Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2009/09/crss/node/27133 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Gun-Pointing Cop Who Threatened to Kill Ferguson Protesters Is Suspended http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/gun-pointing-cop-ferguson-suspended <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, were relatively calm yesterday, especially compared to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/watch-livestream-ferguson" target="_blank">previous nights</a> where heavily armed police have responded to protests with tear gas and arrests. But there was at least one police officer who took things a little too far. In this video, an unidentified officer points a rifle at journalists and others walking in the street and warns, "I'll fucking kill you." (NSFW language in the clip.)</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3AFia3Uo0TQ?rel=0" width="630"></iframe><br> Somebody off-camera asks for his name and the officer replies, "Go fuck yourself." Soon afterward, a county police sergeant comes and ushers the officer away. Earlier today the <a href="http://www.aclu-mo.org/download_file/view_inline/1266/535/" target="_blank">ACLU asked for the officer to be removed</a> from Ferguson. The St. Louis County Police Department has announced that the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/08/20/police-officer-suspended-for-pointing-rifle-at-protesters-threatening-them/" target="_blank">officer has been suspended</a>, according to the <em>Washington Post</em>:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Update from <a href="https://twitter.com/stlcountypd">@stlcountypd</a> re: police officer's "inappropriate" actions overnight in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash">#Ferguson</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/KMOV">@kmov</a> <a href="http://t.co/c2QvSsqBA9">pic.twitter.com/c2QvSsqBA9</a></p> &mdash; Laura Hettiger KMOV (@LauraKHettiger) <a href="https://twitter.com/LauraKHettiger/statuses/502197359150112769">August 20, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Wed, 20 Aug 2014 23:13:06 +0000 AJ Vicens 258801 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for August 20, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/were-still-war-photo-day-august-20-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>After a training mission, F-15 Eagles of the US Air Force fly over wildland fires in Southern Oregon. <span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_rc_1_1_1408556087628_1472">(High-G Productions photo by Jim "Hazy" Hazeltine.)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:40:20 +0000 258766 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch: Livestream from Ferguson: August 19 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/watch-livestream-ferguson-august-19 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The live stream <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24e6RfL_jbg" target="_blank">feed via Vice News</a> and Tim Pool was largely mellow for most of the night, Aug. 19, until about 11: 50 p.m. CDT, when a thrown bottle led to police moving in. You can see the whole thing, as it happened, embedded below.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/24e6RfL_jbg" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>12:04 p.m. CDT:</strong> <a href="https://firstlook.org/theintercept/staff/ryan-devereaux/" target="_blank">Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept</a> tweeted a picture of peacemakers trying to calm down a potentially violent moment:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Community members link hands to separate police from the crowd <a href="http://t.co/CxOoM9GSxo">pic.twitter.com/CxOoM9GSxo</a></p> &mdash; Ryan Devereaux (@rdevro) <a href="https://twitter.com/rdevro/statuses/501957897971302400">August 20, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>12:15 p.m. CDT:</strong>Wesley Lowery tweets a picture of police forming a line against the press:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>These officers are facing the media pen. The media pen <a href="http://t.co/PokR22pyRG">pic.twitter.com/PokR22pyRG</a></p> &mdash; Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) <a href="https://twitter.com/WesleyLowery/statuses/501960750722588673">August 20, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>12:30 p.m. CDT:</strong>Adam Serwer with some protesters being pushed back by police:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Crowd still chanting hands up don't shoot while being pushed back <a href="http://t.co/UBVeeNT43M">pic.twitter.com/UBVeeNT43M</a></p> &mdash; AdamSerwer (@AdamSerwer) <a href="https://twitter.com/AdamSerwer/statuses/501964575852728320">August 20, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> MoJo Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:21:57 +0000 AJ Vicens 258731 at http://www.motherjones.com This Is Rick Perry's Mugshot http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/rick-perrys-mugshot <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Rick Perry was booked today on <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/rick-perry-texas-grand-jury-investigation-public-integrity" target="_blank">abuse of power charges</a>&nbsp;that look <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/08/rick-perry-indictment-highlights-hack-gap-once-again" target="_blank">pretty flimsy.</a></p> <p>Say what you will about his awful retrograde conservative politics, but Rick Perry is a handsome devil.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BREAKING?src=hash">#BREAKING</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/GovernorPerry">@GovernorPerry</a> booking photo just released <a href="http://t.co/EQmoHi2lm3">http://t.co/EQmoHi2lm3</a> <a href="http://t.co/QSI2E0vKLy">pic.twitter.com/QSI2E0vKLy</a></p> &mdash; NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) <a href="https://twitter.com/NBCDFW/statuses/501860292402614273">August 19, 2014</a></blockquote></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Tue, 19 Aug 2014 23:02:11 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 258711 at http://www.motherjones.com Amnesty International's Latest Hot Spot? Ferguson. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/amnesty-international-ferguson-turkey-protests <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Amnesty International is best known for monitoring human rights conditions in places like Afghanistan and China&mdash;while active in the United States, it rarely makes headlines here. That's why the sight of yellow-clad Amnesty activists walking the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, is attracting so much attention: It marks the first time an Amnesty delegation has been dispatched to monitor a human rights crisis unfolding on American soil.</p> <p>Margaret Huang, deputy executive director of campaigns and programs for Amnesty USA, was in Ferguson earlier this week for what she called a "support mission" and says that Amnesty came at the request of the community. Huang and her colleagues did field trainings to educate protesters on their rights and how to respond to police. "The goal was not necessarily to produce a report, which is what Amnesty has typically done, but just to make sure things have been examined from a human rights angle and for people to understand international legal obligations," Huang says. She says the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive; the police, however, haven't been as welcoming. On <a href="http://blog.amnestyusa.org/us/tense-night-in-ferguson-update-from-the-amnesty-team/" target="_blank">Monday night</a>, police forced Amnesty observers out of the protest area at gunpoint.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p>Jesus Christ. Amnesty getting ordered out of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash">#Ferguson</a> by police. (Photo via <a href="https://twitter.com/sdkstl">@sdkstl</a>) <a href="http://t.co/7UvP1LlXc5">pic.twitter.com/7UvP1LlXc5</a></p> &mdash; Gabe Ort&iacute;z (@TUSK81) <a href="https://twitter.com/TUSK81/statuses/501603963880628224">August 19, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Amnesty began reporting on human rights in the United States in 1998, and it has since become just as vocal about conditions here as it is elsewhere. The <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/usa/report-2013" target="_blank">organization's 2013 report</a> on the US is a laundry list of alleged human rights transgressions, including solitary confinement, detention of prisoners in Afghanistan and Guantanamo, drone strikes, and police brutality. This tweet about the situation in Ferguson sums up the organization's angle:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>US can't tell other countries to improve their records on policing and peaceful assembly if it won't clean up its own human rights record</p> &mdash; AmnestyInternational (@amnesty) <a href="https://twitter.com/amnesty/statuses/501600372847575040">August 19, 2014</a><br> &nbsp;</blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>While the nature of Amnesty's mission in Ferguson is unprecedented in the United States, it's not the first time delegations have been on the ground in times of crisis. After Hurricane Katrina hit, teams went to New Orleans to interview residents, with the purpose of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/09/amnesty-international-hurricane-katrina-human-rights_n_531349.html" target="_blank">producing a report</a> detailing how government was failing in its recovery efforts. Amnesty also helped organize protests and raise awareness leading up to <a href="http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/cases/usa-troy-davis" target="_blank">Troy Davis' execution in 2011</a>.</p> <p>To find the closest parallel to what Amnesty is doing in Missouri, though, you have to look abroad. Huang says that Amnesty's work during Turkey's <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013%E2%80%9314_protests_in_Turkey" target="_blank">massive anti-government protests</a> in 2013 most resembles the Ferguson mission. In Istanbul, activists gave medical assistance to injured protesters and observed the violent clashes involving protesters, police, and sometimes members of the press. They ultimately produced <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR44/022/2013/en/0ba8c4cc-b059-4b88-9c52-8fbd652c6766/eur440222013en.pdf" target="_blank">a huge report</a> detailing the numerous human rights abuses carried out by Turkish police. Their concerns then&mdash;police brutality, harassment and detainment of the press&mdash;were also articulated in a <a href="http://blog.amnestyusa.org/us/amnesty-international-stands-with-ferguson-because-all-lives-matter/" target="_blank">statement about Ferguson.</a></p> <p>What's happening in Ferguson and what happened across Turkey last year aren't the same, of course. But the similarities between the two situations&mdash;and the fact that Amnesty is in Ferguson in the first place&mdash;are, for many, making what's unfolding now even more troubling. Huang didn't say how long the delegation plans to stay in Ferguson, calling the situation "very fluid," but Amnesty USA's executive director, Steven Hawkins, is there now.