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Member since: Thu Mar 16, 2006, 02:07 PM
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We have a choice.

I grew up in Georgia. My early years were spent in a small college town located next door to Plains, GA - what later became known as Jimmy Carter country. It was the early 60's and my family had always been politically active democrats. My father and Jimmy Carter were good friends, he even wrote about my father in one of his books. I don't want to go into any real detail about how they became friends or all they accomplished together, but I will say that they seemed like heroes to me. They were fighting for civil rights during my childhood, and as an education and trial lawyer, my father found himself at the heart of the civil rights movement. The myriad ways segregation impacted my life still resonates with me today, and even trickles down to my children. For example, one fine Sunday morning around 1965, Congressman Elijah Cummings and 3 other African Americans tried to enter our all-white Methodist Church in my hometown. They were blocked from entering, so they knelt on the ground in front of the marble steps and soaring columns and prayed. There is a famous photo of that day. Large white men are standing between the columns looking like thugs, with 4 African Americans, dressed in their Sunday best, at the bottom of the steps, kneeling in prayer. My father was given a copy of that photograph. It's a powerful image. That was my last day of church. I vividly remember my father protesting what was happening with the words, "God welcomes all of His children in His home." A few days later, the church elders sent a lackey to our house requesting that we not return. I never a joined a church again.

My father came from a large family with 8 kids. One of my uncles became the Secretary of the State of GA and served honorably for over 30 years. The democratic party wanted my uncle to run for Governor. Because he was so popular, there was no question that he would win. But he refused, saying that if he were to run for Governor he would have to become a politician, and he never wanted to be that. He wanted to serve the state he loved so dearly as a "statesman". He was a colorful character and truly loved by so many, but one reason he was so loved was because he did what was best for Georgia. He followed the law, not his party, and not the political whims of the powerful. There is a famous story about the 3 Governors Controversy of GA. It is a wild tale and involved my uncle:

The Three Governors Controversy took place from 1946 to 1947. Eugene Talmadge was elected to be the next governor of Georgia, but he fell ill and died before he was inaugurated. Because of this, the General Assembly decided to elect Herman Talmadge, the son of Eugene Talmadge, to be the new governor of Georgia. However, two other people wanted the position. Ellis Arnall, the governor who was about to leave office, decided to stay governor and refused to leave...The other man was Melvin Thompson, the just elected lieutenant governor. Ben Fortson, who was secretary of state at this time, was in charge of the state seal. Neither man could do official government actions without this seal so Fortson hid the seal and refused to tell anyone where it was until the government issue was resolved. This caused the council to take action. After the dispute ended, he revealed the location of the hidden seal. Fortson had put the seal under a cushion in his wheelchair and had been sitting on it during the dispute. Fortson later quoted that he was "sitting on it like a setting of duck eggs." The controversy ended with Melvin Thompson being named the new Governor by the Georgia Supreme Court.

My uncle died in office, and I remember the headlines of the Atlanta Journal: "Georgia's Last Statesman Has Died". He was given a state memorial, and his coffin was on display in the capitol rotunda -- an event that did not occur again until almost 3 decades later with the death of Ray Charles. There are buildings and highways named after him today, and people still remember his stories. I have always been very proud of him.

All of my uncles and my father served in the military. I remember so well my Uncle Charles talking about World War II. He was stationed on a small island in the Pacific. As he puts it, it was the dullest post of the entire war. He never saw any real action. I don't recall the exact story of how the Americans gained control of the island, but I do know that there were some Japanese soldiers who had been left behind, or perhaps had deserted. They lived in the jungle and were afraid of becoming prisoners of war. They were no threat to the Americans. My uncle told me that he and the other American soldiers sometimes saw them and were aware these Japanese men were emaciated and starving. So, the Americans stationed on that island placed blankets and food and other sundry items where these men could get them. In this way, they helped them survive in the wild until the war was over. Before they left, they went into the jungle and tried to let them know the war had ended and they could come out.

