Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2010/11 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Breaking: Freddie Gray's Death Is Ruled a Homicide. All 6 Officers Will Face Criminal Charges. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/baltimore-freddie-gray-charges-homicide <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/14eb12d9b62b48c0b20d410283822aa7/latest-police-custody-death-all-6-officers-charged" target="_blank">All six Baltimore police officers </a>involved in the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old who died in police custody last month, sparking tense <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/protesters-new-york-city-baltimore-freddie-gray" target="_blank">protests</a>, will face criminal charges. The announcement was made by Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby during a press conference Friday morning. The various charges include manslaughter, murder, and assault:</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Here are the criminal charges against each officer in the murder of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FreddieGray?src=hash">#FreddieGray</a> <a href="http://t.co/L8xBeT7edk">pic.twitter.com/L8xBeT7edk</a></p> &mdash; Shaun King (@ShaunKing) <a href="https://twitter.com/ShaunKing/status/594155539455672321">May 1, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>Mosby told reporters that Gray's death has been ruled a homicide and that the knife found on <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2015/05/01/baltimore-to-file-charges-in-gray-case.html" target="_blank">Gray during a search</a> was "not a switchblade," as Baltimore police previously <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/baltimore-protest-police-report" target="_blank">alleged</a>, and its possession was therefore "lawful under Maryland law."</p> <p>Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., who was driving the police van that Gray was transported in after his arrest, was charged with second-degree murder, along with manslaughter, assault, and misconduct charges. If found guilty, he could face up to 63 years in prison, according to the <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-freddie-gray-mosby-presser-0502-20150501-story.html#page=1" target="_blank"><em>Baltimore Sun</em></a>.</p> <p>"To the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America, I heard your call for 'no justice, no peace,'" Mosby said on Friday. "To the youth of this city, I will seek justice on your behalf." Watch the announcement below:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gmMoH7Vy_CM" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><em>This post has been updated.</em></p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Fri, 01 May 2015 15:46:29 +0000 Inae Oh 274641 at http://www.motherjones.com Sen. Bernie Sanders Is Running for President. Here's a Sampling of His Greatest Hits http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/sen-bernie-sanders-running-president-greatest-hits <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) officially announced today that's he's running for president. The self-described socialist faces long odds in the Democratic primary, but chances are good that he'll at least force a discussion on issues dear to liberals. Here are some highlights of the best of <em>Mother Jones</em> coverage of Sanders:</p> <ul><li>Sanders visited our office earlier this month <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/bernie-sanders-inequality-president-interview" target="_blank">to discuss</a> income inequality, trade, and his motivations for running for prez.</li> <li>"<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/election-day-national-holiday-sanders" target="_blank">Why don't we make Election Day a holiday?</a>" Sanders asks. Yes, why?</li> <li>Sanders <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/bernie-sanders-big-money-election-spending" target="_blank">goes on Bill Moyers</a> to perfectly predict big money's domination of the 2014 elections.</li> <li>Sanders asks the NSA whether it is spying on members of Congress. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/01/nsa-spying-congress-bernie-sanders" target="_blank">The NSA won't say</a>.</li> <li><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/03/bernie-sanders-top-10-tax-avoiders" target="_blank">Sanders' list of America's top 10 tax avoiders</a>.</li> <li><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2010/12/bernie-sanders-filibuster" target="_blank">The greatest hits from Filibernie</a>, Sanders' eight-and-a-half hour filibuster in protest of the 2010 extension of tax cuts for the rich.</li> <li>Sanders <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/02/sanders-drop-nukes-go-solar" target="_blank">lambastes Obama</a> for giving loan guarantees to the nuclear power industry.</li> <li><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/09/sen-bernie-sanders-i-vt-proposals-wall-street-video" target="_blank">Sanders has some ideas for reforming Wall Street</a>.</li> <li>"<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2006/11/socialist-millionaires-club-interview-bernie-sanders" target="_blank">A Socialist in the Millionaire's Club</a>": a 2006 <em>Mother Jones</em> interview with Sanders, shortly after he was elected to the Senate.</li> <li><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1998/02/bernie-versus-bob" target="_blank">During a 1998 Congressional hearing, Sanders excoriates Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin</a> for supporting General Suharto, "a cruel, authoritarian dictator whose family is worth between $40 and $50 billion."