</p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Human Rights Race and Ethnicity Ferguson Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:06:44 +0000 Sam Brodey 258626 at http://www.motherjones.com The Man Who Ran Contra Propaganda for Reagan Is Guatemala’s New DC Lobbyist http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/guatemala-lobbyist-otto-reich-reagan-contras-propaganda <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In late July, with <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america" target="_blank">child migrants</a> still surging across the US-Mexico border, President Obama met with <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/central-american-leaders-convening-white-house" target="_blank">Central American leaders</a> to discuss a response to the crisis. Not satisfied with Obama's plans, Guatemalan president Otto P&eacute;rez Molina took his agenda to the media, writing a <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/03/child-migrants-to-us-guatamalan-president-on-human-rights-action-on-traffickers" target="_blank"><em>Guardian</em> op-ed</a> criticizing the United States for the lasting legacy of both the Cold War and the drug war in his country.</p> <p>Around the same time, Guatemala hired a lobbyist to help push its interests in Washington, DC. Given P&eacute;rez Molina's sharp criticism of the United States' history in the region, his choice&mdash;former Reagan official and <a href="http://www.odwyerpr.com/story/public/2900/2014-08-08/guatemala-taps-reich-for-new-narrative.html" target="_blank">noted Cold War propagandist Otto Reich</a>&mdash;was a shocker.</p> <p>If you've forgotten about the Reich, check out <a href="http://prospect.org/article/our-man-little-havana" target="_blank">this 2001 profile</a> from <em>The American Prospect</em>, this 2002 <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2002/10/14/castros-shadow" target="_blank"><em>New Yorker </em></a>piece, or his National Security Archive <a href="http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB40/" target="_blank">page</a>. Highlights of his Latin American misadventures include:</p> <ul><li>Running the Reagan-era Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean (OPD), which, as historian Greg Grandin wrote in <em>Empire's Workshop</em>, "was officially charged with implementing a 'new, nontraditional' approach to 'defining the terms of the public discussion on Central American policy.'" What it actually did was work to ensure US support of the Nicaraguan Contras in their offensive against the Sandinistas.</li> <li>Overseeing OPD's <a href="http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB40/00940.pdf" target="_blank">"white propaganda" program,</a> which placed pro-Contra op-eds in the mainstream media without acknowledging their links to the Reagan administration.</li> <li>Confronting and intimidating those journalists Reich believed were sympathetic with the Sandinistas or the Salvadoran rebels. This included a memorable trip to the NPR office in DC&mdash;Reich referred to NPR as "Moscow on the Potomac"&mdash;during which he alerted reporters that OPD was listening to and transcribing their Central American reporting.</li> <li>Helping write the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/09/world/in-filling-latin-post-bush-may-reignite-feuds.html" target="_blank">Helms-Burton Act</a> (which tightened the Cuban embargo) as well as lobbying for Bacardi to eliminate Cuban trademark rights so the rum maker could pilfer Cuba's official Havana Club brand. (Reich is Cuban American and staunchly anti-Castro.)</li> </ul><p>Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but hiring someone with Reich's history in the region is probably not the best way to, as the lobbying disclosure form puts it, "develop a strategy to move forward on the change of narrative from Guatemala to Washington, DC, allowing representatives in the North American political parties that are willing to abandon the reference to Guatemala of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the last century, and are eager to talk about the present and future of Guatemala of the 21st century." (The rest of the form is embedded below.)</p> <p>Nor is it the best way for fellow cold warrior P&eacute;rez Molina to avoid references to his role as a military leader during Guatemala's 36-year civil war, which claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Guatemalans, many of them indigenous Mayans, with assistance <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/daily/march99/guatemala11.htm" target="_blank">from the United States.</a> But then again, trying to make sense of the country's politics can be futile. "Just as you think you understand," University of California-Santa Cruz prof Susanne Jonas <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/04/04/a-murder-foretold" target="_blank">once wrote</a>, Guatemala will "show you that you understand nothing at all."</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1276861-otto-reich-lobbying-disclosure">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1276861-otto-reich-lobbying-disclosure.js", { width: 630, height: 450, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1276861-otto-reich-lobbying-disclosure" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1276861/otto-reich-lobbying-disclosure.pdf">Otto Reich Lobbying Disclosure (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1276861/otto-reich-lobbying-disclosure.txt">Otto Reich Lobbying Disclosure (Text)</a> </noscript> <p>(h/t CEPR's <a href="http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/the-americas-blog/cold-warrior-criticizes-cold-war-and-drug-war-hires-cold-warrior-to-promote-drug-war" target="_blank"><em>The Americas Blog</em></a>)</p></body></html> MoJo Human Rights International Money in Politics Top Stories Tue, 19 Aug 2014 18:45:58 +0000 Ian Gordon 258616 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for August 19, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/were-still-war-photo-day-august-19-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>A US Marine shouts out to his crew during a training mission in the Atlantic. <span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_rc_1_1_1408457607381_1424">(US Marine Corps photo taken by Lance Cpl. Alex W. Mitchel</span>)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:21:01 +0000 258636 at http://www.motherjones.com The Government May Soon Send This Reporter to Jail. Here Are the Embarrassing Secrets He Exposed. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/james-risen-operation-merlin-jail-cia <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Obama administration has fought a years-long court battle to force longtime <em>New York Times</em> national security correspondent James Risen to reveal the source for a story in his 2006 book <a href="http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780743270663-5" target="_blank"><em>State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration</em></a>. Risen may soon serve&nbsp;jail time for refusing to out his source. The fight has drawn attention to Obama's less-than-stellar track record on press freedom&mdash;in a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/17/opinion/sunday/maureen-dowd-wheres-the-justice-at-justice.html" target="_blank">recent interview</a>, Risen called the president "the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation." But lost in the ruckus are the details of&nbsp;what Risen revealed. Here's what has the government so upset.</p> <p>In <em>State of War</em>, Risen revealed a secret CIA operation,&nbsp;code-named&nbsp;Merlin, that was intended to undermine&nbsp;the Iranian nuclear program. The plan&mdash;originally approved by president Bill Clinton, but later embraced by George W. Bush&mdash;was to pass flawed plans for a trigger system for a nuclear weapon to Iran in the hopes of derailing the country's nuclear program. "It was one of the greatest engineering secrets in the world," Risen wrote in <em>State of War</em>, "providing the solution to one of a handful of problems that separated nuclear powers such as the United States and Russia from the rogue countries like Iran that were desperate to join the nuclear club but had so far fallen short."</p> <p>The flaws in the trigger system were supposed to be so well hidden that the blueprints would lead Iranian scientists down the wrong path for years. But Merlin's frontman, a Russian nuclear scientist and defector then on the CIA's payroll, spotted the flaws almost immediately. On the day of the handoff in Vienna in winter 2000, the Russian, not wanting to burn a bridge with the Iranians, included an apologetic note with his delivery, explaining that the design had some problems. Shortly after receiving the plans, one member of the Iranian mission changed his travel plans and flew back to Tehran, presumably with the blueprints&mdash;and the note&mdash;in hand. Merlin did not wreck the Iranian nuclear program&mdash;in fact, Risen wrote, the operation could have accelerated it.&nbsp;</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/228603-jim-risen-affidavit.html" target="_blank">sworn affidavit</a> filed in 2011, and in a recently rejected appeal to the US Supreme Court, Risen has argued that his reporting served the public good. Published at a time when military action in Iran seemed possible, <em>State of Fear</em> revealed how much of the effort to gather information on Iran's nuclear capability was not just shoddy but dangerous&mdash;even, in the case of Operation Merlin, helping Iran get closer to building a nuclear weapon.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Bush administration did not see it that way. In 2008, Bush's Justice Department subpoenaed Risen, demanding that he reveal his source&mdash;or face jail time for contempt of court. After taking office in 2009, the Obama administration&nbsp;renewed the Bush-era subpoena&nbsp;and continued&nbsp;to try to identify and prosecute Risen's source. Justice Department staff believe they know who the source was&mdash;an ex-CIA operations officer named Jeffrey Sterling, who was previously an on-the-record source for Risen&mdash;but they want Risen to confirm their hunch and fill in a few details. In <a href="http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/96754-subpoena-of-james-risen.html" target="_blank">legal filings</a>, Justice Department lawyers have called Risen a witness to "serious crimes that implicate the national security of the United States" and argued that "there are few scenarios where the United States' interests in securing information is more profound and compelling than in a criminal prosecution like this one." &nbsp;</p> <p>If Risen is called to court to testify but fails to show up or refuses to talk, he's likely to become the first reporter from a major news organization since <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/07/politics/07leak.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">Judith Miller in 2005</a> to be sentenced to jail time for refusing to divulge a source. (In 2006, journalist Josh Wolf was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/02/reporters-behind-bars" target="_blank">imprisoned</a> for 226 days after refusing to comply with a federal subpoena for a video he took of a San Francisco protest.)</p> <p><em>This story has been amended to clarify that Wolf, and not Miller, was the last journalist to be imprisoned for refusing to disclose a source.</em></p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Top Stories Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:00:04 +0000 Alex Park 258556 at http://www.motherjones.com Senator Jim Jeffords Died Today. Watch the Moving Speech He Gave Defecting From the GOP. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/rip-jim-jeffords-one-of-the-marbles-the-gop-lost <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Former Senator James Jeffords, who represented Vermont in Washington for 32 years, <a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/08/18/former-vermont-sen-james-jeffords-dies/qbGtu8xRxxTwjb20wXlPeM/story.html" target="_blank">died Monday</a> at the age of 80. He made history when, five months after George W. Bush was inaugurated with a deadlocked Senate in 2001, he left the GOP to become an independent and caucus with the Democrats, thereby handing Dems control of the upper chamber. He did it because "more and more" he found he could not "support the president's agenda." The GOP was no longer the party he grew up in. "Given the changing nature of the national party, it has become a struggle for our leaders to deal with me and for me to deal with them."</p> <p>This was before the tea party, before Guantanamo, before Abu Ghraib, before so much of what we now think of when we think of Republican extremism.</p> <p>Here is the <a href="http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/2014/08/18/leaving-republican-party-jeffords-speech/14239833/" target="_blank">speech</a> he gave announcing his defection, on May 24, 2001. It's a reminder that the GOP didn't just up and start losing its marbles after Obama's election. It had been dropping them one by one for years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <object align="middle" classid="clsid:d27cdb6eae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" codebase="http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0" height="500" id="cspan-video-player" width="630"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="true"><param name="movie" value="http://static.c-span.org/assets/swf/CSPANPlayer.1405958893.swf?pid=164445-1"><param name="quality" value="high"><param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="flashvars" value="system=http://www.c-span.org/common/services/flashXml.php?programid=141340&amp;style=full&amp;version=2014-01-23"><embed align="middle" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" bgcolor="#ffffff" flashvars="system=http://www.c-span.org/common/services/flashXml.php?programid=141340&amp;style=full&amp;version=2014-01-23" height="500" name="cspan-video-player" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" quality="high" src="http://static.c-span.org/assets/swf/CSPANPlayer.1405958893.swf?pid=164445-1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="630"></embed></object> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Tue, 19 Aug 2014 00:55:22 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 258561 at http://www.motherjones.com It’s Like Yelp For Cops: Teens Make App To Rate Police http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/08/these-teens-made-app-fight-police-brutality <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Three teens in Georgia just made a mobile app they hope will help prevent the next police shooting of an unarmed young person.</p> <p>It's called <a href="http://pinetartinc.com/?p=44" target="_blank">Five-O</a>, after <a href="http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=five-o" target="_blank">the slang term for police</a>, and it's the brainchild of siblings Ima, 16, Asha, 15, and Caleb Christian, 14, who live in a suburb of Atlanta. Here's how it works: After interacting with a cop, users open the app and fill out a Yelp-like form on which they can grade the officer's courtesy from A to F, check a box if they were verbally or physically abused, and add details about the incident. They can view ratings on other cops and&nbsp;police departments across the country, participate in community forums, and check out a Q&amp;A titled "Know Your Rights."</p> <p>Ima Christian says their parents encouraged them to think about how they could respond productively to incidents like Brown's death. "One of the things they really stress is that we focus on finding solutions," she told&nbsp;<em>Mother Jones</em>. "We really hope that Five-O will be able to give every citizen a voice when interacting with the police."</p> <p>But the Christians say&nbsp;Five-O isn't just for outing bad cops; they hope it will help also highlight good policing.&nbsp;"We want people to be able to document if the police are very courteous or if they save your cat or something," Ima says.</p> <p>"You&rsquo;re never too young to learn, and you're never too young to make a difference," Caleb told <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/fiveo-app-built-by-teenagers-to-document-police-abuse-2014-8?utm_source=slate&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_term=partner" target="_blank">Business Insider</a>. A similar app made in London to track "stop and search" incidents <a href="https://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/news/press-releases/liberty-honours-inspirational-human-rights-leaders-annual-awards-ceremony" target="_blank">earned a human rights award</a> in 2012.</p> <p>The siblings have been honing their coding skills since elementary school by participating in the MIT programs <a href="http://k12videos.mit.edu/" target="_blank">+K12</a>, <a href="http://scratch.mit.edu/" target="_blank">Scratch</a>, and <a href="http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/" target="_blank">App Inventor</a>, and they've also taken programming classes at Georgia Tech and Emory, all with encouragement from their parents. They've started their own app development company, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006377103253" target="_blank">Pine Tart, Inc</a>., and they're currently working on two other projects: <a href="http://pinetartinc.com/?p=1" target="_blank">Froshly</a>, which will help incoming college freshmen meet their classmates, and <a href="http://pinetartinc.com/?p=37" target="_blank">Coily</a>, which will review hair-care products for black women.</p> <blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>while brogrammers make hook up apps/pizza delivery drones, kids from marginalized communities use tech for real needs <a href="http://t.co/dsQal4iFOa">http://t.co/dsQal4iFOa</a></p> &mdash; joanne mcneil (@jomc) <a href="https://twitter.com/jomc/statuses/500315683029536769">August 15, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Here's a preview of Five-O:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/wH-Veei0jQM" width="620"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Mon, 18 Aug 2014 23:01:26 +0000 Rebecca Cohen 258571 at http://www.motherjones.com Pope Francis Backs Military Force Against Extremists in Iraq, Calls for UN Involvement http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/pope-francis-endorses-force-stop-islamic-militants-iraq <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>President Obama's recent <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/iraq-us-citizens-evacuate" target="_blank">decision</a> to use force against Islamic extremists in Iraq has drawn some unexpected support. The AP reported <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/pope-oks-protecting-iraq-minorities-wants-un-ok" target="_blank">Monday</a> that Pope Francis told reporters in response to questions about the US military intervention that "in these cases, where there is an unjust aggression, I can only say that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor."</p> <p>But Francis stopped short of endorsing specific military actions. "I underscore the verb 'stop,'" he added, according to the AP. "I'm not saying 'bomb' or 'make war,' just 'stop.' And the means that can be used to stop them must be evaluated." And he made clear that he wanted the international community&mdash;not just the United States&mdash;to decide how to combat the violence in Iraq:</p> <blockquote> <p>"One nation alone cannot judge how you stop this, how you stop an unjust aggressor," he said, apparently referring to the United States. "After World War II, the idea of the United Nations came about: It's there that you must discuss 'Is there an unjust aggression? It seems so. How should we stop it?' Just this. Nothing more."</p> </blockquote> <p>Two weeks ago, Obama <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/iraq-us-citizens-evacuate" target="_blank">ordered air strikes</a> against the Islamic State&mdash;a terrorist group that now controls parts of Iraq, Syria and <a href="http://www.vox.com/2014/8/4/5968181/lebanon-isis-town-arsal" target="_blank">Lebanon</a>&mdash;which at the time was threatening to seize control of of Irbil, the Kurdish capital. The group has waged a violent campaign against Iraqi religious minorities, stranding tens of thousands of members of the Yazidi sect in the mountains near Irbil without food or water. On <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/07/world/meast/iraq-isis-christian-city/" target="_blank">August 8</a>, the Islamic State seized the city of Qaraqosh, Iraq's largest Christian city, forcing thousands of Christians to flee, convert, pay a fine, or be murdered "by the sword," according to CNN. Many Iraqi Christians are <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/07/world/meast/iraq-isis-christian-city/" target="_blank">Chaldeans</a>, a branch of Catholicism.</p> <p>The Vatican's support for the US intervention, which includes strikes by drones and piloted US fighter jets as well as humanitarian aid for the Yazidis, seems to be somewhat unusual. Just <a href="http://darkroom.baltimoresun.com/2013/09/prayers-protests-military-action-in-syria/#1" target="_blank">last September</a>, Francis held a massive vigil urging the United States to refrain from engaging militarily in the conflict in Syria <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/foreign-policy/syria" target="_blank">following massive chemical weapons attacks</a>, which killed more than 1,300 people. Francis described war <a href="http://www.news.va/en/news/francis-war-is-always-a-defeat-for-humanity" target="_blank">in 2013</a> as a "defeat for humanity," echoing the words of Pope John Paul II. In 2003, the Vatican condemned the US invasion of Iraq <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/2003/03/12/vatican-strongly-opposes-iraq-war/">as a</a> "crime against peace."</p> <p>But, <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/pope-oks-protecting-iraq-minorities-wants-un-ok" target="_blank">as the AP points out</a>, "The Vatican has been increasingly showing support for military intervention in Iraq, given that Christians are being directly targeted because of their faith."</p> <p><em>This article has been revised.</em></p></body></html> MoJo Foreign Policy International Iraq Military Religion Mon, 18 Aug 2014 22:06:36 +0000 Jenna McLaughlin 258596 at http://www.motherjones.com What Do We Know So Far From Mike Brown's Autopsies? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/mike-brown-autopsy-baden-doj-explained <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Normally, it takes weeks to get the results of an autopsy. But today, St. Louis County medical examiner Mary Case <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/08/18/county-investigation-michael-brown-was-shot-from-the-front-had-marijuana-in-his-system/" target="_blank">announced</a> that Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men" target="_blank">killed by a policeman</a> last weekend in <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/10-insane-numbers-ferguson-killing" target="_blank">Ferguson</a>, Missouri, was shot in the head and chest multiple times. Here's the information we know about Michael Brown's death, and a little background on why autopsies usually take so much longer.</p> <p><strong>What have the autopsies found so far?</strong><br> Three separate autopsies are in various stages of completion. The <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/08/18/county-investigation-michael-brown-was-shot-from-the-front-had-marijuana-in-his-system/" target="_blank">St. Louis County</a> medical examiner's office announced on Monday that Brown was killed by multiple bullets to the chest and head. The office has not yet released information about the number or location of the bullets or their toxicology report. According to a confidential source reporting to the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/08/18/county-investigation-michael-brown-was-shot-from-the-front-had-marijuana-in-his-system/" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em></a>, Brown's toxicology test found that he tested positive for marijuana.