In the mid-1980's, I moved to Berlin. I lived with a large and wonderful family during my first few months in Germany. The father of that family had also fought in WWII. He had been captured by the Russians and lived for 5 years in a Russian POW camp. His family told me that he refused to talk about that time of his life. I have no idea what hardships he endured. I lived in Berlin for 12 years, and during that time, I heard a multitude of war stories. I learned an awful lot about the Germans, and understood their remorse and shame around the Holocaust. As an American, however, the Germans wanted me to know one thing - as the Russians and the Americans were marching toward Berlin - one from the east and the other from the west - the Berliners hoped the Americans would get there first. The Russians were brutal in war, and the Americans were known for being fair. We did not torture our prisoners, and we did not commit crimes against humanity. We were the good guys. As it happened, the Russians and the Americans finally met at the River Elbe, where it was decided that the Russians would take Berlin.

These are the stories and the heroes that have shaped my identity as an American and a Democrat. As a nation, we have had segregation, but the good guys fought it. We have had elections that were unsettled, but the Secretary of State and the Supreme Court did the right thing. We have been the good guys in war, and held the beacon of light for freedom.

Today, I weep for Trayvon and Michael, Eric, John and Tamir. I watch as my Supreme Court decides almost all cases along party lines, including, at one point, the Presidency. I hear about my country waterboarding and rectally feeding and threatening to rape mothers of prisoners...Oh my heart breaks. What have we become?


My teenage daughter recently lied to me and a teacher about a paper she was supposed to write. She wasn't done with it so she came up with a tall tale about how Google docs ate her paper. The teacher granted her another day. That evening, as I tried to help my daughter retrieve the phantom paper from Google docs, she tearfully confessed her sins. I told her she had a choice. She could quickly write a paper and turn it in, and, with her talent in writing, she would probably get a hundred. But how would she feel about that hundred? I told her there was only one path to salvation: she had to go in the next morning and confess to her teacher. I told her it would be hard, and the teacher might give her a zero; but, one thing I was certain: she would own that zero with honor. And, I told her, it would probably be the most important grade of her entire school years ever. My daughter knew what she had to do. She was very frightened and asked me to walk into the building with her that morning for support. I am so proud of her for ultimately doing the right thing. The teacher was very gracious and was so moved by my daughter's honesty that she gave her another chance.


We, as a nation...we have a choice.

CIA: None Dare Call It Rape

Tue Dec 09, 2014 at 10:34 PM PST
CIA: None Dare Call It Rape
by zootfloggin

I thought I could not be shocked by the CIA torture report until I listened to NPR's Audie Cornish interview with the former Deputy CIA director John McLaughlin:

CORNISH: What about the issue, then, of the brutality itself? Another charge here is that the program was just much more brutal than the CIA represented to law makers or to the public, and gets fairly graphic in terms of things like abuse of detainees rectally and things like that. I mean, what's your response to the idea of the brutality being far worse than represented?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, people need to read the CIA rebuttal on this.

We live in a never-never world of Newspeak, where waterboarding of American prisoners by the Japanese soldiers in WWII was prosecutable torture but only "enhanced interrogation" when performed by the CIA.
Now it appears that CIA interrogators were raping suspects as well. "According to the Senate report: "At least five CIA detainees were subjected to "rectal rehydration" or rectal feeding without documented medical necessity."

This is emphatically clear--there was no sane medical reason to rectally insert anything into these prisoners. Do not let McLaughlin and others lie their way out of this. In a premeditated manner the interrogators planned the rape and humiliation of these prisoners. Their only justification was to break the victim emotionally, the same goal that all rapists have.

When feeding or rehydrating someone who cannot or will not be fed or rehydrated, every beginning medical student knows that you use a nasogastric tube to deliver fluids. The tube goes in the other end, down the mouth so that liquids are naturally processed by the digestive tract. It is common to see prisoners on hunger-strike being force fed with a naso-gastric tube, so the technology was not completely unknown to the interrogators. And they didn't just accidentally get it wrong.

Except in very unusual circumstances, sticking this tube up someone's rectum is medically contraindicated since you don't get efficient large bowel absorption of water and nutrients and you end up giving the patient an enema. As any first year med student knows, you would have to be a moron to do this. Or a sick rapist bastard. And this was part of their interrogation tactics.

