Color Blind

ColorBlind

Artist – David Horsey

In other news, the CIA torture report due to be released tomorrow may have some very ugly details tucked away inside it according to ABC News.

The use of waterboarding stopped many years ago, but, according to those who have seen this report, ugly new details about those procedures will be revealed, where prisoners were sexually demeaned, and CIA interrogators were urged to continue, even after concluding that no more information could be gleaned.

The obvious question is who urged them to continue? Someone higher up at the CIA? The White House? It’s amazing that we’re still learning just how terrible the Bush administration was. And Dick Cheney says “so?”

Meanwhile, National Review editor Rich Lowry says “forced kissing” (yes he even used the word “forced”) is not sexual assault and shouldn’t be counted as such. That would be the same Rich Lowry who sat up a little straighter on the couch after Sarah Palin winked at him. Creepy.

Mondays are the worst, especially when you have a head cold.

Posted in Open Thread, Racism, Torture | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Report: Indictments Coming in New Jersey Bridge Scandal

FortLee

If this report from NBC is accurate, as many as a dozen indictments could be issued in January in relation to the closure of the George Washington Bridge.

Those facing potential indictment include former staffers to Gov. Christie and current and former Port Authority officials, the sources said. Possible charges may be related to what sources familiar with the probe describe to NBC 4 New York as an apparent conspiracy to cover up what they refer to as a politically motivated plot. […]

NBC 4 New York learned of the potential development in the investigation a day after a 136-page interim report by a joint legislative panel tasked with investigating the lane closures found no evidence Christie was involved in the scheme.

I understand that investigators have found no concrete proof that Governor Chris Christie himself was involved, but this looks very similar to the investigation of Governor Scott Walker’s office in Wisconsin and the prosecution of some of his former staff.

In both cases, persons very close to and surrounding the governor are indicted or implicated while the governor himself narrowly escapes. And in both cases, I find it extremely hard to believe that the head of state was not at all involved.

Just because there isn’t enough evidence to indict Governor Christie, or Governor Walker, doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t guilty.

An indictment of Christie’s staff will provide ample fodder on the campaign trail should he chose to run for higher office. He won’t be able to bluster and bully his way through national scrutiny or the televisions ads and robocalls his fellow Republican opponents will surely unleash on him.

Posted in Chris Christie, Justice | Tagged | 6 Comments

The Cleveland Police Department is a Cartoonish Shitshow

Last week I posited that Cleveland police officers firing at a half-naked kidnapping victim was the worst story revealed in the Justice Department’s Pattern or Practice investigation, but Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress found another tale that is even worse.

This is cartoonish.

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. It now appears that 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 about 25 minutes, at times 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. In circumstances that are still being disputed in court, thirteen CDP officers ultimately 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.

The Cleveland chase didn’t end so well for Mr. Russell and Ms. Williams.

Posted in Justice | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Stop and Think

MugShotsAsshole

Patrons of the Mug Shots bar in St. Joseph, Missouri were invited to partake in a poorly-named deal for shots on Friday night.

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – A bar is facing public scrutiny after offering a Michael Brown shot special Friday night.

Mug Shots, a bar that goes by the slogan “where sarcasm is always free,” offered the special of six shots for $10. A picture of the sign advertising the deal surfaced on social media Saturday, causing controversy on the bar’s Facebook page. Now, the owner is apologizing to the public and has stopped offering the Michael Brown shot deal.

Ha! Get it? Six shots for 10 dollars, one for each time Michael Brown was shot. Hilarious!

Fucking hell.

It’s great that the bar owner has apologized and replaced the Michael Brown special with a new, self-deprecating special, but he should have stopped and thought about it for at least 2 or 3 seconds before launching the Brown special.

The Michael Brown shot special has been replaced by the “Owner of Mug Shots is an Asshole Shot Special” which is actually funny.