</p> <p>The preliminary results of an <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/18/us/michael-brown-autopsy-shows-he-was-shot-at-least-6-times.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;version=HpSum&amp;module=b-lede-package-region&amp;region=lede-package&amp;WT.nav=lede-package" target="_blank">independent autopsy</a> arranged by the Brown family and performed on Sunday by former New York City Chief Medical Examiner Michael Baden found that Brown was shot six times: four times in his right arm, and twice in the head. One of the bullets entered the top of Brown's skull, indicating that his head was tilted forward when the bullet struck him and caused a fatal injury. According to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/14/us/missouri-teenager-and-officer-scuffled-before-shooting-chief-says.html?_r=0" target="_blank">Benjamin Crump</a>, the attorney representing the Browns, the family wanted "an autopsy done by somebody who is objective and who does not have a relationship with the Ferguson police."</p> <p>US Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Sunday that the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/18/us/michael-brown-autopsy-shows-he-was-shot-at-least-6-times.html" target="_blank">Justice Department</a> would conduct a third autopsy, because of "the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family." A department representative said the autopsy would take place "as soon as possible."</p> <p><strong>Why does it usually take so long to get autopsy results?</strong><br> An autopsy itself usually doesn't take too long, but often, medical examiners will wait to release the results until toxicology tests, which analyze the presence of drugs, are also complete. Toxicology tests usually take several weeks, in part due to the chemistry involved and in part because there's often a backlog of tests. Coupling the release of the toxicology and autopsy results is standard practice because it gives a more complete picture of what may have happened during the shooting, says Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist and the author of <em>Working Stiff: The Making of a Medical Examine</em>r. Determining whether or not a person was under the influence of drugs "may help interpret a person's behavior and reaction time," she says.</p> <p><strong>What do toxicology tests entail?</strong><br> A basic screening often involves using <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunoassay" target="_blank">immunoassays</a> to test blood and urine (from inside the body) for drugs, including alcohol, marijuana, and opiates. If a test comes back positive, then a lab will run more complex tests, like <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_spectrometry" target="_blank">mass spectrometry</a>, to determine the exact concentration of the drug. Melinek says that "negative results come back faster," and "the more drugs found in a person's system, the longer it takes because each has to be verified and quantitated." If Brown only tested positive for marijuana, the tests would only take a few days.</p> <p><strong>Was Brown's case slowed down by an autopsy backlog?</strong><br> Autopsy backlogs do exist&mdash;last year in Massachusetts, for example, there were <a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/06/16/grieving-families-face-insurance-financial-problems-from-delays-state-death-certificates/CdqKPttNPvoDncewrajliN/story.html" target="_blank">nearly 1,000 unfinished death certificates</a> due to lack of qualified pathologists and state funding for toxicology testing. According to Suzanne McCune, a representative of the St. Louis County medical examiner's office, Brown's case was expedited through the system, as often happens for cases involving officers.</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Science Top Stories Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:26:09 +0000 Julia Lurie 258521 at http://www.motherjones.com The St. Louis Area Has a Long History of Shameful Racial Violence http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/riot-east-st-louis-ferguson-history-race <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/ESL-riot.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A mob blocks a street car during the East St. Louis Riot of July 1917 </strong>University of Massachusetts-Amherst Libraries</div> </div> <p>The shooting of Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent riots, protests, and police crackdown have highlighted the area's <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/opinion/racial-history-behind-the-ferguson-protests.html" target="_blank">long history</a> of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/10-insane-numbers-ferguson-killing" target="_blank">racial strife</a>. One chapter from that history, a century-old summer riot just fourteen miles away from Ferguson, in East St. Louis, Illinois, shows how black Americans were subjected to racial violence from the moment they arrived in the region.</p> <p>In 1917, East St. Louis was crowded with factories. Jobs were abundant. But as World War I halted the flow of immigration from Eastern Europe, factory recruiters started looking toward the American South for black workers. Thousands came, and as competition for jobs increased, a labor issue became a racial one.</p> <p>East St. Louis' angry white workers found sympathy from the leaders of the local Democratic party, who feared that the influx of black, mostly Republican voters threatened their electoral dominance. In one particularly <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/voter-id-laws-racism" target="_blank">striking</a> parallel to today's political landscape, local newspapers warned of voter fraud, alleging that black voters were moving between northern cities to swing local elections as part of a far-reaching conspiracy called "colonization," according to the documentary series <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lZPGL1u0XI" target="_blank"><em>Living in St. Louis</em></a>.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/East-st-louis-massacre-cartoon.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>A cartoon from the time of the riot, lambasting then-president Woodrow Wilson for making the world "safe for democracy" while ignoring the plight of East St. Louis. </strong>Wikipedia</div> </div> <p>That May, a local aluminum plant brought in black workers to replace striking white ones. Soon, crowds of whites gathered downtown, at first protesting the migration, then beating blacks and destroying property. On July 1, a group of white men drove through a black neighborhood, firing a gun out their car window. (The perpetrators were never caught.) A few hours later, another car drove through the neighborhood. Black residents fired at it, killing two police officers.</p> <p>On July 2, as news of the killings got out, white residents went tearing through black neighborhoods, beating and killing blacks and burning some 300 houses as National Guard troops either failed to respond or fled the scene. The official toll counted 39 black and eight white people dead, but others speculated that more than a hundred people died in what is still <a href="http://www.stl250.org/crash-course-dry-weary-years.aspx" target="_blank">considered</a> one of the worst incidents of racial violence in twentieth-century America. Afraid for their lives, more than six thousand blacks <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/garvey/peopleevents/e_estlouis.html" target="_blank">left</a> the city after the riot.</p> <p>That the United States was then fighting in Europe to defend democracy while failing to protect its own citizens was not lost on Marcus Garvey, soon to become one of the most famous civil rights leaders of his time: "This is no time for fine words, but a time to lift one's voice against the savagery of a people who claim to be the dispensers of democracy," he said to cheers at a <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/garvey/filmmore/ps_riots.html" target="_blank">speech</a> in Harlem on July 8. "I do not know what special meaning the people who slaughtered the Negroes of East St. Louis have for democracy... but I do know that it has no meaning for me."</p> <p><em>Top image credit: <a href="http://www.stl250.org/crash-course-dry-weary-years.aspx" target="_blank">STL250</a></em></p></body></html> MoJo Labor Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:45:05 +0000 Alex Park 258416 at http://www.motherjones.com How the Defense Industry Convinced Congress to Militarize Local Cops http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/how-defense-industry-made-room-militarized-police-today <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Ferguson, Missouri, police department's display of armored cars, officers in riot gear, and assault rifles over the past week shocked Americans who didn't realize how much military equipment is now available to local police departments. But since the 1990's, more than 8,000 federal, state, tribal, and local police agencies across the country have armed themselves with the military's excess gear, free of charge. The inventory includes everything from office furniture and first aid kits to aircraft, armored cars, rifles and bayonets, <a href="http://www.dispositionservices.dla.mil/LESO/Pages/1033ProgramFAQs.aspx" target="_blank">according to</a> the Defense Logistics Agency, the Department of Defense office that manages the transactions under an initiative called Program 1033.</p> <p>In June, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) introduced an amendment to de-fund aspects of the program. Grayson's bill would have exempted certain military equipment, including planes and armored cars, from Program 1033. That effort failed; just 62 members of the House of Representatives voted for the measure, with 355 voting no. Maybe the outcome shouldn't have been a surprise: According to a <a href="http://maplight.org/content/73514?utm_source=Data%3ADefense%20Industry-Backed%20Lawmakers%20Voted%20to%20Continue%20Police%20Militarization&amp;utm_campaign=Defense%20Industry_Militiarization%20of%20Police%20&amp;utm_medium=email" target="_blank">new analysis</a> of campaign finance data, the politicians who voted against Grayson's bill received, on average, 73 percent more campaign donations from defense industry sources from 2011 through 2013 than their peers who voted for it.&nbsp;</p> <p>The analysis&mdash;conducted by the Berkeley-based research group MapLight using data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics&mdash;also found that of 59 representatives who received more than $100,000 from the defense industry from 2011 through 2013, all but four voted against the amendment.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/BKohI/4/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><em>Correction: The original version of this story said that three representatives who received more than $100,000 from the defense industry voted against the amendment. Four representatives in this category voted against it. </em></p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Military Money in Politics Top Stories Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Alex Park 258476 at http://www.motherjones.com This Guy Appears To Have Live-Tweeted Michael Brown's Shooting http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/guy-appears-have-live-tweeted-michael-browns-shooting <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Via<em> Rolling Stone </em>National Affairs reporter<em> (</em>and<em> Mother Jones </em>alumnus) <a href="https://twitter.com/7im/status/500347792418562048" target="_blank">Tim Dickinson,</a> Twitter user <a href="https://twitter.com/TheePharoah" target="_blank">@TheePharoah</a> appears to have witnessed&mdash;and <a href="https://twitter.com/TheePharoah/status/498152572062945281" target="_blank">live-tweeted</a>&mdash;Michael Brown's shooting on August 9 from his home in Ferguson, Missouri.