Place yourself in the detainee's position for a moment. They strip you, beat you, threaten and humiliate you. And then they start forcing something up your ass. Regardless of the value of your information that could stop a crime, can you imagine this occurring in any police station in the United States? Fortunately, when the perpetrators are caught and convicted, they go to jail for a very long time.

Is it justifiable to rape someone to get actionable intelligence to stop terrorism? This takes the debate to another, more twisted plane than simply beating, threatening, waterboarding and sometimes killing detainees. Somehow, abusing and torturing a terrorist suspect seems less evil, more morally equivalent. But to rape with premeditation the prisoners? What demented soul thought that this was a good patriotic American thing to do?

How do these interrogators live with themselves? These CIA interrogators were Americans and were paid by taxpayers like you and me a living wage to rape individuals in the course of their work. Legally. Some of these folks may be your neighbors or coaches on your kids' Little League teams. I wonder what kind of hell they live in if they have any kind of self-reflection. I only wish Cornish had used the word "rape" in her interview instead of her clinically-detached description, just as I wished reporters would have had the guts to use the word "torture" instead of "enhanced interrogation" eight years ago in their reporting.

The irony of this is too great--with the ongoing debate over college rape and Aaron Sorkin and the rest. Apparently, it can be, under some circumstances, reasonable for US officials to rape prisoners under United States policy. Sirs, do you have no shame?


BREAKING: Koch Brothers "Project Snow" SECRET Tax Scam, Dodges Taxes, Hides Money In Luxembourg

Wed Dec 10, 2014 at 04:52 AM PST
BREAKING: Koch Brothers "Project Snow" SECRET Tax Scam, Dodges Taxes, Hides Money In Luxembourg
by Tasini

Overnight, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists broke open a new scandal involving the Koch Brothers intricate plan, dubbed "Project Snow", to dodge taxes.

I've previously written about the ICIJ's ground-breaking work revealing how hundreds of international companies cut secret deals with Luxembourg's tax authorities to avoid paying taxes.

The Koch Brothers revelations, however, are new, and involves other big companies like Disney and Skype. It's a scam enabled by the four largest accounting firms: Price WaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and KPMG. Here are the details:

Koch’s Luxembourg transactions revealed by the new documents involved its chemicals and polymers subsidiary Invista BV, which makes Lycra-brand fiber and Stainmaster-brand carpets.

The Koch documents, also prepared by Ernst & Young, describe “Project Snow,” a 26-step restructuring of Invista designed, they say, to simplify the company’s structure, centralize its cash flow into Luxembourg, and pay down debt.

The restructuring was worked out in a series of four meetings in late 2008 and early 2009 between Ernst & Young employees and Marius Kohl, head of the Bureau d’imposition Sociétés VI, part of Luxembourg’s revenue authority, according to the tax ruling. Kohl, now retired, approved thousands of tax deals over 22 years that helped save companies billions of dollars.

The documents show that in the restructuring, which took place starting in September 2008, the subsidiaries of Invista passed hundreds of millions of dollars back and forth, converting shares to debt and occasionally dissolving firms. Tax-free “hidden distributions” among subsidiaries are just one type of head-spinning transaction included in the confidential tax ruling approved by Luxembourg authorities. Another section describes a $736 million loan that gets passed from company to company until a U.S.-based subsidiary becomes “both the debtor and creditor of the same debt,” and the debt is canceled.

Each step in the tax ruling includes a separate interpretation of how it will impact the company’s taxes in Luxembourg. In most instances, the transactions are exempt.

Central to Koch’s restructuring deal is an internal company bank, Arteva Europe S.à.r.l., which manages the cash flows of the company’s European operations through Luxembourg. Arteva had established a Swiss branch that likely benefited from low tax rates in Switzerland. Luxembourg officials agreed to treat the Swiss branch as separate from the Luxembourg company, according to the tax deal.

From 2010 through 2013 the company paid $6.4 million in taxes on $269 million in profits. Its highest annual tax rate was 4.15 percent.