</li> <li>And then there's this Sanders blurb from a November 1989 <em>Mother Jones</em> <a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=N-cDAAAAMBAJ&amp;pg=PA22&amp;dq=Bernie+Sanders&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=GJRCVcSkDZL9oQT8poGICw&amp;ved=0CC4Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&amp;q=Bernie%20Sanders&amp;f=false" target="_blank">roundup of promising third parties</a>:</li> </ul><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Bernie%20Sanders.png"></div> <p>The Progressive Coalition obviously never went national in the way Sanders had envisioned. But in 1991, a year after he was elected to Congress, he founded something more enduring: the <a href="http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/" target="_blank">Congressional Progressive Caucus</a>. Since then, Sanders' view of third parties has evolved: "No matter what I do," he told <em>Mother Jones</em> last month, "I will not play the role of a spoiler who ends up helping to elect a right-wing Republican."</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Income Inequality Top Stories bernie sanders Thu, 30 Apr 2015 21:50:07 +0000 Josh Harkinson 274621 at http://www.motherjones.com Why You Should Be Skeptical About the New Police Narrative on Freddie Gray's Death http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/washington-post-freddie-gray-jailhouse-informant <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On a relatively quiet night in Baltimore, the <em>Washington Post</em> <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/prisoner-in-van-said-freddie-gray-was-banging-against-the-walls-during-ride/2015/04/29/56d7da10-eec6-11e4-8666-a1d756d0218e_story.html" target="_blank">dropped a bombshell</a>. According to a sealed court document, a witness alleged that Freddie Gray&mdash;whose April death has triggered days of protests in the city&mdash;may have been deliberately attempting to injure himself while in police custody:</p> <blockquote> <p>A prisoner sharing a police transport van with Freddie Gray told investigators that he could hear Gray "banging against the walls" of the vehicle and believed that he "was intentionally trying to injure himself," according to a police document obtained by The Washington Post.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>The prisoner, who is currently in jail, was separated from Gray by a metal partition and could not see him. His statement is contained in an application for a search warrant, which is sealed by the court. The Post was given the document under the condition that the prisoner not be named because the person who provided it feared for the inmate's safety.</p> </blockquote> <p>It's easy to see how a sealed document like that, drafted by a police investigator, might have leaked to the press in spite of the court order, and in spite of the police department's general aura of secrecy. If Gray's injuries were self-inflicted, the police department is off the hook.</p> <p>But as WBAL's Jayne Miller noted, the new exculpatory allegation appears to be at odds with the police department's earlier narrative, as well as the timeline of events:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">BPD Commissioner Anthony Batts on 4/23 told us second prisoner in police van said Freddie Gray was "mostly quiet". ..</p> &mdash; Jayne Miller (@jemillerwbal) <a href="https://twitter.com/jemillerwbal/status/593614899340824576">April 30, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">We have reported that when van stopped to pick up 2nd prisoner, sources say, Gray was unresponsive. No evidence banging head against van</p> &mdash; Jayne Miller (@jemillerwbal) <a href="https://twitter.com/jemillerwbal/status/593616066091286529">April 30, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>And there's another reason to be skeptical. Information that comes out of jails is notoriously unreliable, for the simple reason that anyone in jail has a real incentive to get out; cooperating with the people who determine when they get out is an obvious way to score points. <a href="http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/reports/death_penalty_reform/Jailhouse20snitch20testimony20policy20briefpdf.pdf" target="_blank">This</a> report from the Pew Charitable Trust walks through the conflicts in detail. According to the Innocence Project, <a href="http://www.innocenceproject.org/causes-wrongful-conviction/informants" target="_blank">15 percent</a> of wrongful convictions that are eventually overturned by DNA testing originally rested on information from a jailhouse informant. Two years ago in California, for instance, a federal court <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jan/10/local/la-me-skidrow-stabber-20120110" target="_blank">overturned</a> the conviction of an alleged serial killer known as the "Skid Row Stabber" because the conviction rested on information from an inmate dismissed as a "habitual liar."</p> <p>Or maybe the witness in Baltimore is right&mdash;that happens too!&mdash;and what we thought we knew about the Freddie Gray case was wrong. But the department isn't doing much to quiet the skeptics. It <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/results-freddie-gray-investigation-public-baltimore/" target="_blank">announced</a> Wednesday that it will not make public the full results of its investigation into Gray's death, "because if there is a decision to charge in any event by the state's attorney's office, the integrity of that investigation has to be protected."