</p> <p>(Scroll to the bottom, the tweets are in reverse chronological order.)</p> <p><a class="twitter-timeline" data-widget-id="500383652748865536" href="https://twitter.com/7im/timelines/499639344613695488">Witness to Brown killing</a> <script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");</script></p> <p>In the days since the unarmed teenager was gunned down by police officer <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/us/darren-wilson-identified-as-officer-in-fatal-shooting-in-ferguson-missouri.html?_r=0" target="_blank">Darren Wilson</a>, Feguson has come to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/images-ferguson-tear-gas-police" target="_blank">look increasingly like a war zone</a>, with the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/america-police-military-swat-ferguson-westcott-tampa" target="_blank">highly militarized police department</a> squaring off against <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/peaceful-ferguson-rallies-mike-brown" target="_blank">peaceful protestors.</a></p> <p><em>(We've reached out to @TheePharoah and will update this post if we hear back.)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Fri, 15 Aug 2014 22:17:19 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 258511 at http://www.motherjones.com GOP Obstruction Is Making It Harder To Catch Rapists—Mitch McConnell Would Rather Not Talk About It http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/mitch-mcconnell-blocking-rape-kit-funding-amendment <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will not say if he will stop blocking a major spending bill in the Senate that contains funding to help identify and prosecute rapists&mdash;or whether he would support a separate bill to break the log jam.</p> <p>As I <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/rape-kit-backlog-senate-republican-spending-bill" target="_blank">reported</a> last week, since June, Senate Republicans have held up a $180 billion <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/reid-pulls-spending-bill-after-spat-gop" target="_blank">appropriations bill</a> that would fund several federal agencies, including the Department of Commerce, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Justice. Part of the funding allotted for the DoJ is supposed to go toward a $41 million grant to help states and localities go after rapists by funding jurisdictions to process <a href="http://www.endthebacklog.org/backlog/where-backlog-exists" target="_blank">backlogs of rape kits</a>, the samples of DNA evidence that are taken after a sexual assault and used to identify assailants. There are over <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/29/opinion/sunday/rape-evidence-backlog.html" target="_blank">100,000 untested kits</a> waiting to be processed at crime labs and police departments around the country, partly because states and localities don&rsquo;t have enough money to test them. The kits can go untested for <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/us/28ttkits.html?pagewanted=all" target="_blank">decades</a>, allowing countless rapists off the hook.</p> <p>The sweeping spending bill has hit a wall in the Senate because McConnell and other Senate Republicans want Dems to let them add several unrelated amendments to the legislation. The <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/reid-pulls-spending-bill-after-spat-gop" target="_blank">amendment</a> McConnell introduced would make it harder for the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/05/obama-carbon-rules-coal-plants-climate-epa-climate-plan-explainer" target="_blank">EPA to enact new rules on coal-fired power plants</a>. Democrats have <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/rape-kit-backlog-senate-republican-spending-bill" target="_blank">complained</a> that GOPers are abusing the amendments process to hold up a bill they don&rsquo;t like. "Regardless of the outcome of the amendment votes&hellip;Republicans have indicated that they are not willing to support the underlying bill," a Senate staffer told me last week.</p> <p>On Tuesday, the Louisville, Ky. <a href="http://insiderlouisville.com/uncategorized/mcconnell-touts-legislation-tackle-rape-kit-backlog-declines-questions-funding-held-senate/" target="_blank"><em>Courier-Journal</em> asked McConnell</a> if he would withdraw his amendment, which would indicate that he and fellow Republicans would be willing to vote for the underlying bill, including the $41 million in funding to process rape kit backlogs. McConnell dodged the question. His office did not respond when <em>Mother Jones</em> asked the same question this week.</p> <p>Lawmakers may be able to add the rape kit funding into an temporary spending measure in October. However, neither McConnell's office nor Republicans on the House and Senate appropriations committees <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/rape-kit-backlog-senate-republican-spending-bill" target="_blank">will say</a> whether they would support doing so.</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Crime and Justice Fri, 15 Aug 2014 15:47:21 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 258446 at http://www.motherjones.com Wondering What #NMOS14 Is? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/wondering-what-nmos14 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Starting tonight at 7pm&nbsp;Eastern time, a National Moment of Silence event will be playing out in gatherings&nbsp;big and small&nbsp;across the country. It's headed up by a New York-based activist and social worker who writes online as&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/FeministaJones" target="_blank">Feminista Jones</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/08/14/national-moment-of-silence-nmos14/14045233/" target="_blank">talked to USA Today</a> about the event:</p> <blockquote> <p>After an activist posted on Twitter that there would be a vigil in downtown Manhattan for Brown, Feminista Jones reached out.</p> <p>"I wonder why they always have vigils so far removed from the people who are most likely to be affected by police brutality," she wrote back to the poster. "I just know that people in the Bronx and Brooklyn will struggle getting there on Sunday trains." (The correspondence is documented in a Storify.)</p> <p>Plans for the peaceful assemblies began through that platform, then moved to Facebook. It's an update to activism Jones compares to "phone banking and letter writing &mdash; just reaching 90,000 people."</p> <p>"We're having a national moment of silence &mdash; one chord, one silent voice &mdash; to honor not only Mike Brown, not only Eric Garner, but all victims of police brutality, especially those who have lost their lives," she said.</p> </blockquote> <p><em><a href="http://www.theroot.com/index.html?wpisrc=logo" target="_blank">The Root</a></em>, the online black culture and politics mag, is using the #NMOS14&nbsp;tag to <a href="https://twitter.com/TheRoot" target="_blank">post</a> heartbreaking&nbsp;photos of unarmed black men shot by police over the years, from Amadou Diallo&nbsp;to Kimani Gray to Oscar Grant to far too many others.</p> <p>To find an #NMOS14 event near you, check out the Twitter hashtag&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NMOS14&amp;src=tyah&amp;mode=users" target="_blank">#NMOS14</a>&nbsp;and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/search/more/?q=national+moment+of+silence+2014&amp;sid=0.9913936713710427" target="_blank">this&nbsp;Facebook listing</a> of local groups.&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Ferguson Thu, 14 Aug 2014 23:08:23 +0000 Tasneem Raja 258426 at http://www.motherjones.com The Ferguson Shooting and the Science of Race and Guns http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/michael-brown-study-racial-bias-weapon <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Saturday, a police officer in <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/images-ferguson-tear-gas-police" target="_blank">Ferguson, Missouri</a> gunned down unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. Eyewitnesses say Brown was killed while trying to run away or surrender, but Ferguson police claim that Brown <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/st-louis-police-chief-physical-confrontation-led-fatal-shooting-unarmed-teen-article-1.1898637" target="_blank">reached for the officer's gun</a>. It will be a long time before all the facts are sorted out, but research suggests that such claims may be rooted in something deeper than the need to explain actions after the fact: Race may literally make people see things that are not there, whether it's a gun or a reach for a gun.</p> <p></p><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/protest-225.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> More <em>MoJo</em> coverage of the Michael Brown police shooting </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-258201"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/10-insane-numbers-ferguson-killing"> Ferguson Is 60 Percent Black. Virtually All Its Cops Are White.</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258441"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/peaceful-ferguson-rallies-mike-brown"> "Hands Up, Don't Shoot:" Peaceful Protests Across the Country Last Night</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258221"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men"> Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258296"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/3-unarmed-black-african-american-men-killed-police"> 4 Unarmed Black Men Have Been Killed By Police in the Last Month</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258346"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/images-ferguson-tear-gas-police"> A Few Horrifying Pictures From Ferguson Last Night</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258306"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/anonymous-releases-st-louis-police-dispatch-tapes"> Anonymous Posts St. Louis Police Dispatch Tapes From Day of Ferguson Shooting</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258341"> <li><a href="/mojo/2014/08/incredibly-powerful-photo-taken-today-howard-university"> Incredibly Powerful Photo of Black Students at Howard University</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258356"> <li><a href="/mojo/2014/08/michael-brown-study-racial-bias-weapon"> The Ferguson Shooting and the Science of Race and Guns</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> <p>In a <a href="http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/15/6/287.short" target="_blank">2001 study</a>, participants were shown a picture of a white face or a black face followed immediately by a picture of a weapon or a tool. They were asked to identify the object as quickly as possible. Study participants more often identified weapons correctly after they saw a black face, and more accurately identified tools after seeing an image of a white face. What's more, "they falsely claimed to see a gun more often when the face was black than when it was white," the report's author wrote. He goes on:</p> <blockquote> <p>Race stereotypes can lead people to claim to see a weapon where there is none. Split-second decisions magnify the bias by limiting people's ability to control responses. Such a bias could have important consequences for decision making by police officers and other authorities interacting with racial minorities. The bias requires no intentional racial animus, occurring even for those who are actively trying to avoid it.