Arteva reported no staff costs in its annual financial reports filed in Luxembourg. In Switzerland, Arteva’s branch shares an address in Zurich with a firm called Tax Partners AG, whose principals are also listed in public filings as the deputy branch managers of Arteva, according to reporting by ICIJ partner, The Guardian. The branch manager of Arteva Switzerland describes himself on the web site LinkedIn as “tax director, Europe” for Koch International Shared Services.
(emphasis added)

By the way, one of these companies was part of a U.S. election fraud:

Koch Industries admitted in 2011 that one of the key companies in its Luxembourg holdings, Invista S.à.r.l., had funneled a dozen illegal campaign contributions to state political candidates in Virginia, Delaware and Kansas and to the U.S. Democratic Governors Association. The company agreed to pay a fine of $4,700.

In its submission to the Federal Election Commission the company said that “the violations resulted from a general lack of knowledge among company personnel of either the nature of Invista's legal structure or of the restrictions that applied to it as a foreign company.”

Just to recall, what the Koch Brothers is doing is part of the general robbery of the U.S. Treasury undertaken by many companies who keep money stashed abroad--that amount is now almost $2 trillion--through a variety of scams, particularly through so-called "tax inversions" (which I've written a number of pieces about including here, here and here)

So, now, let every potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016 (oh, and, alleged "Democratic" governor of New York State, who received more money from the Koch Brothers than Scott Walker) answer the simple question every voter might want to know: when you pocket the Koch Brothers money, can we assume that you support the fleecing of American taxpayers, who, unlike the Koch Brothers, have to pay their taxes in a transparent way?


Tom Tomorrow Cartoon: Lessons learned

Mon Dec 08, 2014 at 07:00 AM PST
Cartoon: Lessons learned
by Tom Tomorrow


When I asked my mother if Santa was real, she just smiled joyously and said,

"Santa is real, if you believe he is real."

When I asked if she was Santa, she just laughed, and said, "Do I look like Santa?" I knew she was.

Still, I love that she let me hold on to the fantasy a little longer. I came from a big family, and we didn't have a lot of money growing up. But Christmas morning was always magic. I never felt betrayed. Or lied to. I felt loved. Santa came every year until the last child was gone. Then, he started coming for the next generation of children.

To the author of the OP, my advice would be this: Don't spoil the fun. Not for you and not for your child. They'll figure it out on their own. And being Santa really is magical.


This is an opinion column that was written back in August. Excellent article.

Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress.
By Carol Anderson August 29

Carol Anderson is an associate professor of African American studies and history at Emory University and a public voices fellow with the Op-Ed Project. She is the author of “Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960.”

On Aug. 17, police in Ferguson, Mo., wait to advance after using tear gas to disperse a crowd protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown. (Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)

When we look back on what happened in Ferguson, Mo., during the summer of 2014, it will be easy to think of it as yet one more episode of black rage ignited by yet another police killing of an unarmed African American male. But that has it precisely backward. What we’ve actually seen is the latest outbreak of white rage. Sure, it is cloaked in the niceties of law and order, but it is rage nonetheless.

Protests and looting naturally capture attention. But the real rage smolders in meetings where officials redraw precincts to dilute African American voting strength or seek to slash the government payrolls that have long served as sources of black employment. It goes virtually unnoticed, however, because white rage doesn’t have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations.

White rage recurs in American history. It exploded after the Civil War, erupted again to undermine the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision and took on its latest incarnation with Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House. For every action of African American advancement, there’s a reaction, a backlash...


...So when you think of Ferguson, don’t just think of black resentment at a criminal justice system that allows a white police officer to put six bullets into an unarmed black teen. Consider the economic dislocation of black America. Remember a Florida judge instructing a jury to focus only on the moment when George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin interacted, thus transforming a 17-year-old, unarmed kid into a big, scary black guy, while the grown man who stalked him through the neighborhood with a loaded gun becomes a victim. Remember the assault on the Voting Rights Act. Look at Connick v. Thompson, a partisan 5-4 Supreme Court decision in 2011 that ruled it was legal for a city prosecutor’s staff to hide evidence that exonerated a black man who was rotting on death row for 14years. And think of a recent study by Stanford University psychology researchers concluding that, when white people were told that black Americans are incarcerated in numbers far beyond their proportion of the population, “they reported being more afraid of crime and more likely to support the kinds of punitive policies that exacerbate the racial disparities,” such as three-strikes or stop-and-frisk laws...