Posted in Dumbassery, Super Stupid | Tagged , | 3 Comments

We Officially Live in the Era of the “Obama Economic Boom”

Unless you enjoy looking really stupid, you can’t logically blame the president for the $1.4 trillion deficit in 2009 and then refuse to give him credit for reducing the deficit to $500 billion at the end of this year. Likewise, you can’t shout, “Where are the jobs, Mr. President?” then refuse to give him any credit for a solid jobs report. But that’s almost exactly what Speaker John Boehner did, and he looks really stupid doing it. Here’s what Boehner tweeted at the beginning of the year.

This was clearly directed at President Obama. How do we know for sure? It was included in a press release specifically targeting the president’s economic policies. Boehner went on to say:

Every American has a right to ask the question ‘Where are the jobs?’ Today’s disappointing report shows, once again, that the president’s policies are failing too many Americans, many of whom have simply stopped looking for work.

Fast forward 11 months.

The Daily Banter‘s Tommy Christopher reported on Friday that the November jobs report defied expectations, showing the addition of 321,000 new jobs. That means 50 consecutive months of job growth. The previous record of 48 consecutive months ran from 1986 to 1990, and the last time there were more back-to-back months of job creation was World War II. It’s now been 10 months in a row of 200,000 or more jobs added.

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At this rate, it’s possible… CONTINUE READING

ht Karin Riley Porter Attorney at Law
Posted in The Daily Banter | 2 Comments

Morning Awesome

U2 – “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” (Live) NSFW

Posted in Morning Awesome, Music | Tagged | 1 Comment

Self-Evident

SelfEvident

Artist – Pat Bagley

In other news, yet another unarmed black man was shot dead by police yesterday.

Rumain Brisbon was delivering fast food to his children when he was shot in the torso two times after the officer confused a pill bottle for a gun.

A police spokesman, Sergeant Trent Crump, said the unidentified cop approached Brisbon, who was in an SUV, after residents in a Phoenix neighborhood reported a drug deal happening by the vehicle.

There’s a recurring event that happens just prior to many officer-involved shootings and it’s some asshole “resident” who refuses to mind their own business. I’m not suggesting we should ignore obvious crimes like a kidnapping or shooting, but just because you see a black man outside does not mean there’s a crime in progress.

Police reportedly found weed in Brison’s SUV so, clearly, he’s just as guilty as your average white teenager.

Meanwhile, a third grade teacher in Texas is very disappointed that Ebola did not kill the president. The good news for her current and future students is that she has now resigned.

It’s Friday and this week sucked. You know the drill.

Posted in Open Thread, Racism | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Jon Stewart to Rand Paul: “What the fuck are you talking about?”

From Sean Hannity, to Rudy Giuliani, to Rand Paul — Jon Stewart measures up the right wing reaction to the Eric Garner decision.

I appreciate the purity of your anti-tax dogma, but the cigarette tax is truly the least salient aspect of this case. […]

Honestly, Eric Garner could have been out there with mix-tapes or squeegee or a snow-cone and the same kind of shit could have happened.

Who knew Sean Hannity was a master of martial arts?

Posted in Comedy, Rand Paul | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Sadly, Reince Priebus is Still a Moron

This would be an excellent time to mention that an average of just 20,000 jobs were added per month during the Bush administration.


Doesn’t Reince Priebus have someone close to him who can tell him no? Doesn’t he have someone close by who can tell him he’s an idiot? If there was ever a man who needed an honest friend, it’s Reince Priebus.

I don’t need to tell you what the Right’s reaction would be if the economy were doing as well as it is now under a Republican president, and the truth is the economy hasn’t performed this well under a Republican administration for decades. It may never again.

Posted in Dumbassery, Jobs | Tagged , | 6 Comments

321,000 Jobs Added in November, Exceeding Expectations

Where are the jobs? The jobs are here.

via Bloomberg

The 321,000 advance in payrolls followed a 243,000 increase in October that was stronger than previously reported, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The November gain exceeded the most optimistic projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The jobless rate held at a six-year low of 5.8 percent and average hourly earnings rose 0.4 percent, the most since June of last year.

