HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » sheshe2 » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 29 Next »

sheshe2

Profile Information

Member since: Sat Oct 13, 2012, 07:33 PM
Number of posts: 45,882

Journal Archives

How the Media Miss the Story

A lot of people in the media miss a story like this because they're lazy. I've seen a couple of articles (here's the worst) about the President's recent commutations and they all zero in on a narrative that was started a long time ago about him being stingy with clemency. All that was required to adopt that narrative was counting.

But if you read the President and Attorney General's comments when they kicked off the Clemency Initiative, you knew what had held things up in the beginning and what they were doing to change the process. It was inevitable that - before his second term was over - there were going to be some big announcements. Furthermore, if you pay attention to what the White House said about this announcement, you know there are more to come.

What the clemency initiative tells us about President Obama

At the end of his first term, President Obama had granted clemency to one person. Of course this led many people to conclude that he didn't care about criminal justice reform or correcting the racial disparities in that system - especially those created by our "war on drugs." As of this week, we know those conclusions were premature.

The shift started early in the President's second term when he basically announced an end to the war on drugs saying, "we simply cannot incarcerate our way out of the drug problem." Then last December, he commuted the sentences of eight federal prisoners who were serving long sentences due to crack cocaine convictions prior to the Fair Sentencing Act. Of course there were plenty of progressives who took that as an opportunity to talk about the thousands of others who were not granted clemency and lecture President Obama about the importance of courage.


The pardon attorney, former military judge Ronald Rodgers, sends his recommendations of whether or not to grant the petitions to the Deputy Attorney General’s office, which then sends them on to the White House. The pardon attorney was recommending that the president deny nearly every single petition for a pardon or a reduced sentence, according to one senior official in the Obama administration.


We also know that the President didn't like the kinds of recommendations that he was getting.

The president complained that the pardon attorney's office favored petitions from wealthy and connected people, who had good lawyers and knew how to game the system. The typical felon recommended for clemency by the pardon attorney was a hunter who wanted a pardon so that he could apply for a hunting license.


We are in the process of learning that the work on all this has been underway for quite some time. Armed with a scathing report from the Inspector General's Office that concluded in December 2012, Ronald Rodgers is now gone from the pardon attorney's office and will be replaced by Deborah Leff who has been Senior Counselor for Access to Justice at DOJ, an initiative launched in 2010 to:

Read More: http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2014/04/what-clemency-initiative-tells-us-about.html


But this was never about a lack of courage. Instead, its about a cultural bureaucracy that needed to be reformed.

snip

One little thing I found interesting is that he only has a couple of choices for what he wears. His reasoning is that his days are so busy and full of demanding/difficult decisions, he doesn't want to waste time on his attire. Overall, he limits any kind of distraction that would sap the energy he needs to do the job.

Paying attention to that, it makes sense that he wouldn't sit down and videotape a conversation with someone like David Simon just for kicks (as much as he might enjoy that). Everything this man does on the job has a strategic purpose - even the fun stuff.

Read More http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2015/03/how-media-miss-story.html

Good read, very good read.

Thank you President Obama and AG Holder.

Chauncey DeVega on 'The Big Picture' Discussing America's Police and Their Debt Peonage Racket

Semi-Open Weekend Thread: Chauncey DeVega on 'The Big Picture' Discussing America's Police and Their Debt Peonage Racket



I had three things that I wanted to communicate in 6 minutes last evening: Ferguson is not an isolated problem; there are deep connections between the shakedown schemes used by America's police against non-whites, and the poor more generally and Jim and Jane Crow; and that "hands up, don't shoot" is the truth.

Because time is a variable in a TV segment, I was not able to get to my last point, but I did pivot to the context of Austerity and Neoliberalism as two of the primary driving forces behind the nationwide violations of civil rights by the prison industrial complex in the United States and elsewhere.

Plus, I got to mention "social control", "the carceral society", and "goons" all in one segment.

[Thom Hartmann's segment--which immediately follows mine--where he discusses Ferguson, "hands up, don't shoot", O'Reilly, and white privilege closely echoes much of what I have written about as of late. I take that as a complement.]

Read More: http://www.chaunceydevega.com/2015/03/semi-open-weekend-thread-chauncey.html

Great segment, listen if you can.

The Two Men I Admire Most...In Conversation (updated)

As soon as I saw this, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven

Barack Obama and David Simon talked about The Wire and our failed war on drugs.





I also have to note that, in the midst of this conversation, President Obama points out something that I wrote about a few weeks ago:

How much does having a criminal record affect employment prospects? It outright blocks people from being hired for many government jobs.