St. Louis Rams Come Out with 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' Salute

Sun Nov 30, 2014 at 04:09 PM PST
St. Louis Rams Come Out with 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' Salute
by joelal

While taking the field today to play the Oakland Raiders, several St. Louis Rams players decided to mimic the 'Hands Up, Don't Shoot' gesture used by many protesters since the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in nearby Ferguson, Mo. in August.

Despite winning the game, 52-0, the Rams find themselves at the receiving end of fury from many in the fan base as evidenced by some of the comments posted at their Facebook page. This could be the most significant political statement made at a major sporting event since the 'Black Power' salute at the 1968 Sumner Olympics.


Cleveland policeman chases and apprehends boy with BB gun

Sun Nov 30, 2014 at 04:21 AM PST
Cleveland policeman chases and apprehends boy with BB gun
by august88

On May 21, 2014, Cleveland police received reports of a man pointing a rifle at cars on Superior Avenue on Cleveland's East side. Officer Aaron Reese responded and gave chase on foot. Fortunately, the outcome for the boy and the patrolman is much different than is was for Tamir Rice and rookie officer Timothy Loehmann.

Superior Ave. and East 86th Street is located in a rough neighborhood on Cleveland's East side. According to news accounts I've seen over the past several years, that area is rife with gang activity.

Last May 21st Patrolman Aaron Reese received a call from Cleveland police dispatch that a man was observed pointing a rifle at motorists traveling on Superior Ave. near East 86th Street. When he arrived at the scene he exited his patrol car and approached the man who immediately fled. Officer Reese radioed in to dispatch as he gave chase:

“Send me another car, 86 and Superior, I have a male running north bound with a rifle.”

As he was running he yelled to the man to get down and to drop the weapon. The man stopped and followed the patrolman's orders. As Officer Reese was placing handcuffs on the suspect he noticed that the man's wrists were quite small. He then realized that he was dealing with a child.

Once the boy was apprehended and secured, Officer Reese inspected the rifle and discovered that it was a BB gun. He radioed in:

“Radio it was a BB gun, I’m OK,” and Cleveland dispatch relayed the information to the other units en route to the scene to assist with the dangerous situation. http://fox8.com/2014/11/28/boy-with-bb-gun-writes-apology-to-cleveland-police/

Officer Reese took the boy home to his parents who were unaware that he had been carrying a BB gun on Cleveland's streets. As they talked with the boy they learned that the BB gun belonged to his brother's friend.

Police decided not to file criminal charges against the boy but they wanted him to understand just how dangerous his actions were. He was ordered to write a letter telling them what he had learned from the incident. http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2014/11/28/heres-how-cleveland-police-handled-a-bb-gun-incident-in-may

The boy wrote:

“I was stupid to have a BB gun that looks real enough to may have been shot and killed by anyone who saw or carried a real gun ... I was also stupid to walk down the main street with it. I should have just kept it with my brother’s friend and shouldn’t have touched it at all. Even though I was walking, I was thinking in my head what if I get caught also what if I get killed. I am sincerely sorry for having the gun.”

Officer Reese was obviously relieved because when he first arrived at the scene he thought the weapon was a 22 caliber rifle.

Comparison to the shooting of Tamir Rice last week reveals a striking difference in the approach taken by the responding Cleveland Police officer(s), the suspect and the outcome. First, Officer Aaron Reese has been a Cleveland police officer for 5 years (1), having begun as a dispatcher at the age of 17 and having worked for the Ohio Department of Public Safety-Ohio Investigative Unit, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department, and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office (1). Second, and probably more importantly, he is active in the Cleveland Police Athletic League, coaching, mentoring and tutoring Cleveland youth. He understands what the kids in his district face growing up because he is involved in the community. Third, Officer Reese arrived at the site alone in his patrol car.

The last observation is not advocating for single-officer patrols, which had been an issue with Cleveland Police and the administration in years past, but rather it speaks to the self-confidence of Officer Reese as well as the regard his superiors and colleagues have for the experienced patrolman. And as the community has now learned, the maturity and wisdom of Officer Reese in his handling of a potentially dangerous situation has produced a markedly different result than the unfortunate outcome of a similar incident involving a Cleveland youth and an Air-Soft pellet gun just last week.