</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Top Stories Thu, 30 Apr 2015 16:49:36 +0000 Tim Murphy 274551 at http://www.motherjones.com Obamacare Requires Birth Control Coverage. But Some Insurers Are Ignoring the Law. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/obamacare-requires-better-coverage-insurance-companies-are-ignoring-law <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Ladies, if you've gone to the doctor in recent years expecting your contraception or ultrasounds to be free, only to be slammed with a co-pay or other charge from your insurer, it's likely your insurer is violating the Affordable Care Act.</p> <p>Thanks to Obamacare, insurance companies are now required to provide women with a host of coverage options, from free access to all FDA-approved birth control methods to preventative care to maternity care. But just because it's a legal requirement doesn't mean it's happening. According a <a href="http://www.nwlc.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/stateofcoverage2015final.pdf" target="_blank">new report</a> released Tuesday by the National Women's Law Center, insurance plans are not providing all the benefits women won under Obamacare.</p> <p>NWLC found many plans that were not actually providing cost-free access to the full range of birth control options required under the ACA. Of the more than 100 insurance providers surveyed, NWLC discovered thirty-three insurers in 13 states are not complying with birth control coverage requirement.</p> <p>The compliance issues went well beyond birth control. The report, which surveyed plans for sale on state and federally-run insurance marketplaces in 15 states over two years, found violations "related to maternity care, birth control, breast-feeding support and supplies, genetic testing, well-woman visits, prescription drug coverage, care related to gender transition for transgender individuals, chronic pain treatment, and certain pre-existing conditions," <a href="http://www.nwlc.org/press-release/new-reports-call-out-insurance-companies-violating-affordable-care-act%E2%80%99s-women%E2%80%99s-healt" target="_blank">according</a> to NWLC. Due to the sheer number of violations the group found, it predicts the problem is "systemic nationwide."</p> <p>The report calls on state and federal regulators to more closely monitor the plans being sold in the individual marketplaces. The report also proposes that insurance plans be made open to public comment so that advocates can review the plans and point out any violations before regulators certify the plans.</p> <p>In another <a href="http://kff.org/private-insurance/report/coverage-of-contraceptive-services-a-review-of-health-insurance-plans-in-five-states/" target="_blank">report</a> released earlier this month, the Kaiser Family Foundation reviewed 20 carriers' compliance with the ACA's birth-control mandate and also found violations. Of the 20 carriers Kaiser reviewed, only 11 provided cost-free coverage of the emergency birth control pill ella, which has a longer window of effectiveness than the standard progestin-based Plan B, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/11/plan-b-morning-after-pill-weight-limit-pounds" target="_blank">particularly</a> for women with a higher body mass index. Two of the carriers didn't cover ella at all.</p></body></html> MoJo Health Care Wed, 29 Apr 2015 21:30:56 +0000 Pema Levy 274511 at http://www.motherjones.com Ruth Bader Ginsburg Shuts Down Gay-Marriage Challengers http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/ruth-bader-ginsburg-shuts-down-gay-marriage-challengers <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>As the Supreme Court started to hear oral arguments to <em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/04/opponents-same-sex-marriage-claim-science-their-side" target="_blank">Obergefell v. Hodges</a></em>&mdash;the historic case that could determine the legality of gay marriage bans&mdash;on Tuesday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered <a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/14-556q1_7l48.pdf" target="_blank">quite the perfect response </a>to her same-sex-marriage opponents.</p> <p>Back in February, the 82-year-old justice expressed her optimism that the court will eventually <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/02/ruth-bader-ginsburg-believes-americans-are-ready-accept-scotus-gay-marriage-ruling" target="_blank">rule in favor of gay marriage</a>, citing the evolution in "people's attitudes" on the issue "has been enormous" in recent years. Although the rest of the court appeared <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/29/us/supreme-court-same-sex-marriage.html?_r=0" target="_blank">deeply divided</a> on Tuesday, judging by the fact that even <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/marriage-equality-supreme-court" target="_blank">anti-gay activists</a> are expecting gay marriage will ultimately win, we're hoping to see Ginsburg's prediction become a reality soon.</p> <p>Below are some of the same-sex-marriage arguments and her responses to each.</p> <p><strong>Argument: </strong>The court does not have legal right to change a "millennia" of tradition.</p> <p><strong>RBG's response:</strong> "Marriage today is not what it was under the common law tradition, under the civil law tradition. Marriage was a relationship of a dominant male to a subordinate female. That ended as a result of this court's decision in 1982, when Louisiana's Head and Master Rule was struck down. Would that be a choice that state should be allowed to have? To cling to marriage the way it once was?"