</p> </blockquote> <p>This study has been repeated by <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/documents/1274404-effects-of-race-on-responses-and-response" target="_blank">several</a> <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20693386" target="_blank">different</a> groups of scientists with the same results. (When participants are primed with female as opposed to male African-American faces, however, they are <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20693386" target="_blank">less likely to assume</a> the object is a gun.)</p> <p>A <a href="http://psych.colorado.edu/~tito/Correll_et_al_2006.pdf" target="_blank">2005 study</a> by University of Colorado neuroscientists bolsters these findings. The scientists measured threat perception and response in the brains of 40 students to targets in a video game, some of whom were carrying pistols while others carried wallets or cellphones. The study authors predicted that because there is a cultural perception that African-Americans are "more threatening," participants' "shoot response" would come more naturally. Indeed that&rsquo;s how it panned out. The study found that the students shot black targets with guns more quickly than white targets with guns, and took longer to decide not to shoot unarmed blacks than unarmed whites.</p> <p>We may never know what was going on in the head of the officer who shot Brown&mdash;or, for that matter, in the heads of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/what-happened-trayvon-martin-explained" target="_blank">George Zimmerman</a> or <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/07/trayvon-martin-jordan-davis-stand-your-ground" target="_blank">Michael Dunn</a>, or many <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/21-things-you-cant-do-while-black" target="_blank">other</a> killers of unarmed African-Americans in disputed situations. But studies like the above suggest that the underlying problems run deep.</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Thu, 14 Aug 2014 18:03:25 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 258356 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch President Obama Deliver Remarks About the Violence In Ferguson, Missouri http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/obama-ferguson-remarks <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3elLFXN9dmc?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>President Obama just delivered remarks on the deteriorating situation in Ferguson, Missouri, where <a href="http://t.co/K3CD3QKWVC" target="_blank">Wednesday night</a> St. Louis law enforcement officials fired tear gas on peaceful demonstrators protesting the killing of Michael Brown.</p> <p>Here are his remarks, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-president-obamas-remarks-on-unrest-in-ferguson-mo-and-iraq/2014/08/14/c8ce971e-23c7-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html" target="_blank">transcript courtesy of <em>the Washington Post:</em></a></p> <blockquote> <p>I want to address something that&rsquo;s been in the news over the last couple of days, and that&rsquo;s the last situation in Ferguson, Missouri. I know that many Americans have been deeply disturbed by the images we&rsquo;ve seen in the heartland of our country as police have clashed with people protesting, today I&rsquo;d like us all to take a step back and think about how we&rsquo;re going to be moving forward.</p> <p>This morning, I received a thorough update on the situation from Attorney General Eric Holder, who&rsquo;s been following and been in communication with his team. I&rsquo;ve already tasked the Department of Justice and the FBI to independently investigate the death of Michael Brown, along with local officials on the ground. The Department of Justice is also consulting with local authorities about ways that they can maintain public safety without restricting the right of peaceful protest and while avoiding unnecessary escalation. I made clear to the attorney general that we should do what is necessary to help determine exactly what happened and to see that justice is done.</p> <p>I also just spoke with Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri. I expressed my concern over the violent turn that events have taken on the ground, and underscored that now&rsquo;s the time for all of us to reflect on what&rsquo;s happened and to find a way to come together going forward. He is going to be traveling to Ferguson. He is a good man and a fine governor, and I&rsquo;m confident that working together, he&rsquo;s going to be able to communicate his desire to make sure that justice is done and his desire to make sure that public safety is maintained in an appropriate way.</p> <p>Of course, it&rsquo;s important to remember how this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances. He was 18 years old, and his family will never hold Michael in their arms again. And when something like this happens, the local authorities, including the police, have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death and how they are protecting the people in their communities. There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. There&rsquo;s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. And here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.</p> <p>Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority. I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson and there are certainly passionate differences about what has happened. There are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred. There are going to be differences in terms of what needs to happen going forward. That&rsquo;s part of our democracy. But let&rsquo;s remember that we&rsquo;re all part of one American family. We are united in common values, and that includes belief in equality under the law, basic respect for public order and the right to peaceful public protest, a reverence for the dignity of every single man, woman and child among us, and the need for accountability when it comes to our government.</p> <p>So now is the time for healing. Now is the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson. Now is the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done. And I&rsquo;ve asked that the attorney general and the U.S. attorney on the scene continue to work with local officials to move that process forward. They will be reporting to me in the coming days about what&rsquo;s being done to make sure that happens.</p> </blockquote></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:44:56 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 258381 at http://www.motherjones.com Sarah Palin Picks Imaginary Fight With Elizabeth Warren, Loses http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/sarah-palin-picks-imaginary-fight-elizabeth-warren-loses <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Last month at Netroots Nation, Sen. Elizabeth Warren <a href="http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/elizabeth-warren-s-11-commandments-of-progressivism-20140718" target="_blank">gave a speech</a> outlining what she considers 11 tenets of modern American liberalism. ("We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth...We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.") You can watch it in full <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imAR8bfGqro" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>On August 7, Alaska governor-turned reality star Sarah Palin went on her eponymous television channel to offer a conservative rebuttal.</p> <p>The thing to keep in mind as you watch the following video is that she had three weeks to write these responses. This is not live. This is not a real debate. There is no moderator. Katie Couric and the lamestream media have&nbsp;no hand in this. This is a Sarah Palin joint.</p> <p>As Robyn Pennacchia points out at <a href="http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/226201/sarah-palin-has-fantasy-intellectual-debate-with-elizabeth-warren-it-does-not-go-well/" target="_blank"><em>Death &amp; Taxes</em></a>, the real highlight is Palin's word salad in response to Warren's statement that "we believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/y5ogJjmgpLM?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p> <blockquote> <p>'We believe?' Wait, I thought fast food joints, hurh. Don&rsquo;t you guys think that they&rsquo;re like of the Devil or somethin&rsquo; I was. Liberals, you want to send those evil employees who would dare work at a fast food joint then ya just don&rsquo;t believe in, thought you wanted to, I dunno, send them to Purgatory or somethin&rsquo; so they all go VEGAN and, uh, wages and picket lines I dunno they&rsquo;re not often discussed in Purgatory, are they? I dunno why are you even worried about fast food wages because dha.</p> </blockquote> <p>You really should watch the whole thing.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Rff8LDkOw0U?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Media Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:57:35 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 258276 at http://www.motherjones.com Where is Governor Jay Nixon? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/where-governor-jay-nixon <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="@darth says it all" class="image" src="/files/waldo.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>@darth says it all </strong><a href="https://twitter.com/darth">@darth</a>/Twitter</div> </div> <p>Five days ago, Ferguson, MO, cops <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/michael-brown-die-ferguson" target="_blank">shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown</a>, and the outrage of area residents&mdash;and the country&mdash;has grown day by day. Jay Nixon, the Democratic governor of Missouri whose name has been floated <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/jay-nixon-2016-103780.html" target="_blank">as a possible 2016 candidate</a> (VP or, if Hillary doesn't run, even presidential), has been notably absent. Yesterday he finally <a href="http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/local/2014/08/12/michael-brown-shooting-jay-nixon-speaks/13981773/" target="_blank">issued a brief statement</a>. And today, as St. Louis County Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at protestors and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/13/reporters-arrested-ferguson-ryan-reilly-wesley-lowery_n_5676841.html" target="_blank">arrested reporters from the <em>Washington Post </em>and the </a><em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/13/reporters-arrested-ferguson-ryan-reilly-wesley-lowery_n_5676841.html" target="_blank">Huffington Post</a>, </em>he's been silent on the conflict.&nbsp; So I wondered:</p> <blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Where is <a href="https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon">@GovJayNixon</a>? Like...right now?</p> &mdash; Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) <a href="https://twitter.com/ClaraJeffery/statuses/499731738927460353">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>And I'm far from alone. Here's a small sample:</p> <blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Odder still that Missouri's Democratic governor Jay Nixon is AWOL. Maybe some of those cops can search for him.