayer money, then they will most likely raise your taxes to cover it, so the people should be outraged at this stuff and demand it stop. Some cops are out of control and they think they are above the law, and that is a fact.
While Napolitano said he generally agrees with the strategy of policing the "small stuff" like selling untaxed cigarettes in order to reduce more dangerous crimes, he added, "This is an example of it not working. This is an example of a cop using a procedure, which as you indicated the police department has instructed its police for 20 years, long before he was a cop, not to use, a procedure that was grossly excessive in light of the threat to the police at the scene, which was near zero."
More Good Economic News O'Reilly Has Totally Ignored
By: Steve - December 3, 2014 - 10:00am
US November Auto Sales Strongest In Years
Five of the top six automakers sold more cars and trucks in November than analysts expected, with a surging economy, heavy discounting and falling fuel prices luring consumers into U.S. showrooms.
General Motors on Tuesday said November sales rose 6.5 percent to 225,818 vehicles.
"Lower gasoline prices are helping the entire market, not just SUVs and trucks," said GM spokesman Jim Cain, adding that fuel prices "are just one factor among many that are helping boost sales industry-wide." He cited a stronger economy, improving consumer confidence, higher wages and lower unemployment.
Comment: All good news for Americans and the country, but O'Reilly does not report any of it because then he would have to admit the Obama economic policies and the stimulus he passed worked and are working.
O'Reilly will not admit it worked because Obama is a Democrat, if he were a Republican O'Reilly would be reporting this kind of news every night, as he did under Bush when good economic news came in. Not only would he report it, he would give the President credit for it, except when that President is a Democrat, then he ignores it.
Sales of GM's Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups climbed 34 percent to 65,343. The big trucks accounted for 29 percent of GM's total sales volume in November.
Chrysler Group sales rose 20.1 percent to 170,839 vehicles on strong showings by its Jeep brand and Ram pickup trucks, the unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said.
Chrysler's Ram pickup truck sales were up 21 percent, while Jeep SUV sales jumped 27 percent.
Comment: Watch the Factor, and you will see that O'Reilly does not say a word about any of this, or the stock market, or gas prices being so low. But when the market had a temporary drop and gas prices were high, O'Reilly reported it and blamed it on Obama. But when the market sets new record highs and gas hits record lows, O'Reilly ignores it.
Factor Regular Hume Can't Remember Obama Speaking About Black Crime
By: Steve - December 2, 2014 - 10:00am
Now remember this, Brit Hume is the senior political analyst for O'Reilly on the Factor, and yet, he proves his bias by lying that Obama never speaks out about black on black crime, when he has clearly spoken out on it a hundred times, but somehow the jackass Brit Hume just can not remember any of it.
Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume accused President Obama and civil rights leaders of not speaking out on "black-on-black" violence and crime in Chicago. Even though Obama has repeatedly spoken out on these issues and acted to address them, as have civil rights groups. I will not list all of it, but here is a partial list.
Hume: "I Don't Recall The President Weighing In" On "Black-On-Black Killings." On the December 1 edition of America's Newsroom, Hume discussed Obama's plans to hold meetings at the White House with civil rights leaders and law enforcement officers on improving the relationship between police and the communities they serve in the wake of the Ferguson protests. Hume cited "waves of black-on-black killings" across the country to attack Obama for supposedly not speaking out on violence in black communities:
HUME: Well, you know, Martha, that's an interesting point because according to the Centers for Disease Control that tracks these things, the leading cause of death among African-Americans age 15 -- I believe it's 15 to 24 is homicide. And you see these continuing waves of black-on-black killings in places like Chicago, which is the most conspicuous because the numbers are so high out there, but in places across the country.Comment: Brit Hume is a biased hack of a dishonest right-wing liar, he has no credibility and should be banned from journalism. He is nothing but a stupid right-wing idiot who lies to the American people, and here is the proof, as in facts.