Officer Reese was also recognized by the students at Cleveland State University as an asset to the campus community last year. He was featured in an article in the Campus District Observer, a neighborhood newspaper owned by The Campus District, Inc. whose members include Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Public Library, The Plain Dealer and a number of other public and private organizations and businesses. The article about Officer Aaron Reese can be found at this link: What We Love in the District - Aaron Reese


GOP Columnist: The VERY Bad News FOR THE GOP in the GOP's Midterm Victory

Thu Nov 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM PST
GOP Columnist: The VERY Bad News FOR THE GOP in the GOP's Midterm Victory
by murphthesurf

A GOP strategist, columnist at the Houston Chronicle who goes by the handle GOPLifer, Chris Ladd, has declared that the week of the Midterm Elections “was a dark week for Republicans, and for everyone who wants to see America remain the world’s most vibrant, most powerful nation.” What the HELL! Where was he?

In a careful analysis, Ladd builds a case: The Midterms of 2014 demonstrate the continuation of a 20 year old trend. Republicans are disappearing from the competitive landscape at the national level where the population is the largest utilizing a declining electoral base of waging, white, and rural voters. As a result no GOP candidate on the horizon has a chance at the White House in 2016 and the chance of holding the Senate beyond 2016 is vanishingly small.

The author points to the Blue Wall.


The Blue Wall is a block of states that no Republican Presidential candidate can realistically hope to win. On Election Day that block added New Hampshire to its number and Virginia is shifting At the outset of any Presidential campaign, a minimally effective Democratic candidate can expect to win 257 electoral votes out of the 270 needed to win. If Virginia joins New Hampshire that number will be 270 out of 270.

To win a GOP candidate has to win all nine “tossup” state and one solidly Blue state.
Thus, in the next, and into the foreseeable future, Presidential elections will be decided in the Democratic Primary. What are the chances that a Republican candidate capable of appealing to the increasingly right wing GOP will appeal to enough Democrats to win in tossup and Blue states?

But what about that RED Map….well it accounts for 149 electoral votes. The biggest Republican victory in decades did not move the map. What was Red before in electoral politics is still Red (and maybe less Red considering NH and VA).

Republican support grew deeper in 2014, not broader.

Some other observations
a) Republican Senate candidates lost every single race in the Blue Wall.

b) There were some GOP victories in Governor’s races, but in each case there were no coat tails. None of these candidates ran on social issues, Obama, or opposition to the ACA. Look at Rauner who took out Quinn in Illinois, but Democrats in Illinois retained their supermajority in the State Assembly having not lost a single seat.

c) Voter turnout was awful. It was more awful for the Democrats but the GOP won 52 percent of 35 percent of the vote: in other words their mandate is 17 percent of the registered electorate (and 13 percent of those eligible to vote).

d) Good news for the Democrats: They have consolidated their power behind the sections of the country that generate the overwhelming bulk of America’s wealth outside the energy industry.

e) Voter suppression is working remarkably well, but that won’t last. They key is voter ID. Eventually Democrats will top whining and will help people get the documentation they need to meet confusing new requirements and obstructions. The whole “voter integrity” sham may have given Republicans a one or maybe two-election boost in low-turnout races, but the message to minority (but growing) groups is clear. We GOP don’t give a damn about you.

f) Every major Democratic ballot initiative was successful, including every minimum wage increase, even in the red states. AND every personhood amendment failed.

g) Half of the Republican Congressional delegation now comes from the former Confederacy. There are no more white Democrats from the South. All of the Dixiecrats are now GOP.

h) Democrats in 2014 were up against a particularly tough climate because they had to defend 13 Senate seats in red or purple states. In 2016 Republicans will be defending 24 Senate seats with at least 18 of them very competitive based on geography and demographics. Democrats will be one seat looks competitive.

i) McConnell’s conciliatory statements were encouraging, but he cannot persuade Republican Senators and Congressmen to cooperate on anything constructive.

j) This is an age built for Republican solutions. The global economy is undergoing a massive, accelerating transformation that promises massive new wealth and staggering challenges. Ladd say that the GOP could address a this with heads-up, intelligent adaptations to capitalize on those challenges. Republicans, with their traditional leadership on commercial issues, he claims, should be at the leading edge of planning to capitalize on this emerging environment.

k) Instead, he predicts, what the GOP will spend its time on is: Climate denial, theocracy, thinly veiled racism, paranoia, and Benghazi hearings.