</p> &mdash; Joshua Green (@JoshuaGreen) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoshuaGreen/statuses/499728767330574336">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>.<a href="https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon">@GovJayNixon</a> Your citizens are being shot at, gassed and having their constitutional rights impeached upon. Why aren't you doing anything?</p> &mdash; Female Fury (@ReinaAtlantico) <a href="https://twitter.com/ReinaAtlantico/statuses/499752650817404929">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Governor Jay Nixon..... anything from him... Buehler..... Buehler...</p> &mdash; Political Line (@PoliticaILine) <a href="https://twitter.com/PoliticaILine/statuses/499528728939339776">August 13, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Huh, looks like <a href="https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon">@GovJayNixon</a> has gone missing. No leadership apparent in the state of Missouri. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash">#Ferguson</a></p> &mdash; sevenish (@sevenish) <a href="https://twitter.com/sevenish/statuses/499752462501552128">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>While Ferguson Situation Goes Out Of Control, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Tweets About School Board Meeting <a href="http://t.co/rktNrTlhS4">http://t.co/rktNrTlhS4</a></p> &mdash; RedwoodGirl (@RedwoodGirl) <a href="https://twitter.com/RedwoodGirl/statuses/499752450681618432">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Where is the governor of Missouri? <a href="https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon">@GovJayNixon</a>.</p> &mdash; Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) <a href="https://twitter.com/jayrosen_nyu/statuses/499752344876511232">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Apparently <a href="https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon">@govjaynixon</a>'s phone minion has decided to just not answer the phone at the governors mansion. Unreal.</p> &mdash; Amadi (@amaditalks) <a href="https://twitter.com/amaditalks/statuses/499751998712197121">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Is <a href="https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon">@GovJayNixon</a> hiking the Appalachian Trail?</p> &mdash; Marc Love (@marcslove) <a href="https://twitter.com/marcslove/statuses/499748375755898880">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Are you going to speak up on the situation in your state or nah? <a href="https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon">@GovJayNixon</a></p> &mdash; Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) <a href="https://twitter.com/DonteStallworth/statuses/499746224350986240">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Where is <a href="https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon">@GovJayNixon</a>? Where is the Governor? Who is in charge in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash">#Ferguson</a>? Who do the people of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash">#Ferguson</a> turn to?</p> &mdash; Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) <a href="https://twitter.com/CapehartJ/statuses/499743733374803968">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>ok kyle RT <a href="https://twitter.com/kylefeldscher">@kylefeldscher</a>: can you photo shop Jay Nixon onto a Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego <a href="http://t.co/39idfeoDb3">pic.twitter.com/39idfeoDb3</a></p> &mdash; darth&trade; (@darth) <a href="https://twitter.com/darth/statuses/499740433245667328">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Police have taken over <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash">#Ferguson</a>. Where is <a href="https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon">@GovJayNixon</a>?</p> &mdash; mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) <a href="https://twitter.com/MiaFarrow/statuses/499742852956815360">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Today. Requires no comment. MT <a href="https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon">@GovJayNixon</a>: Touring the new Joplin High w/ <a href="https://twitter.com/CJHuffJoplin">@CJHuffJoplin</a>. <a href="http://t.co/eoibjZtLJ0">pic.twitter.com/</a><a href="http://t.co/eoibjZtLJ0">eoibjZtLJ0</a>&rdquo;</p> &mdash; JeffSharlet (@JeffSharlet) <a href="https://twitter.com/JeffSharlet/statuses/499733472991510529">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Hello <a href="https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon">@GovJayNixon</a>!!! Have you ever heard of the late Gov. George Wallace? If not, google him! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash">#Ferguson</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MikeBrown?src=hash">#MikeBrown</a></p> &mdash; E. Dewey Smith (@edeweysmith) <a href="https://twitter.com/edeweysmith/statuses/499752039413731328">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Could the Gov. of Missouri's political intentions to be Hillary Clinton's VP what makes him MIA in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash">#Ferguson</a>??? <a href="http://t.co/N85BFuO5kI">http://t.co/N85BFuO5kI</a> v</p> &mdash; Queenadalite (@queenadalite) <a href="https://twitter.com/queenadalite/statuses/499761599150698497">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Guess we can rule out one person as a 2016 challenger: Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.</p> &mdash; salome (@notsalome) <a href="https://twitter.com/notsalome/statuses/499722634821914624">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <p><strong>Update: </strong>Looks like he finally heard all the criticism:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Canceling all appearances at the <a href="https://twitter.com/MoStateFair">@MoStateFair</a> to visit North <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/STL?src=hash">#STL</a> County tomorrow. Statement to follow.</p> &mdash; Governor Jay Nixon (@GovJayNixon) <a href="https://twitter.com/GovJayNixon/statuses/499763706297741313">August 14, 2014 </a></blockquote> <p><strong>Update: </strong>Governor Nixon has released a statement:</p> <p class="rteindent1"><span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1130607040" tabindex="0"><span class="aQJ">"The worsening situation in Ferguson is deeply troubling, and does not represent who we are as Missourians or as Americans. While we all respect the solemn responsibility of our law enforcement officers to protect the public, we must also safeguard the rights of Missourians to peaceably assemble and the rights of the press to report on matters of public concern.</span></span></p> <p class="rteindent1"><span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1130607040" tabindex="0"><span class="aQJ">"I have been closely monitoring the situation and will continue to be in communication with local leaders, and I will be in north St. Louis County <span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1130607041" tabindex="0"><span class="aQJ">tomorrow. As Governor, I am committed to ensuring the pain of last weekend&rsquo;s tragedy does not continue to be compounded by this ongoing crisis. Once again, I ask that members of the community demonstrate patience and calm while the investigation continues, and I urge law enforcement agencies to keep the peace and respect the rights of residents and the press during this difficult time."</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1130607040" tabindex="0"><span class="aQJ"><span class="aBn" data-term="goog_1130607041" tabindex="0"><span class="aQJ">Sure I'm not the only one wondering why he isn't in north St. Louis County tonight. </span></span></span></span></p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties 2016 Ferguson Jay Nixon police Thu, 14 Aug 2014 03:58:36 +0000 Clara Jeffery 258336 at http://www.motherjones.com Incredibly Powerful Photo of Black Students at Howard University http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/incredibly-powerful-photo-taken-today-howard-university <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Check out this amazing photo taken earlier today at Howard University, the historically black college in Washington, D.C. Twitter user <a href="https://twitter.com/The_Blackness48/status/499714499688300545" target="_blank">@The_Blackness48</a> posted it, explaining that it wasn't so much a planned rally as a bunch of students already gathered for a meeting on freshman move-in "and we also felt we needed to respond to the Mike Brown issue."</p> <blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Powerful picture we took today at Howard University <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash">#Ferguson</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MikeBrown?src=hash">#MikeBrown</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MyaWhite?src=hash">#MyaWhite</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DONTSHOOT?src=hash">#DONTSHOOT</a> <a href="http://t.co/ttdVg33n5w">pic.twitter.com/ttdVg33n5w</a></p> &mdash; Megan Sims (@The_Blackness48) <a href="https://twitter.com/The_Blackness48/statuses/499714499688300545">August 14, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's another powerfully sad image from earlier today, this one from Ferguson. Hope these kids grow up in a safer world.</p> <blockquote align="center" class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>This. Breaks. My. Heart. <a href="http://t.co/YNJTtCXhfJ">pic.twitter.com/YNJTtCXhfJ</a></p> &mdash; hystericalblackness (@hystericalblkns) <a href="https://twitter.com/hystericalblkns/statuses/499706123872911360">August 13, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> MoJo Race and Ethnicity Thu, 14 Aug 2014 03:28:20 +0000 Tasneem Raja 258341 at http://www.motherjones.com Arizona State's Chip Sarafin Just Became the First Publicly Gay Player in Major College Football http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/arizona-state-chip-sarafin-gay-college-football <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Arizona State University offensive lineman Edward "Chip" Sarafin <a href="http://issuu.com/compete/docs/compete_august_2014/23?e=10470485/8872435" target="_blank">revealed he is gay</a> in a newly published magazine profile, making him the first active player in major college football to come out publicly.</p> <p>Although his conversation with <em>Compete</em>&mdash;a Tempe-based LGBT sports magazine&mdash;marks the first time Sarafin has told his story to the media, he said he came out to his teammates last spring. "It was really personal to me," he said, "and it benefited by peace of mind greatly."</p> <p>Sarafin, who is a fifth-year senior earning a master's degree in biomedical engineering, <a href="http://www.thesundevils.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=207923424&amp;DB_OEM_ID=30300" target="_blank">has not played in a game</a> in his four years as a Sun Devil. With his announcement, he follows in the steps of current St. Louis Rams linebacker Michael Sam, who came out to the media after completing his college football career at the University of Missouri, and the University of Massachusetts' <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/umass-derrick-gordon-gay-ncaa-basketball" target="_blank">Derrick Gordon</a>, who became the first openly gay men's college basketball player just months ago. Sam tweeted his support shortly after the news broke:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Congratulations Chip Sarafin for having the courage to be yourself. Wishing you and your teammates much success this season. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/courage2014?src=hash">#courage2014</a></p> &mdash; Michael Sam (@MichaelSamNFL) <a href="https://twitter.com/MichaelSamNFL/statuses/499687085020692481">August 13, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Arizona State football coach Todd Graham had <a href="http://www.thesundevils.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=30300&amp;ATCLID=209609150" target="_blank">this to say about Sarafin in a statement</a> Wednesday:</p> <blockquote> <p>We are a brotherhood that is not defined by cultural and personal differences, but rather an individual's commitment to the Sun Devil Way. Chip is a fifth-year senior and a Scholar Baller, a graduate and a master's student. His commitment to service is unmatched and it is clear he is on his way to leading a successful life after his playing career, a goal that I have for every student-athlete. Diversity and acceptance are two of the pillars of our program, and he has full support from his teammates and the coaching staff.</p> </blockquote> <p>Sarafin, who plans to become a neurologist, is currently helping develop a lightweight, sturdy carbon-fiber football helmet. He does outreach with younger athletes, educating them on the dangers of playing through concussions. He says he strives to be the type of person who "gives back to everyone and loves his family."</p></body></html> MoJo Gay Rights Sports Wed, 13 Aug 2014 23:25:24 +0000 Katie Rose Quandt 258331 at http://www.motherjones.com 6 Dumb Things Dan Snyder Has Said About the Name of His Football Team http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/dumb-quotes-dan-snyder-washington-redskins <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A year ago, I explained <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/08/ditching-redskins-nfl-dan-snyder-slate" target="_blank"><em>Mother Jones</em>' decision</a> to stop using the name of Washington, DC's pro football team, both online and in print. We joined <em>Slate </em>and <em>The New Republic</em> in doing so, and since then, a number of other <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/09/journalists-washington-redskins-nfl-rick-reilly" target="_blank">news organizations and journalists</a> have followed suit.</p> <p>Even as more people have spoken out against the team's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/10/redskin-definition-dictionary-merriam-webster-contemptuous-offensive" target="_blank">derogatory moniker</a>&mdash;everyone from <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/10/05/obama-associated-press-interview-washington-redskins/2927351/" target="_blank">President Obama</a> to <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gene-simmons-racial-slurs-redskins" target="_blank">Gene Simmons</a>&mdash;owner Dan Snyder hasn't given an inch, repeatedly arguing that it's simply not offensive. This week he even went on a mini media tour, giving radio and TV interviews as NFL training camps kicked into gear.</p> <p>In the meantime, Snyder has doubled down on his commitment to keeping the R-word. Here's a list of some of the dumbest things he's said about it in the last year (as well as some additional reading, for context):</p> <p><strong>In an <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/letter-from-washington-redskins-owner-dan-snyder-to-fans/2013/10/09/e7670ba0-30fe-11e3-8627-c5d7de0a046b_story.html" target="_blank">October letter</a> to season ticket holders: </strong>"The name was never a label. It was, and continues to be, a badge of honor&hellip;It is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect&mdash;the same values we know guide Native Americans and which are embedded throughout their rich history as the original Americans."<br><em>(See also: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/10/redskin-definition-dictionary-merriam-webster-contemptuous-offensive" target="_blank">"Often Contemptuous" and "Usually Offensive": 120 Years of Defining "Redskin"</a></em>)</p> <p><strong>In a <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000336553/article/redskins-dan-snyder-launches-original-americans-foundation" target="_blank">March letter</a> to season ticket holders, following months of criticism (including <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR-tbOxlhvE" target="_blank">this Super Bowl ad</a>):</strong> "I've been encouraged by the thousands of fans across the country who support keeping the Redskins tradition alive. Most&mdash;by overwhelming majorities&mdash;find our name to be rooted in pride for our shared heritage and values."<br><em>(See also: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/10/dan-snyder-washington-redacted-letter-fans-native-americans" target="_blank">"Dan Snyder to Native Americans: We're Cool, Right? Native Americans to Dan Snyder: [Redacted]"</a></em>)</p> <p><strong>Following an <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/redskins-snyder-says-team-name-not-issue" target="_blank">April ceremony</a> at a Virginia high school: </strong>"We understand the issues out there, and we're not an issue. The real issues are real-life issues, real-life needs, and I think it's time that people focus on reality."<br><em>(See also: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/03/washington-nfl-foundation-gary-edwards" target="_blank">"Washington NFL Team's New Native American Foundation Is Already Off to a Great Start"</a></em>)</p> <p><strong>In a <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2014/08/04/daniel-snyder-people-who-talk-about-the-name-redskins-are-missing-the-point" target="_blank">Monday interview</a> with former Washington player Chris Cooley on ESPN 980, the radio station <a href="http://deadspin.com/5930294/to-protect-a-dan-snyder-owned-radio-station-the-redskins-banned-a-competing-station-from-airing-rg3s-press-conference" target="_blank">Snyder owns</a>: </strong>"It's sort of fun to talk about the name of our football team because it gets some attention for some of the people that write about it, that need clicks. But the reality is no one ever talks about what's going on on reservations."<br><em>(See also: <a href="http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/03/25/outrage-indian-country-redskins-owner-announces-foundation-154153" target="_blank">"Outrage in Indian Country As Redskins Owner Announces Foundation"</a></em>)</p> <p><strong>More from the Cooley interview: </strong>"It's honor, it's respect, it's pride, and I think that every player here sees it, feels it. Every alumni feels it. It's a wonderful thing. It's a historical thing. This is a very historical franchise&hellip;I think it would be nice if, and forget the media from that perspective, but really focus on the fact that&mdash;the facts, the history, the truth, the tradition."<br><em>(See also: <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2014/05/06/former-redskins-player-jason-taylor-says-redskins-name-is-offensive/" target="_blank">"Former Redskins Player Jason Taylor Says Redskins Name Is Offensive"</a></em>)</p> <p><strong>In a Tuesday interview with ESPN's <a href="http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11313245/daniel-snyder-redskins-term-honor-respect" target="_blank"><em>Outside the Lines</em></a>: </strong>"A Redskin is a football player. A Redskin is our fans. The Washington Redskins fan base represents honor, represents respect, represents pride. Hopefully winning. And, and, it, it's a positive. Taken out of context, you can take things out of context all over the place. But in this particular case, it is what it is. It's very obvious&hellip;We sing 'Hail to the Redskins.' We don't say hurt anybody. We say, 'Hail to the Redskins. Braves on the warpath. Fight for old DC.' We only sing it when we score touchdowns. That's the problem, because last season we didn't sing it quite enough as we would've liked to."<br><em>(See also: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/10/timeline-history-offensive-sports-mascots-redskins-snyder" target="_blank">"Timeline: A Century of Racist Sports Team Names"</a></em>)</p></body></html> MoJo Race and Ethnicity Sports Top Stories Sat, 09 Aug 2014 10:21:09 +0000 Ian Gordon 257986 at http://www.motherjones.com Tennessee Gubernatorial Nominee Explains Why He Wants to Send Governor to Electric Chair http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/charlie-brown-bill-haslam-tennessee <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/charlie-brown_0.jpg"><div class="caption">Charlie Brown for Governor</div> </div> <p>They did it again. On Thursday, Tennessee Democrats <a href="http://www.elections.tn.gov/gov.htm" target="_blank">picked</a> a statewide candidate with zero political experience. His campaign platform is based on sending incumbent Gov. Bill Haslam (R) to the electric chair. Charlie Brown, a retired engineer from Oakdale whose name is misspelled on his own Facebook page, may owe his victory in the gubernatorial primary to appearing as the first name on the ballot. But he gives full credit to God. "I got down on my knees and prayed about it," he told <em>Mother Jones</em>, when asked about his campaign strategy. "That hit you pretty hard, huh? That took you for a loop, huh?"</p> <p>In 2012, anti-gay activist <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/08/mark-clayton-tennessee-democrats-senate" target="_blank">Mark Clayton</a>, who also had no political track record won the nod to take on GOP Sen. Bob Corker. His name was also the first name listed on the ballot. Clayton initially filed to run against Haslam this year but was rejected by the state party. The state party did not, however, unite behind a more experienced candidate to challenge the popular Haslam.</p> <p>The 72-year-old Brown did not raise money or campaign actively for the seat. Instead, he sent <a href="http://blountdems.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Charlie-Brown.pdf" target="_blank">two letters</a> to the editor to every major newspaper in the state, outlining his plans for Tennessee, which included bringing back teacher tenure, restoring benefits for civil servants, spending his gubernatorial salary on large deer for hunters, and raising speed limits on the interstate highways to 80 mph "because everyone does anyway." (Brown says he has been pulled over for speeding, but "not lately.") "Let me give you something: My main interest is to put the Bible back in school," he said on Friday. "You can write that down."</p> <p>"I'd still like to put his butt in that electric chair and turn it on about half throttle and let him smell a little bit," Brown said of Haslam. "You can print that if you want to."</p> <p>Shortly before the election, he says a higher power intervened on his behalf. "I was sitting on the interstate waiting on a guy," he said, "and something hit me just like that, and it said to get down on your knees to pray. I got down right there on the interstate. There's a wide place, where there's a pullout. There wasn't anybody there. And I got down and asked the Lord to get me through this thing and he did. Now listen, I'm not no preacher, I'm just a Christian. I'm just a sinner saved by grace. I'm just like everybody else."</p> <p>Brown said he would update his Facebook after he got off the phone (it has since been <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chrles-VCharlie-Brown-For-Governor/" target="_blank">taken down</a>), and plans to campaign more actively in the fall, but downplays the uphill challenge he faces.</p> <p>"I'm gonna campaign big time!" Brown said. "They said I was unknown&mdash;I've been in the newspaper for years under Peanuts!"</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Fri, 08 Aug 2014 18:27:28 +0000 Tim Murphy 258056 at http://www.motherjones.com