The 321,000 jobs added during the month of November is the highest number of jobs added in a single month since January of 2012.

Numbers for September and October were also revised upward by 44,000

Posted in Economy, Jobs | 5 Comments

The Bob & Chez Show After Party 12/5/14

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This week: “The Best and Worst Movies of 2014″: The New James Bond; The New Terminator Trailer; An Asian Terminator; Inherent Vice; Joaquin Phoenix is Scuzzy; Our Top Five Favorite Movies of 2014; Bob’s Top Five Worst Movies of 2014; Richard Linklater’s Boyhood; Black Mirror; The Past, The Future and Progressing as Writers; Bob’s Doomed Book; The Newsroom, Sorkin, Ave Maria and Traffic Bonuses; and more.

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This Week’s Pulse-Pounding Episode: “The Best and Worst Movies of 2014″: The New James Bond; The New Terminator Trailer; The Asian Terminator; Inherent Vice; Joaquin Phoenix is Scuzzy; Our Top Five Favorite Movies of 2014; Bob’s Top Five Worst Movies of 2014; Richard Linklater’s Boyhood; Black Mirror; The Past, The Future and Progressing as Writers; Bob’s Doomed Book; The Newsroom, Sorkin, Ave Maria and Traffic Bonuses; and more.

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Morning Awesome

The Rolling Stones – “Thru and Thru” Live

ht Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyers
Posted in Morning Awesome, Music | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 12/4/14

bcs_garner

RELM_buttonCriming While White: The Death of Eric Garner; A Mostly White Grand Jury Fails to Indict the Chokehold Cop; The Brutal Video; The Media Reaction; The Stats Behind the Black vs White Crime Rate; Pete King Blames Garner’s Obesity; Rand Paul Blames the Cigarette Tax; Jon Stewart is Speechless; The Criming While White Hashtag; and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius, the BobCesca.com Amazon Link and The Bowen Law Group.

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Posted in Bob and Chez Show | 6 Comments

The System Works

TheSystem

Artist – Nick Anderson

A Pattern or Practice investigation of the Cleveland police by the Department of Justice has found a pattern of abuse and excessive use of force, including incidents where officers fired their guns at victims of crimes. Here’s the official DOJ press release.

The investigation, launched in March, 2013, assessed use of force practices of the Cleveland Division of Police following a number of high profile use of force incidents and requests from the community and local government to investigate the division. The investigation concluded that there is reasonable cause to believe that Cleveland police officers engage in a pattern or practice of unreasonable and in some cases unnecessary force in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

This may have been the worst incident included in the report.

The Justice Department also claimed to have identified “several cases” where “officers shot or shot at people who did not pose an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury to officers or others.” For example, in 2013, the report noted that police shot at a kidnapping victim after he fled from his assailants wearing only his boxers. The sergeant said he believed the victim had a weapon because he raised his hand.

They fired at a nearly-naked kidnapping victim because he put his hands up.

In related news, the Cleveland police officer who shot Tamir Trice just 2 seconds after arriving at the scene was fired from another police department because he didn’t obey the rules, “could not follow” simple directions, and was “weepy” and terrible at using his pistol.

Posted in Civil Rights, Open Thread, Racism | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

It’s All a Poop Cruise

According to a new study, the Cruise industry dumps over a billion gallons of untreated or partially-treated sewage into the ocean every year. And that only accounts for some cruise liners in operation today, not all of them.

via ThinkProgress

The analysis, which worked off of federal data, did show that some of the 16 cruise lines assessed are slowly becoming more environmentally friendly. But according to the press release from environmental group Friends of the Earth (FOE), over 40 percent of the 167 ships in operation still operate using waste treatment technology that’s more than 35 years old. “Such antiquated treatment systems leave harmful levels of fecal matter, bacteria, heavy metals and other contaminants in the water,” FOE noted. […]

FOE also cites data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which shows “an average cruise ship with 3,000 passengers and crew produces about 21,000 gallons of sewage a day — enough to fill 10 backyard swimming pools in a week. That adds up to more than one billion gallons a year for the industry.” FOE also acknowledges this is likely “a conservative estimate,” because newer ships can carry up to 8,000 passengers and crew members, and because their analysis does not cover all ships and fleets worldwide.