President Obama Has Repeatedly Addressed Violence In Black Communities
In his May 2013 commencement speech at the historically black, all-male Morehouse College, Obama explained the importance of having black male role models and addressed poverty and violence in black communities:
OBAMA: But that doesn't mean we don't have work -- because if we're honest with ourselves, we know that too few of our brothers have the opportunities that you've had here at Morehouse.In a February 2013 speech at Hyde Park Academy in Chicago, Obama addressed the problem of gun violence in the city and reflected on his own experience growing up:
President Barack Obama offered a personal reflection on gun violence here Friday, tackling the issue not as a policymaker or parent, but as a black man himself who knew how close he'd come to a very different fate.Obama Referenced Chicago Violence In Speech On Gun Policy. In a January 2013 address, Obama referenced violence in Chicago while introducing "the most sweeping gun policy reform in a generation," alluding to the "'too frequent' shooting deaths of 'kids on street corners of Chicago.'" [Huffington Post, 1/16/13]
Obama Created "My Brother's Keeper" Initiative "To Help Young Men Of Color." In July, Obama announced an expansion of his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, aimed at "bolstering the lives of young minority men and boys":
The goals of My Brother's Keeper are broadly to help young men of color at critical moments of their lives, including early literacy, high school and in the teens and early 20s when so many are sucked into the so-called school-to-prison pipeline.Michelle Obama Addressed Violence In Chicago At Funeral Of Teenager Hadiya Pendleton. First lady Michelle Obama spoke out against violence in Chicago at the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, killed days after performing at President Obama's 2013 inauguration. From the speech:
"But I got to grow up and go to Princeton and Harvard Law School and have a career and family and the most blessed life I could ever imagine. And Hadiya? Oh we know that story. Just a week after she performed at my husband's inauguration, she went to a park with some friends, and got shot in the back.Civil Rights Groups Have Also Addressed Violence In Black Communities
NAACP Met With Chicago Mayor To Address Gun Violence. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People met with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in November 2013 "to discuss ways to fight gun violence in the city." [NAACP, 11/20/14]
National Action Network Called For Action On Chicago Violence. In July, the National Action Network called for action on violence in Chicago and planned "to convene an anti-violence summit of national civil rights leaders" in the city. [ABC 7 Chicago, 7/10/14]
Woman's 29 Year Republican Police Nephew Said This About Officer Wilson
By: Steve - December 1, 2014 - 11:00am
Not only is he a 29 year cop, he is the third highest ranking officer in the county that he works in. I asked him about the Wilson shooting. Being the Republican that he is, I expected him to jump to Darin Wilson's defense. He had this to say.
He would not say it was a racial thing because he doesn't know. He did say he read all of the reports and the grand jury testimony.
1-He said at very least Wilson is completely incompetent. That you never get out of the car by yourself if you know there is going to be a physical confrontation with an unarmed person. Especially if you were in Wilson's words, "afraid" of the guy.
2-He said Wilson should have let Brown go, followed him as far as he could in the car as he called for back up. If he had to, arrest him later.
3-He had no business firing once Brown was down on the ground. He fired four shots too many even if you believe his story.
4-It is unheard of to leave the guy laying in the street for four and a half hours.
5-If all of this was in accordance to Wilson's training, an idiot trained him.
6-Brown's family will get a huge settlement from Ferguson because if this goes to civil trail it will cost them many millions more.
What my nephew thinks happened is that Wilson got into an argument with the kid, got out of his car to whip his ass. Quickly realized he bit off more than he could chew, so he shot the kid.
Law Professor Says Prosecutor Manipulated Grand Jury To Shield Darren Wilson
By: Steve - December 1, 2014 - 10:00am
And of course O'Reilly never has any of these legal experts on to discuss it, not this law professor or Nancy Grace, etc.
Marjorie Cohn - Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law wrote this:
You know the fix is in when a suspect who shot an unarmed man voluntarily provides four hours of un-cross examined testimony to a grand jury without taking the Fifth.
On August 9, Ferguson, Missouri Police Officer Darren Wilson gunned down the unarmed 18-year-old African American Michael Brown. Since that fateful day, people across the country have protested against racial profiling, excessive police force, and the failure of the criminal justice system to provide accountability.