He closes his essay saying: “It is almost too late for Republicans to participate in shaping the next wave of our economic and political transformation. The opportunities we inherited coming out of the Reagan Era are blinking out of existence one by one while we chase so-called “issues” so stupid, so blindingly disconnected from our emerging needs that our grandchildren will look back on our performance in much the same way that we see the failures of the generation that fought desegregation. Something, some force, some gathering of sane, rational, authentically concerned human beings generally at peace with reality must emerge in the next four to six years from the right, or our opportunity will be lost for a long generation. Needless to say, Greg Abbott and Jodi Ernst are not that force. ‘Winning’ this election did not help that force emerge.”

GOPLifer and What the GOP is Missing from the 2014 Midterm Victory


BREAKING VIDEO: Police Lied. Mike Brown was killed 148 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV

Thu Nov 20, 2014 at 08:31 PM PST
BREAKING VIDEO: Police Lied. Mike Brown was killed 148 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV
by Shaun King

For 104 days, the police have lied and said Mike Brown was killed 35 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. It was actually 148 feet.

This distance is essential to the defense and how Darren Wilson must demonstrate that he "reasonably feared for his safety." At the point in which Mike Brown ran half a football field away, how reasonable is it for an armed officer to fear anyone?

Below is the first video filmed from Canfield Drive showing the exact measurement between where Darren Wilson's SUV was parked and Mike Brown died. After that we methodically debunk the lie that Mike Brown was killed in close proximity to Darren Wilson's SUV.

Our starting point, which is 17 feet behind the driver's side window of Darren Wilson's SUV is this yellow fire hydrant next to the storm drain.

Our end point is 2943 Canfield. Notice the building number in the back of this photo below where Mike Brown's father and family members are standing over the exact location where Mike Brown was murdered. Mike Brown's family at 2943 on Canfield at the exact spot of Mike Brown's death

Watch us measure the distance below.

131 feet, 1 inch (Distance between the fire hydrant and where Mike Brown died)
+ 17 feet (distance between the fire hydrant and the driver's side door of Darren Wilson's SUV)
= 148 feet.

The St. Louis-area police have continued to advance this lie for over 104 days since Mike Brown was killed on Canfield Drive on the afternoon of August 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. Here we will methodically expose this lie and examine just why it's so important.

On this past Monday, Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri in anticipation for some level of unrest regarding a decision from the grand jury in the Darren Wilson case. Covering this decision, and the case in general, CNN authoritatively states that the Mike Brown was found 35 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. Watch just the first 20 seconds of this video to see how Erin Burnett frames the case,

Where the Lie Began

On August 10, 2014, St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar held his first press conference on the shooting of Mike Brown by Officer Darren Wilson of the nearby Ferguson Police Department. His force had been called in to take over the investigation for the much smaller local department. The shooting had occurred less than 24 hours earlier, and the tensions on the ground in Ferguson were already red hot and boiling over.

Six different witnesses on the scene claimed that Mike Brown was shot at repeatedly from behind before he turned around, faced Darren Wilson, verbally surrendered, and put his hands in the air. Wilson, having already shot at Mike Brown at least six times while he fled, then fired off a barrage of four quick shots at the surrendered Brown he was looking at face to face, killing him on the spot. With his lifeless body face down on the road, Mike Brown’s blood literally flowed down Canfield Drive for more than four hours. The shooting and the aftermath that evening, which included bringing police dogs to the scene, infuriated residents as never before, and the anger was spreading rapidly across St. Louis and into the nation.

When Chief Belmar sat down the next day to brief the press on his summary of the facts, he stated at 1:13 (and then even more emphatically at 6:01) in the video below, "The entire scene, from approximately the car door (of Officer Wilson) to the shooting, is, uh, about 35 feet."

