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Joan Walsh: "Almost every major urban riot of the 1960s ... was touched off by police misconduct"

Almost every major urban riot of the 1960s – Harlem and Philadelphia in 1964, Watts in 1965, Newark and Detroit in 1967 – was touched off by police misconduct.



MONDAY, DEC 29, 2014 07:00 AM EST

New York’s epic white backlash: How a horrid 1960s relic is still with us today

O’Reilly, Hannity and a defiant NYPD are fighting battles of 50 years ago. The chaos ended but the backlash endures

- snip -

White New Yorkers fear a return to the bad old days of riots, escalating crime and attacks on police. In the 1970s, 46 officers were killed in the line of duty, according to the New York Times, and 41 more in the 1980s. Before these latest murders, the last police killing was in 2011.

- snip -

It wasn’t just race: the flight was driven by crime and arson and riots, and a sense that the world was unraveling. I tried to write about some of this sympathetically in my book: the transformation of New York in the 1960s and 70s was scary. Crime and arson rates spiked: the murder rate jumped 150 percent between 1965 and 1973; property crime jumped by a third. Some of my uncles and cousins were cops and firemen, including my mother’s two brothers. She worried about them every day, and so did I.

But for a whole lot of people, it was all about race. Conservatives made sure of that, with William F. Buckley running for mayor in 1965 mocking the liberal idea that social factors drove the rising crime rate – as if poverty and racism could “make Negro crime any less criminal.”

Significantly, that comment came in a debate over whether cops needed civilian review. Almost every major urban riot of the 1960s – Harlem and Philadelphia in 1964, Watts in 1965, Newark and Detroit in 1967 – was touched off by police misconduct. When Mayor John Lindsay appointed a police review board, Pat Lynch’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association sponsored a ballot initiative to repeal it. To the shock of liberal Manhattan, a coalition of outer-borough Jews and “white ethnics” voted with the cops.

- snip -

Excessive force by police, and rampant racism, was never acceptable, not even in the years of crime and chaos. But what stuns me now is: crime is way down. Arson is almost non-existent. There are no more riots. Most protests against police abuse are peaceful. Sure, there are a few saboteurs smashing windows and punching cops, but you’ll also see a whole lot of protesters trying to stop them – and it seems most of the violent folks are white.

With one critical exception: Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the mentally ill Brooklyn native who shot his ex-girlfriend (an Air Force reservist) in Baltimore, then shot Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

Even before those murders, despite the overall calm, the defense of the cops had been just as shrill and unyielding and frankly anti-democratic as it was when crime was spiking in the 60s and 70s. It’s no accident Rudy Giuliani became the national spokesman for the cops’ point of view. Sean Hannity, the pride of Nassau’s Franklin Square, turned his show into a headquarters for the defense of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson officer who killed an unarmed Mike Brown in August.


Sanders: I'll Decide On Presidential Run By March

Source: Associated Press

Dec 26, 3:26 AM EST



BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders says he'll decide by March whether to launch a 2016 presidential campaign and, if so, whether he'll seek the Democratic nomination. Either way, Sanders says he wouldn't run just to nudge the debate to the left.

"I don't want to do it unless I can do it well," he told The Associated Press. "I don't want to do it unless we can win this thing."

- snip -

Sanders said the issues about which he's been railing for all these years are only becoming more dire. The wealth gap has grown, and the middle class, he says, is "collapsing."

"You have one family, the Walton family of Walmart, owning more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of the American people," he said. "We have 95 percent of all new income going to the top 1 percent. You have millions of families unable to afford to send their kids to college. People are desperately worried about whether or not they are going to retire with dignity."

Sanders has a 12-step plan that he says will restore the economy and especially the middle class, most of them dependent on higher taxes on the rich and corporations. Among the proposals: A $1 trillion infrastructure building program that would "create 13 million decent-paying jobs"; more worker-friendly international trade deals and legislation to strengthen unions; and transforming the U.S. energy system "away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy."

He says he'll make a "gut decision" about running for the presidency - and, perhaps, challenging Democratic favorite Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_DEM_2016_SANDERS

Former President George H.W. Bush taken to Houston hospital with shortness of breath

Source: Houston Chronicle

@BreakingNews: Former President George H.W. Bush taken to Houston hospital with shortness of breath, officials say - @HoustonChron http://t.co/5JKxBX0jYs/s/yIox

George H.W. Bush rushed to the hospital

Houston Chronicle | December 23, 2014

Former President George H.W. Bush was taken by ambulance to the Methodist Hospital in Houston after experiencing a shortness of breath earlier Tuesday evening, according to a statement from his office.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/George-H-W-Bush-rushed-to-the-hospital-5976735.php

Breaking: Dow Jones Industrial Average hits 18,000 for the first time - @WSJ

Source: Wall Street Journal / Reuters

@BreakingNews: RT @breakingmoney: Dow Jones Industrial Average hits 18,000 for the first time - @WSJbreakingnews http://t.co/rqzhT09NUJ/s/HpLq

Dow breaks through 18,000 after GDP report

Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:46am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday, with both the Dow and S&P 500 setting new intraday records after an unexpectedly strong report on economic growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) rose 54.55 points, or 0.3 percent, to 18,013.99, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 6.51 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,085.05 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 10.58 points, or 0.22 percent, to 4,792.00.