The nail in the coffin of "equal justice under law" came on November 24, when the St. Louis County grand jury refused to indict Wilson for any criminal charges in the shooting death of Brown. In a virtually unprecedented move, St. Louis Prosecutor Robert McCulloch in effect deputized the grand jurors to sit as triers of fact as in a jury trial.
In a normal grand jury proceeding, the prosecutor presents evidence for a few days and then asks the grand jurors to return an indictment, which they nearly always do. Of 162,000 federal cases in 2010, grand juries failed to indict in only 11 of them, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
[ Comment by Steve: And Bill O'Reilly never once mentions that statistic, even though he is a stat guy who claims to present both sides of the story and all the facts. He also failed to mention that Wilson was part of another police force in Missouri that was all fired by the city council for corruption, racism, and misconduct. ]
The standard of proof for a grand jury to indict is only probable cause to believe the suspect committed a crime. It is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt, which is required for conviction at trial. Yet McCulloch's team presented testimony and documents to the panel for three months, evidence not subjected to adversarial testing by cross-examination.
Justice Antonin Scalia explained the function of the grand jury in United States v. Williams as follows:
It is the grand jury's function not 'to enquire . . . upon what foundation [the charge may be] denied,' or otherwise to try the suspect's defenses, but only to examine 'upon what foundation [the charge] is made' by the prosecutor. [citations omitted] As a consequence, neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented.
Every principle Scalia cited was violated in this case. The grand jury was asked to determine whether Wilson acted in self-defense. Wilson was allowed to give four hours of self-serving testimony to the grand jury. And for three months, prosecutors presented both incriminating and exculpatory evidence.
The prosecutor did not ask these grand jurors for an indictment. They were left to sift through the evidence on their own, with no prosecutorial guidance about what to charge. Indeed, the transcripts indicated that prosecutors asked Wilson gentle, leading questions designed to bolster his self-defense claim.
For example, a prosecutor told Wilson, "You felt like your life was in jeopardy," followed by, "And use of deadly force was justified at that point, in your opinion?" But prosecutors rigorously challenged witnesses who contradicted Wilson's testimony.
As the grand jury is a secret proceeding, with only the grand jurors and the prosecutor present, the grand jurors did not hear any cross-examination of the officer's testimony, or that of other witnesses (which is customary in an adversarial jury trial). These grand jurors, who were nearing the end of their term, which began in May, knew the drill, since they had sat on several other cases.
They knew the prosecutor always asks for indictments. Thus, when the prosecutor handled the Wilson case in a radically different manner, this signaled to the grand jurors that they were not expected to indict. And they did not.
Another unorthodox aspect of this case was McCulloch's announcement of the grand jury's decision on national television. Sounding like a defense attorney delivering a closing argument in a jury trial, McCulloch characterized and analyzed the witness testimony in the light most favorable to the officer.
McCulloch has a history of bias in favor of police involved in altercations with black men. But, ignoring the pleas of 7,000 residents in and near Ferguson who signed a petition, McCulloch refused to recuse himself in the Wilson case.
McCulloch had mischaracterized testimony in a 2000 case in which two black men were killed after officers fired 21 shots at them. As in the Wilson case, the reasonableness of the officers' use of deadly force was critical. In the 2000 case, the officers said the two victims were driving toward them, trying to run them down, and McCulloch claimed that all the witnesses corroborated the officers' story.
A later federal investigation, however, determined that the car was not moving forward, and that only three of the thirteen officers said the car was moving forward.
Likewise, Wilson's claim that Brown was "charging" at him when the officer fired the fatal shots into the top of Brown's bowed head was critical to the reasonableness of Wilson's use of deadly force. When McCulloch announced the grand jury's decision, he characterized the witnesses who testified that Brown was "charging" the officer as believable, but dismissed the testimony of witnesses who said Brown was surrendering.
McCulloch sounded like a defense attorney, not a prosecutor charged with representing "the people," including Brown.
Wilson fired 12 shots at Brown, six of which struck the teenager. There was a great deal of contradiction among the witnesses, including whether Brown's hands were up or down when Wilson shot at him.
