Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 42,311
Number of posts: 42,311
While the Hamilton case has not received as much media attention as the Michael Brown shooting, it may very well out-Ferguson Ferguson. Hamilton, an unarmed 31-year-old African-American man, was shot 14 times by white police officer Christopher Manney on the afternoon of April 30, 2014. Hamilton, who had a history of schizophrenia (which he had received treatment for), had been sleeping in downtown Red Arrow Park; two officers had checked on him earlier in the day and concluded that he was not a threat to himself or others. Toxicology reports found no drugs or alcohol in Hamilton’s system at the time of his death. Half of the bullets that hit Hamilton traveled in a downward direction before striking their target, with one shot hitting him in the back. According to Jonathan Safran, an attorney for the Hamilton family, no gunpowder residue was found near Hamilton’s 21 gunshot wounds – a finding that Safran suggests shows Manney fired from some distance when he discharged his weapon that day.
On the one hand, the Hamilton case tragically illustrates that what happened in Ferguson is far from exceptional. What many pundits still try to pawn off as an isolated incident is in fact part of what can best be described as a national epidemic. Yet what is particularly instructive about these events in Milwaukee is their broader context. The history of Milwaukee – and more specifically the history of police misconduct in Milwaukee – provides the perfect vehicle through which to understand how the culture that leads to events like Ferguson (and Staten Island and Cleveland) is created. Sadly, this history is all too familiar in cities across America, and appears to have one common goal: to demean and dehumanize African-American men.
Often, this history is surprisingly fresh. On the very same day of the Michael Brown non-indictment, a group of 12 plaintiffs filed civil cases against the city of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department for a series of approximately 70 illegal strip searches that police officers carried out between 2007 and 2012 — all of African-American men. While the ringleader of the officers who conducted these searches – Michael Vagnini – is now serving a 26-month prison term after pleading no contest to a series of four felonies and four misdemeanors, these civil cases implicate close to 15 officers as having participated and/or witnessed these searches. One of the officers named in a civil case filed on Nov. 24, Zachary Thoms, has already admitted in a disposition that he and Officer Vagnini forced a suspect to defecate into a cardboard box to retrieve drugs they believed he had placed in his anal cavity. No drugs were found. Other details found throughout the pages of these civil cases are equally as disturbing. Victim after victim describes how these searches were often done in public places and resulted in such harrowing physical conditions as anal bleeding.
Soon, Ferguson became a sort of blank slate, one on which anyone could project anything. As the site where Officer Wilson took the young man’s life came to attract pilgrims from around the country, the discussion surrounding Brown’s death quickly transcended geography and focused instead on the realities of a broader systemic racism. The vacuum of the unknown was soon filled by a chorus of voices sharing similar stories of heartbreak – and demanding action. Such a process has begun to galvanize a new generation of activists across America, including those that police chief Flynn is so quick to dismiss here in Milwaukee. Within the city, such activists, including the Hamilton family, have already pushed political leaders to act.
Posted by Scuba | Fri Dec 26, 2014, 08:45 AM (54 replies)
Baer: I don’t trust American intelligence. You look at the torture report from the Senate: People inside the CIA are saying that it doesn’t work, and we’re getting the information not from torture, but simply from questioning people.
The effectiveness of the program was exaggerated in the Senate, House and White House, as well, so as an organization I don’t think you should trust the CIA on this. And when Brennan comes out and gives that lukewarm endorsement of torture it told me the whole story––he didn’t flat-out say it saved lives. That’s how it was presented around .
And I don’t trust them on drones. When they say it’s broken the back of Al-Qaeda, I really doubt that. We’ve probably sown chaos with drones, killed lots of innocent people. But we certainly didn’t bring an end to war. The intent of assassination is to avoid war and preserve force, neither of which we have done. We are deeper into the Middle East than when we started.
Our armed presence in the Middle East hasn’t made us safer. It’s our armed presence in the Middle East that has led to 9/11. When we get involved in the Middle East we always make things worse. . . On 9/11 Sweden wasn’t attacked, we were, because we intervened. Our intervention in Iraq and Syria is making Israel less safe.
Posted by Scuba | Fri Dec 26, 2014, 08:37 AM (1 replies)
Eight Milwaukee aldermen — a Common Council majority — say they will support buying body cameras for all city police officers at an accelerated pace over the next few years, among other policing reforms announced Tuesday.
Ald. Willie Wade said equipping the entire force of 1,880 with body cameras would cost as much as $1 million and that funds were available through the Police Department's asset forfeiture account. Wade spoke at a Tuesday news conference at City Hall. Value of cash and assets taken in drug arrests and other crimes amounts to more than $1 million a year, said Ald. Nik Kovac, chairman of the council's finance committee.