Read more: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0K10YW20141223

TOM TOMORROW: Year In Review 2014 - Part One

DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/22/1352770/-Cartoon-Year-in-review-part-one

"Blaming Prominent Black Leaders for Racism..."

"...is like blaming Gloria Steinem for patriarchy. You can, but shut the fuck up you stupid asshole."

- Seen on Facebook

Obama Vows to 'Do Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo: CNN Interview

Source: Reuters

Obama vows 'do everything I can' to close Guantanamo: CNN interview

Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:06am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. president Barack Obama said in a TV interview set for broadcast on Sunday that he will do "everything I can" to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after four Afghan detainees held there were sent home.

Obama promised to shut the internationally condemned prison when he took office nearly six years ago, saying it was damaging America's image around the world. But he has been unable to do so, partly because of obstacles posed by the U.S. Congress.

"I'm going to be doing everything I can to close it," Obama said on CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley," program in an interview taped on Friday.

"It is something that continues to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world, the fact that these folks are being held," he said.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0JZ0FY20141221

Final Craig Ferguson Show is on now...

Off to a cool start.

WikiLeaks Reveals CIA Admitted Drone Strikes Counterproductive

Source: Reader Supported News

WikiLeaks Reveals CIA Admitted Drone Strikes Counterproductive

By TeleSUR
19 December 14

Controversial U.S. drone strikes may be helping rather than hindering the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to a leaked CIA document released by Wikileaks Thursday.

The CIA document appears to be a 2009 internal review of the agency’s "High Value Target" (HVT) assassination program.

The HVT program selected specific insurgent figures for targeted assassination, often by drone strikes.

Despite the report’s secret publication in 2009, drone strikes increased.

Independent estimates suggest U.S. forces have conducted more than 1,000 drone strikes over Afghanistan since invading the country over a decade ago. Human rights groups say hundreds of civilians have been killed or maimed by drones, and that the strikes are widely unpopular on the ground.

Read more: http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/27585-focus-wikileaks-reveals-cia-admitted-drone-strikes-counterproductive

VIDEO: Stephen Colbert Sings With Every Celebrity You Can Think Of On Final Colbert Report

(Almost) none of them right-wingers.


Stephen Colbert sings with every celebrity you can think of on the final Colbert Report

Updated by Alex Abad-Santos on December 19, 2014, 12:16 a.m. ET

The Colbert Report's final episode wasn't particularly eventful for the first 23 minutes or so. Then, Stephen Colbert started singing "We'll Meet Again", brought out Jon Stewart, and then guest after guest, after guest joined in. Like a snowball speeding down a mountain, the number of guests singing along got bigger and bigger.

Our unofficial, possibly never to be completed guest list:

Kareem Abdul-Jabar
JJ Abrams
Alan Alda
Christiane Amanpour
Jon Batiste
Big Bird
Cory Booker
Tom Brokaw
Ken Burns
Bill Clinton
Andy Cohen
Francis Collins
Cookie Monster
Bob Costas
Katie Couric
Bryan Cranston
Mark Cuban
Jeff Daniels
Bill DeBlasio
James Franco
Thomas Friedman
Vince Gilligan
Doris Kearns Goodwin
David Gregory
Terry Gross
Mike Huckabee
Arianna Huffington
Dean Kamen
Toby Keith
Henry Kissinger
Nicholas Kristof
Paul Krugman
Alexi Lalas
Cyndi Lauper
George Lucas
Yo Yo Ma
Barry Manilow
Tim Meadows
Willie Nelson
Randy Newman
Grover Norquist
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Ric Ocasek
Keith Olbermann
Mandy Patinkin
Stone Phillips
Samantha Power
Pussy Riot
Charlie Rose
Dan Savage
Shane Smith
Eliot Spitzer
Gloria Steinem
Jon Stewart
Patrick Stewart
Michael Stipe
Andrew Sullivan
Matt Taibbi
Jeff Tweedy
Neil Degrasse Tyson
Sam Waterston
Elijah Wood






All the cameos in Stephen Colbert's musical finale — in gif form

Updated by Alex Abad-Santos on December 19, 2014, 1:14 a.m. ET @alex_abads alex@vox.com

Bill Clinton on the last episode of The Colbert Report Comedy Central

Stephen Colbert wrapped up The Colbert Report in the grandest fashion: a musical number. It wasn't just any musical number, it involved politicians, celebrities, scientists, dragons, and even Bill Clinton. Like a Russian nesting doll, each shot revealed more and more celebrities.

It began with Jon Stewart:
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