I was unaware that federal law only requires that sewage be treated if its dumped within 3 nautical miles of the coast. I didn’t know that you could dump as much untreated sewage into the ocean as you want to as long as you’re more than 3 miles away from the coast.

Humans really are the worst.

Posted in Environment | Tagged , | 6 Comments

House GOP Votes to Pass Ted Yoho’s Scolding Bill

picard_riker_double_facepalm

The House just voted to pass Representative Ted Yoho’s bill to scold the president for taking executive action on immigration.

A number of conservatives voted against Yoho’s bill because it didn’t go far enough.

According to NBC News’ Luke Russert, Reps. Gohmert and Stutzman voted against the bill “because it doesn’t go far enough.” Seven Republicans, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Jeff Denham (R-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Mike Coffman (R-CO) Louis Gohmert (R-TX), and Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) voted no.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) gave his approval for the symbolic vote partly to allow Republicans to express their anger at the president for what they perceived to be an unilateral action on immigration law, Politico reported. Boehner hoped that allowing the vote would make Tea Party lawmakers more amenable to a two-part government spending bill next week that would prevent a government shutdown.

The joke is clearly on John Boehner. Some of the members he sought to appease voted against it just as they will vote against a government funding bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) has said he will not bring the Yoho bill up for a vote and, obviously, the president wouldn’t sign it anyway.

This seems like an appropriate time to remind everyone that Ted Yoho was a veterinarian for cows and horses before he was elected to Congress and given the reins of the GOP’s immigration policy. He has absolutely zero prior government experience. He ran for office on a platform of investigating Solyndra.

Yoho

Posted in Congress, Immigration | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

The Intercept Releases More NSA Power Point Slides and Really — Who Gives a Shit?

Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept released more documents provided by international man of mystery Edward Snowden today and this revelation is so milquetoast I don’t know why they even bothered.

via The Hill

Newly reported documents from government leaker Edward Snowden shine a light on a secret program that the U.S. used to spy on cellphone communications around the world. […]

The mission of the “Auroragold” program, the NSA says in one slide, is to “maintain data about international [cellphone] networks” as well as “forecasting” their growth. According to one document from May, 2012, the agency had collected technical information on about 70 percent of the world’s cellphone networks.

MindBlown

I don’t know about you, but my mind was blown when I learned that the NSA monitors communications in other countries around the world. I mean that is their job, but it’s still mind blowing — if you’re a moron.

Buried more than halfway down the Intercept report is a mention that other countries also engage in this type of behavior using similar techniques and technology as part of an alliance, but that only garners a brief mention because the NSA is the big bad boogeyman and don’t you forget it

Once again this story appears to be based largely on Power Point slides and conjecture. It isn’t noted until the end of the piece that President Obama has ordered the NSA to disclose software vulnerabilities that the agency finds unless it compromises an ongoing operation.

In case it wasn’t obvious, I wrote this for the sole purpose of mocking not just The Intercept but anyone who reads their reports as if they were the stone tablets of conspiracy.

The rest of us have real problems to deal with.

Posted in Glenn Greenwald, NSA | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Toy Gun Buy-Back Program for the Tone Deaf

If no one told you otherwise you may think this is satire.

There will be a toy gun buy-back program in Cleveland next weekend which gives kids a comic book in exchange for their toy gun.

via local ABC affiliate Newsnet5

A group of community activists will host a toy gun buy-back that will be held on Saturday Dec. 13 at the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland, in response to the tragic police shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. […]

“These toy guns today are just too real, too realistic,” said [event organizer] Pointer. “We really feel this program could work and help make a difference.”