Wade and four Milwaukee aldermen on Tuesday announced a series of Police Department reforms in response to Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm's decision not to charge a former police officer in the fatal shooting of Dontre Hamilton at Red Arrow Park. The Hamilton family had called for former Milwaukee police officer Christopher Manney to face criminal charges. Manney shot Dontre Hamilton 14 times on April 30 during a confrontation at the park.
The five council members pledged to support the Hamilton family in its quest for justice while working to enact reforms "that will ensure every life is protected by the men and women of the Milwaukee Police Department," they said in a statement.
Body cameras should be standard on every cop in America.
Posted by Scuba | Tue Dec 23, 2014, 03:17 PM (2 replies)
Bipartisan Report: Johnson Wrong to Blame Obama for Secret Service Woes
Last September, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson faced a tough situation: Blame President Obama, or blame government in general, for Secret Service agents failing to stop an armed intruder from scaling the fence, running across the front yard, and coming in through the front door of the White House.
Johnson chose both, saying that this was yet another example of Obama's "inability to manage," and then also blaming the "dysfunctional" Federal Government: "What we're seeing across the board with this administration is the inability to manage events and manage the agency. The government is out of control. That's one takeaway that Americans really need to realize is that the federal government is dysfunctional, ineffective, inefficient so my suggestion is to stop growing it." Apparently, in Johnson's view, Obama should be doing a better job of managing something that is intrinsically dysfunctional and unmanageable.
The New York Times reported that the "most revealing parts" of the report were about the impact that deep budget cuts have had on the Secret Service: The most revealing parts of the report were about the agency’s budget and staffing, and raised questions about the impact of across-the-board spending cuts — known as sequestration — and other budget cuts in the last decade.
Flashback: Ron Johnson on Russia, "Sad Fact is that Sanctions Haven't Worked"
Last May, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson appeared on CNN's State of the Union and dismissed Obama's plan to deal with Russian aggression with more economic sanctions, saying, "the sad fact is that sanctions haven't worked." Johnson then went on to suggest that the only way to deal with Putin was militarily, saying, "Vladimir Putin is only going to respond to action, strength and resolve."
Now, seven months later, Russia's economy is going up in flames and the fire hydrants necessary to put it out -- IMF loans and other international help -- are locked down tight, because of the economic sanctions Obama and other world leaders imposed on Russia.
What's Ron Johnson saying now? After Putin turned his attention to his own economic sinking ship, Ron Johnson moved on to next Fox News' flavors of the month: ISIS, then Ebola, then ISIS using Ebola.
Can't wait for 2016 so we can throw this dunce out.
Posted by Scuba | Tue Dec 23, 2014, 08:35 AM (3 replies)
Look, police just can't work when they under a constant barrage of racist criticism like Obama gets all the time.
Posted by Scuba | Mon Dec 22, 2014, 07:33 AM (2 replies)
Hopefully someone with greater expertise in statistics will weigh in on this article ...
“Popular, oft-malfunctioning computer tabulator used in WI, many other states, tallied just 16 votes out of 5,350 cast in Stoughton, WI. Though some 5,350 voters are known to have voted in the city of Stoughton in Dane County, Wisconsin on Tuesday, just 16 of those voters were interested in voting in a local ballot referendum calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to help overturn the infamous Citizens United decision — at least according to the results reported by paper ballot optical-scan computer tabulators there.”
Thus, Charnin observes, “In 2010, Walker won by 124,638 votes with a 52.3 percent share. In 2012, he won the recall by 171,105 votes with 53.1 percent. But the True Vote Model (TVM) showed that he needed 23 percent of Obama returning voters to match the recorded vote. That is extremely implausible — and a red flag. It’s further evidence that Barrett won the election.”
In 2014, Charnin reports, Walker won with a 52.9 percent share. The exit poll was forced to match the bogus recorded vote by cutting returning Barrett voters to just 35 percent of 2014 voters, compared to Walker’s 50 percent. The 15 percent differential is much higher than the 7 percent Walker-recorded margin (8 percent discrepancy) and the 6 percent Barrett True Vote margin (a 21 percent discrepancy).
“When the returning voter mix is changed to a feasible Barrett 45/Walker 41 percent outcome,” he concludes, “Burke is the winner by 52.3-47.3 percent. The ‘How Voted in 2012’ crosstab vote shares are missing for Other (3 percent) and New Voters (DNV 11 percent). This is highly anomalous and another ‘tell’ that Walker stole the election.”
Posted by Scuba | Mon Dec 22, 2014, 07:23 AM (9 replies)
Gov. Scott Walker should run for president now — it's his best shot
Former Gov. Tommy Thompson was a well-known, bold reformer who did a lot of things that Democrats didn't like and still managed to easily win re-election three times. His name was floated as a potential presidential candidate in the 1990s, but he waited. In 2007, he finished a dismal sixth place in the Iowa straw poll, proving that 14 years as a Republican governor in a purple state isn't enough to win a national primary if you don't stay relevant. In other words, if Scott Walker wants to run for president, he needs to do it now.