In the private sector the question is blurrier. An outright ban on hiring people with criminal records is considered to be a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act,
according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Some states are banning asking about a criminal record on an initial employment application. But in practice, there are plenty of ways around that. Employers are allowed to consider a criminal record as part of a larger application.

That increase from 13% of the population in the early 90's to 20-22% more recently is a direct result of our war on drugs and "get tough on crime" policies that disproportionately affect people of color. And it is likely a huge factor in explaining why the unemployment rate for African Americans has typically been double the rate for whites. From a systemic standpoint, this is where we find the intersection between anti-racism efforts, criminal justice reform and policies to address wage stagnation. What affects one affects all.

http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2015/01/unpacking-last-stage-of-economic.html


the fact that one of the reasons why the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) remains low is that our over-incarceration during the war on drugs has produced a record number of Americans with felony records (mostly brown and black men).

UPDATE: Question: Why would President Obama do this interview now? He's laying the groundwork and setting the stage. Somethin's up.




http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-two-men-i-admire-mostin-conversation.html

Enough Said~

[url=http://postimage.org/][img][/img][/url]

President Barack Obama - The Right Man For This Moment In History

Just after the election I saw the President in a press conference and in a few interviews and from listening to him and observing him something was quite evident about his appearance- he seemed as if a giant weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He seemed solid and strong and he had a sense of peace about him that seemed new to this moment. It was clear to me that this now so called lame duck president was aware of something that I wasn't and that brought a sense of relief to me.

Many people who come to this site have also expressed that if only this president had experienced cooperation and support he could have accomplished so much more. I also share in these sentiments. But I think it's very important to note and to realize that the resistance President Obama has faced is exactly what needed and needs to take place. You can't treat an infection or an infestation unless you know that it's there and if you don't get down to the root or the cause it will continue to fester. This infection or infestation can only continue to survive in the shadows and the darkness where it is able to do it's damage. As soon as it is exposed to the light of day it wants to scramble back as hide in the shadows.

Another important understanding about this resistance that is now being exposed is that the resistance will want to rise up to the level of that which it is facing. Another way of expressing this is that the depth of goodness and intelligence and strength that exists in the person of Barack Obama has called forth a barbaric and primitive resistance that attempts to be as potent as the force that it is opposing. What this means is that the presidency of Barack Obama has exposed this massive amount and degree of vulgarity that we are seeing in this country. It is being brought out of the shadows and it is now being fully exposed to the light of day.

Many people who come to this site have expressed the similarity we see today to the time of the Civil War. That war manifested due to a rise in tension that necessitated some major event to take place to attempt to address that tension. The Civil War was fought by the Confederacy in large part to prevent exactly what has taken place today where we see a man of color living the White House in the position that can be seen as the most powerful person in the world.


Damn good read http://www.thepeoplesview.net/main/2015/3/15/president-barack-obama-the-right-man-for-this-moment-in-history

#Ferguson town leadership was running a multi million dollar racketeering & extortion scheme

Where are the arrest warrants for those involved in the shake down of poor black people in #Ferguson Missouri? In a city with a population of 21,000 people, 16,000 have outstanding warrants. Nearly everyone was criminalize. The police and courts made it a crime to exist in black skin. We live in a country where a state government is running a multi million dollar racketeering & extortion scheme targeting black people & no one is arrested. Kwame M. Kilpatrick was convicted of racketeering, fraud and extortion but Ferguson town leaders got severance pay. It’s disgraceful when those in power see a crime and squeeze their eyes shut because the racketeer & extortionist have white skin. But when you’re white, it’s alriiiight.

All of the bogus arrest records should be thrown out. The Ferguson leadership ran a straight GANGSTA racket. They use police to target poor blacks, arrested them and then the courts shook them down for money, gave then criminal records which was sure to keep them from voting and they’d stay in power…until Darren Wilson murdered Michael Brown and the corruption was exposed.

Huffington Post: To give some context as to how truly extreme this is, a comparison may be useful. In 2014, the Boston Municipal Court System, for a city of 645,000 people, issued about 2,300 criminal warrants. The Ferguson Municipal Court issued 9,000, for a population 1/30th the size of Boston’s.

Ferguson and the Modern Debtor’s Prison


Debtor’s prisons are supposed to be illegal in the United States but today poor people who fail to pay even small criminal justice fees are routinely being imprisoned. The problem has gotten worse recently because strapped states have dramatically increased the number of criminal justice fees….Failure to pay criminal justice fees can result in revocation of an individual’s drivers license, arrest and imprisonment. Individuals with revoked licenses who drive (say to work to earn money to pay their fees) and are apprehended can be further fined and imprisoned. Unpaid criminal justice debt also results in damaged credit reports and reduced housing and employment prospects. Furthermore, failure to pay fees can mean a violation of probation and parole terms which makes an individual ineligible for Federal programs such as food stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Family funds and Social Security Income for the elderly and disabled.