“If you have a better idea, do it. This is our concept to say we have got to do something to stop the violence,” Pointer added.

I’m not saying allowing your children to play with toy guns is a good idea, in fact it may be a bad idea if your child is black, but this seems at least a little tone deaf to me.

There seems to be an implication that the toy gun is responsible for Tamir Rice’s death, but the only person responsible for his death is the police officer who shot him.

Officers arrived at the scene and shot Rice literally 2-seconds later. They didn’t even attempt to ascertain if the gun was real and, even if it was real, Ohio is an open-carry state. Even if they were under the impression that it was real, they should have communicated with him instead of immediately shooting him dead. Even if Ohio wasn’t an open-carry state, they shouldn’t have immediately executed him.

As far as I can tell, the mortal threat posed by playing with a toy gun is exclusive to black children because they aren’t allowed to be children. White children are regularly depicted playing with real guns by the firearms industry and the NRA. In fact real guns are often marketed to white children.

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When I was young my friends and I ran all across the neighborhood every weekend while waving toy guns in the air and not a single time were the police called on us. Of course we were all white boys.

Granted a lot has changed since the 1980s and 90s, but I’m fairly certain white kids still grow up pretending to be soldiers, policemen and cowboys. But maybe they shouldn’t. Here lately I’ve asked myself if I was on the wrong side when we played Cops and Robbers.

When kids put down the toy gun they pick up a virtual gun on their favorite video game console, but actually being the hero seems to be a trope still reserved for white kids.

For all of my bluster I will say that this buy-back program may have been worth it if introduces children to their first comic book. Comic books teach diversity and acceptance in a way that most video games and other media do not.

(photos via Getty)

Posted in Guns | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

The Reality of Black Crime and Why There’s No Justice for Eric Garner

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As one of my Twitter friends noted yesterday regarding the decision not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner: James Holmes, who shot and killed 12 people while wounding 70 others in an Aurora movie theater, was apprehended alive. But Garner, an unarmed African-American 43-year-old and father of six had to be illegally choked to death in order to be subdued by Pantaleo. Despite the fact that the coroner ruled Garner’s death to be a homicide, the grand jury committed yet another injustice against the African-American community by refusing to indict Pantaleo.

There only needs to be a majority for a grand jury to indict or not. 15 panelists on the 23-member grand jury in the Pantaleo case were white. That’s not necessarily an outright indication of racism, but at the very least it’s fair to suggest that the 15 white panelists will never truly understand what life was like for men like Eric Garner — to be stopped-and-frisked or to be relentlessly watched or unjustifiably profiled by law enforcement. It’s no wonder that Pantaleo wasn’t indicted. When reviewing the video of Garner objecting to being targeted by two officers, the white panelists were racially incapable of relating to why Garner was angry and simply reached the conclusion that his actions justified being suddenly swarmed by half-a-dozen officers who appeared out of nowhere, wrestling him to the ground, choking him and forced his skull into the pavement until his heart stopped.

But instead of attempting to understand the full scope of what men like Eric Garner have had to endure, we too often hear closed-minded white people suggest that the number of black men profiled and killed by police during arrest scenarios is merely commensurate with the black male crime rate. And this is supposed to make profiling and excessive force okay.

It’s a cheap and superficial argument, insinuating that black men are somehow asking for it. Throughout the day yesterday, I heard from various people, especially Joe Scarborough supporters, who told me that Michael Brown and Eric Garner decided their own fates, both individually and societally, even though, in a fair and just world, neither of them deserved summary executions in the street.

Even though many in the Scarborough camp refuse to accept statistical reality (a sign of possible racial bias itself), let’s take a look at some of the massive disparities between the white and black experiences within the judicial system.

–Right off the bat… CONTINUE READING

ht Kush Arora Attorney at Law
Posted in The Daily Banter | Leave a comment