That is precisely why there should have been an indictment and a jury trial. Jurors would hear all of the evidence, subjected to adversarial testing by cross-examination. They would assess the credibility of the witnesses, and determine whether Wilson had committed any crime(s) beyond a reasonable doubt.
After reviewing the transcripts and evidence in the Wilson case, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi noted:
Dorian Johnson, the key witness who was standing next to Brown during the encounter, provided strong testimony that called into question Wilson's claim that he was defending his life against a deranged aggressor. Johnson testified that Wilson, enraged that the young men did not obey his order to get on the sidewalk, threw his patrol car into reverse.
While Wilson claimed Brown prevented him from opening his door, Johnson testified that the officer smacked them with the door after nearly hitting the pair. Johnson described the ensuing struggle as Wilson attempting to pull Brown through the car window by his neck and shirt, and Brown pulling away. Johnson never saw Brown reach for Wilson's gun or punch the officer. Johnson testified that he watched a wounded Brown partially raise his hands and say, 'I don't have a gun' before being fatally shot.
Adachi also wrote, "Prosecutors never asked Wilson why he did not attempt to drive away while Brown was allegedly reaching through his vehicle window or to reconcile the contradiction between his claim that Brown punched the left side of his face and the documented injuries which appear on his right side."
If properly directed, the grand jury may well have indicted Wilson for one of several offenses, including first degree murder, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful discharge of a firearm, and battery.
Wilson testified that he was acting in self-defense when he shot Brown. If he were indicted, the jury would assess whether Wilson acted reasonably when he used deadly force against the teenager.
A police officer in Missouri can use deadly force in making an arrest or preventing escape if he reasonably believes it is necessary to effect the arrest and also reasonably believes the person to be arrested has committed or attempted to commit a felony, or may otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay.
The key word is "reasonably." The jury would be told to consider whether a deadly weapon was used, how far apart Wilson was from Brown when the former used deadly force, any disparities in the sizes of the two, the crime involved, etc.
The evidence was contradictory about the distance between the two during the confrontation, both Wilson and Brown were the same height but Brown was heavier, and the officer contradicted himself about whether he knew that Brown was suspected of committing petty theft for stealing cigarillos (a misdemeanor, not a felony) before the officer stopped him.
In Tennessee v. Garner, the Supreme Court held that an officer cannot arrest an unarmed felony suspect by shooting him dead. If the suspect threatens the officer with a weapon, or there is probable cause to believe he has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm, deadly force may be used if necessary to prevent escape.
Although there is a dispute about whether Wilson knew that Brown was suspected of stealing cigarillos before stopping him, Brown had likely committed petty theft -- a non-violent misdemeanor, not a felony.
In my opinion, McCulloch should have filed charges against Wilson, who would then have had the right to a public preliminary hearing. He could present evidence and cross-examine the witnesses against him. And if it were televised, the viewing public could see that justice is done.
According to Adachi:
Wilson's description of Brown as a 'demon' with superhuman strength and unremitting rage, and his description of the neighborhood as 'hostile,' illustrate implicit racial bias that taints use-of-force decisions. These biases surely contribute to the fact that African Americans are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than whites in the US, but the statement's racial implications remain unexamined.
In a unified statement, several civil and human rights organizations recommended an independent and comprehensive federal investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ). They said the DOJ should also investigate all police killings and reports of the use of excessive force and racial profiling against youth and people of color. And they would require Body-Worn Cameras to record every police-civilian encounter, and increased community oversight of local law enforcement.
Thousands of people in cities throughout the country are protesting the travesty of justice that occurred in Ferguson. But, as the civil and human rights organizations wrote in their statement, "Nothing will be resolved until there is a systemic change throughout this nation in the implicit and explicit bias against people of color and particularly African-American youth who are routinely targeted by law enforcement even within their own communities."
Marjorie Cohn is a criminal defense attorney, and a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence.
Comment by Steve: Bill O'Reilly is not even an attorney, with no legal background, he is just a biased hack of a cable tv news host who works for a biased news network, and yet he wants you to believe him instead of all the legal experts, and ignores the facts that do not fit his spin on the case.
Bill O'Reilly make sure to visit the home page: www.oreilly-sucks.com