See his video below.

At that time, when the chief said the "entire scene" was just 35 feet in distance from the "car door to the shooting," every observer accepted it as a negligible fact and thought little about it, instead zeroing in on why Darren Wilson stopped Mike Brown in the first place and why a police officer would shoot a young man who was surrendering with his hands up.

It turns, out, though, that the distance Mike Brown fled was not 35 feet, as was stated in the press conference and cited in hundreds of articles since. Nor was it 45 feet, or 75 feet, or even 95 feet, but approximately 108 feet away from Darren Wilson’s SUV. Below, you will find photos from the day of the murder, maps, infographics, and more to confirm for you that the distance was nearly 300 percent farther away than originally claimed by Chief Belmar and subsequently quoted as fact in almost every narrative of the case.

While the initial reporting of this distance from the chief could have been an error, albeit an egregious one, it seems clear now, after over 100 days of requests for the police to clarify this discrepancy have only produced silence, that it wasn’t an oversight, but a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts.

What reason would the chief have for so seriously understating the distance by more than 70 feet? Well, how far Mike Brown fled matters greatly, and the St. Louis County Police Department could have many reasons for purposely understating it. One doubts, though, that they expected to be caught telling this lie. When it was first told, while matters were tense in St. Louis and spreading on social media, nobody had any idea that this case would grip the nation and the world.

Without even using this space to dive into the actual shooting of Mike Brown, it appears that some base level misconduct can be suspected when the St. Louis County Police Department has repeatedly refused to address the discrepancy in distance.

When the police came out the morning after Mike Brown was killed and deliberately included the distance between the SUV and the shooting, it successfully created a very particular narrative. The arc of their initial story, magnified in importance by the absence of even one official report, is that Darren Wilson shot and killed a young man who, in a short distance from the SUV, posed him grave harm. How far Mike Brown actually fled, how far Darren Wilson chased him, and where each of them were in relation to each other and to the SUV, are facts of paramount importance. If Mike Brown fled over 100 feet away from Darren Wilson, it clearly suggests it Brown—unarmed, shot, missing a shoe, in lounge clothes—feared for his life and not the other way around.

Furthermore, police, in many cases, use the distance in which a suspect flees and the distance between them in an encounter, as evidence to prove they were reasonably afraid for their safety—which is required by law.

What follows is evidence to the contrary. Mike Brown fled at least 108 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. If the police will lie about this fact, what else have they openly lied about? Did they present this false distance to the grand jury? Why does the media continue to advance this lie? Here are the facts.

Here is a rarely seen panorama of Canfield Drive moments after Mike Brown was killed. Few images better display that the distance was not a very short 35 feet than this one.

This is Darren Wilson's SUV. Where you see it here is exactly where he parked it to confront Mike Brown and Dorian Johnson for jaywalking. Out of sight in this image, to the left of the driver's side door, is Mike Brown's hat (shown in a later image below). Approximately 16 feet behind the SUV is Mike Brown's black sandal, which came off while he was running. Please notice the fire hydrant to the right of the SUV.

On the center left is Darren Wilson's SUV from the opposite angle. Notice the two orange cones next to the driver's side door. That's Mike Brown's red St. Louis Cardinals hat next to it.

Using this image, let's create starting line A. As effective landmarks, please notice the fire hydrant on the right and the sloping entrance into the apartments.

From the back of Darren Wilson's SUV, Brown fled over 100 feet down Canfield Drive. The exact location where Brown died is today marked by a memorial in the middle of the street.

This is ending line B. Mike Brown is the blurred figure on the ground. That is Darren Wilson, visibly uninjured in every image of him from that day, standing to the right. According to eyewitnesses Dorian Johnson, Tiffany Mitchell, and Piaget Crenshaw, Mike Brown turned around, faced Darren Wilson and his SUV, and put his hands in the air.

Mike Brown's family at 2943 on Canfield at the exact spot of Mike Brown's death

This map shows the exact location of 2943, the exact spot where Mike Brown was killed.

Using Google Maps, the approximate distance from the front of Darren Wilson's SUV to where Mike Brown was shot before falling down is actually 148 feet.

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