Read More: http://3chicspolitico.com/2015/03/16/ferguson-town-leadership-was-running-a-multi-million-dollar-racketeering-extortion-scheme/

POTUS just dropped the Mic for the ages.

Ambassador Gaspard @patrickgaspard
Follow

POTUS just dropped the Mic for the ages.
3:50 PM - 7 Mar 2015



Vox ✔ @voxdotcom
Follow

Read the full transcript of Obama's rousing, emotional speech in Selma: http://vox.com/e/7932126?utm_campaign=vox&utm_content=chorus&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter
3:52 PM - 7 Mar 2015

Ambassador Gaspard @patrickgaspard
Follow

POTUS speech at Selma was a love letter to America.
3:51 PM - 7 Mar 2015




View image on Twitter
Trymaine Lee ✔ @trymainelee
Follow

THIS photo of Obama and John Lewis in Selma yesterday. The long arc of 50 yrs ago bent toward his presidency. (WashP)
12:24 PM - 8 Mar 2015 Selma, AL, United States

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B_iHqDAXEAAjC44.jp

Breathtaking #Selma50
6:56 PM - 7 Mar 2015

http://theobamadiary.com/2015/03/08/a-tweet-or-two-229/











This weekend brings tears to my eyes and hope in my heart, may we bend toward justice.




Everybody Matters

I want our actions to tell every child in every neighborhood, your life matters, and we are committed to improving your life chances - as committed as we are to working on behalf of our own kids. I want future generations to know that we are a people who see our differences as a great gift, that we’re a people who value the dignity and worth of every citizen -- man and woman, young and old, black and white, Latino, Asian, immigrant, Native American, gay, straight, Americans with mental illness or physical disability. Everybody matters. I want them to grow up in a country that shows the world what we still know to be true: that we are still more than a collection of red states and blue states; that we are the United States of America.


President Barack Obama, State of the Union, January 20, 2015

Talk...meet walk.







More Here~ http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2015/01/everybody-matters.html

"If We Do It All Together, We'll Be Okay"

On this day every year I get overwhelmed with all the articles written about Martin Luther King. He was a great - and very complex - man who is worthy of our attention.

But to keep myself grounded, this article written by HamdenRice is something I always go back to. I hope he won't mind if I quote it at length. I'm thinking I'll make this an annual tradition.

At this point, I would like to remind everyone exactly what Martin Luther King did, and it wasn't that he "marched" or gave a great speech.

My father told me with a sort of cold fury, "Dr. King ended the terror of living in the south."

Please let this sink in and and take my word and the word of my late father on this. If you are a white person who has always lived in the U.S. and never under a brutal dictatorship, you probably don't know what my father was talking about.

But this is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King accomplished. Not that he marched, nor that he gave speeches.

He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.


More Here:

http://immasmartypants.blogspot.com/2015/01/if-we-do-it-all-together-well-be-okay.html

Follow the HamdenRice link as well, it is a great read.

2015 Year of Resistance

[url=http://postimage.org/][img][/img][/url]


[url=http://postimage.org/][img][/img][/url]

FB # Black Lives Matter

Kids Take Part In Ferguson Protests (PHOTOS)

Children in Ferguson have been protesting along with their families since the shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9. They have joined the marches day and night, sporting T-shirts in support of Brown and often holding their arms up in protest, chanting, "Hands up! Don't shoot!" They have also participated in art tributes to Brown and helped with community food drives.

Protests erupted in this St. Louis suburb after officer Darren Wilson shot 18-year-old Brown, who was unarmed, on Aug. 9. After some violent clashes between police and demonstrators, things now seem to be calmer.

Here are some of the children who have taken part in activism in the wake of Brown's death:

(Photos by Emily Kassie for The Huffington Post)


On the afternoon of Aug. 23, protesters march along Canfield Drive, where Michael Brown was shot. They passed a truck of food donations being given to the community by Crisis Aid International, the St. Louis Police and Ferguson Mayor James Knowles.


A young boy blows up a balloon to add to a tribute for Michael Brown on the afternoon of Aug. 23. The tribute is on Canfield Drive, where Brown was shot on Aug. 9 by officer Darren Wilson. Many children contributed balloons, toys and pieces of artwork to the memorial.


Two children add balloons to the tribute on Canfield Drive for Michael Brown on Aug. 23. The tribute consists of a line of roses along the road, leading up to a sign that reads "Hands Up Don't Shoot, August 9, 2014 RIP Michael." Around the signs were flowers, candles and toys.







Read More http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/24/kids-ferguson_n_5701867.html

For the children. They are the future.

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 29 Next »