The left has thrown everything that wasn't nailed down at Walker — the mayor of Milwaukee, a millionaire, a war on women, millions of dollars in attack ads. But none of these attacks, not even a recall election or a John Doe investigation, were able to faze the seemingly invincible governor. He has won three major election victories in four years. As we approach the 2016 campaign cycle, the timing could not be better for Walker to run for president.
Congressional job approval shows little signs of recovering, bouncing somewhere around 10% to 14%. This bodes well for Walker since voters will be looking for a leader who takes action, rather than someone whose voting record can be picked apart. A governor is likely to fill this role. There is, of course, one exception — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.
Yes, he has some weaknesses. He's not a great orator, and he can be a little dull at times. Most active Republican Party members can still recite his campaign speech from 2010. Some pundits have compared Walker to Tim Pawlenty who was a solid conservative but not the inspirational leader they were looking for in 2012. But here's where Walker and Pawlenty differ: Walker passed bold legislation that incited the liberal half of the state to camp out at the Capitol for months, forcing him into an intense recall election. There's a reason Democrats love to hate Walker: He may not be the most engaging speaker, but primary voters could overlook this because his actions prove that he is a transformational leader.
As soon as you're finished laughing (or vomiting, reactions vary), here's the "rebuttal" ...
Gov. Scott Walker has too many liabilities to make a run for president
As a Republican, I voted for Scott Walker for Milwaukee County executive and for governor. But I would not vote for him for president. This is not to say Walker does not have his strengths. Clearly he does, or he wouldn't have emerged victorious from an onslaught of union-inspired attacks after the passage of Act 10. The man acts on political principle (whether you agree with him or not) and keeps his cool under fire. Further, Walker has cultivated a substantial base of support as he has battled his adversaries. Yet, these strengths are not enough to compensate for his shortcomings — shortcomings that don't matter much or can be managed at the state level — that would plague him if he were to run for president in 2016.
First is Walker's noticeable lack of foreign policy experience or even an indication of what he thinks on foreign affairs. OnTheIssues.Org, which touts "Every Political Leader on Every Issue," indicates that it has no recorded stance for Walker under the heading of foreign policy. This is troubling at a time when we face threats throughout the Middle East, from Iran, Russia, North Korea and China. On-the-job training isn't good enough. Not now.
Yes, Walker, like other governors who became president, could appoint experts to get advice. That, however, is not his strong point, as Kimberley Strassel recently noted in an otherwise complimentary Wall Street Journal op-ed piece. She wrote, "The Wisconsin dynamo (Walker) is good, but the knock on him is that he knows it. He has a reputation as a one-man band, serving these past four years as his own chief speechwriter, chief policy aide, chief fundraiser and chief political analyst. He is...for the most part anti-team effort."
Now consider U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012 who held his own in that role and at least got a glimpse of the responsibilities of the highest office. In regard to fiscal policies, Ryan leads the way for Republicans nationally, having served as the House Budget Committee chairman and now selected to be chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. Any recent Republican proposal dealing with tax overhaul, reform of entitlement programs, balancing the federal budget or addressing poverty has Ryan's stamp on it.
So to represent "both sides" of this analysis, the Urinal/Sentinel gets two Republicans to weigh in, ostensibly one in Squatty's camp and one not, but turns out they're both advocating for Paul Ryan. OK, I get it.
BTW, of course Wanker is "anti-team". Letting people onto your team means they become privy to your crimes.
Posted by Scuba | Fri Dec 19, 2014, 03:00 PM (0 replies)
Well, Walker no doubt has more ugly shit to hide. Bush knew better than to put his dishonesty in email.
Gov. Scott Walker won't follow Jeb Bush's lead by voluntarily releasing all of his emails from his first term in statewide office. "I don't see any reason why to do that," Walker said at a Milwaukee press event on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Bush said he would make public some 250,000 emails from his two terms as Florida's governor and publish a new e-book in the "interest of transparency." Bush made the announcement a day before, saying he will "actively explore the possibility of running for president."
Of course, thousands of Walker's emails have already been made public as part of a secret criminal investigation of his aides and associates during his time as Milwaukee County executive. But those records cover the period only up until November 2010, when Walker won the governor's seat the first time. Last year, additional emails were released — some accidentally and some intentionally — as a result of a federal lawsuit challenging a second John Doe probe of the Walker campaign and conservative political groups in Wisconsin.
Those records showed an out-of-state company hoping to set up a mine in northern Wisconsin gave $700,000 to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a nonprofit closely tied to Walker, during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections. Walker has said he did not solicit the money and doesn't think he knew about the donations.
Posted by Scuba | Thu Dec 18, 2014, 10:30 AM (4 replies)
By a 5-4 vote. Actually he only polled Justice Scalia.
Posted by Scuba | Thu Dec 18, 2014, 08:43 AM (29 replies)