</p> <p><strong>Argument: </strong>The institution of marriage is inherently linked to a couple's ability to procreate.</p> <p><strong>RBG's response:</strong> "Suppose a couple, 70-year-old couple, comes in and they want to get married? You don't have to ask them any questions. You know they are not going to have any children."</p> <p><strong>Argument: </strong>Gay marriage "impinges on the state" and takes benefits away from straight couples.</p> <p><strong>RBG's response: </strong>"How could that be, because all of the incentives, all of the benefits of marriage affords would still be available. So you're not taking away anything from heterosexual couples. They would have the very same incentive to marry, all the benefits that come with marriage that they do now."</p> <p><strong>Argument:</strong> Legal gay marriage has never been a possibility for most of history. Why now?</p> <p><strong>RBG's response: </strong>"[Same-sex couples] wouldn't be asking for this relief if the law of marriage was what it was a millennium ago. I mean, it wasn't possible. Same-sex unions would not have opted into the pattern of marriage, which was a relationship, a dominant and a subordinate relationship. Yes, it was marriage between a man and a woman, but the man decided where the couple would be domiciled; it was her obligation to follow him.</p> <p>There was a change in the institution of marriage to make it egalitarian when it wasn't egalitarian. And same-sex unions wouldn't&mdash;wouldn't fit into what marriage was once."</p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Gay Rights Supreme Court Wed, 29 Apr 2015 21:02:37 +0000 Inae Oh 274526 at http://www.motherjones.com Nigeria Says It's Rescued Nearly 300 Women and Girls From Boko Haram http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/nigerian-troops-rescue-nearly-300-women-and-girls <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Two-hundred girls and 93 women have been rescued from a Boko Haram stronghold in the Sambisa Forest, the Nigerian Armed Forces <a href="https://twitter.com/DefenceInfoNG" target="_blank">said</a> Tuesday. They could not&nbsp;immediately confirm if the girls rescued were among those captured in Chibok last year&mdash;<em>TIME</em> is <a href="http://time.com/3839035/nigeria-boko-haram-girls-rescue/" target="_blank">reporting that, indeed, they are not</a>&mdash;however, writing on Twitter, the NAF said only, "the freed persons are now being screened and profiled. We will bring you details later."</p> <p>In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 250 girls from the Chibok boarding school in northern Nigeria, sparking global outrage and the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls. Dozens of the girls have <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/04/28/world/africa/ap-af-nigeria-kidnapped-girls.html?_r=0" target="_blank">escaped</a> since their capture&mdash;<a href="http://features.hrw.org/features/HRW_2014_report/Those_Terrible_Weeks_in_Their_Camp/index.html" target="_blank">telling of horrors including rape and forced marriage</a>&mdash;while the rest have remained in captivity.</p> <p>Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group whose name in the local Housa language translates loosely to "<a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13809501" target="_blank">Western education is forbidden</a>," has terrorized northern Nigeria with bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings since 2009 and recently <a href="http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121340/boko-harams-pledge-allegiance-isis-doesnt-mean-anything" target="_blank">pledged allegiance</a> to ISIS. According to an Amnesty International <a href="https://www.amnesty.org/en/articles/news/2015/04/nigeria-abducted-women-and-girls-forced-to-join-boko-haram-attacks/?nl=nytnow&amp;em_pos=large&amp;emc=edit_nn_20150414" target="_blank">report</a> released this month, Boko Haram has kidnapped more than 2,000 women and girls since the beginning of 2014 and has killed at least 5,500 civilians.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Human Rights International Tue, 28 Apr 2015 22:20:41 +0000 Bryan Schatz 274451 at http://www.motherjones.com Rand Paul Blames the Baltimore Riots on Absentee Fathers http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/rand-paul-baltimore-riots-absentee-fathers <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>As one of a growing number of GOP 2016 wannabes, Sen. Rand Paul has tried to sell himself as the best Republican candidate to reach out to African-American voters. He's talked about the need for criminal justice reform. During the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, he called for demilitarizing police forces. Yet his response to the riots in Baltimore show that he has a long way to go. <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rand-paul-freddie-gray-baltimore-morals" target="_blank">During an interview</a> with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham on Tuesday, the Kentucky senator blamed the turmoil not on the police brutality that resulted in the death of Freddie Gray, but on absentee fathers and a breakdown in families.</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/baltimorecops2.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 coverage of the protests in Baltimore. </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-274411"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/how-baltimore-riots-began-mondawmin-purge"> Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn't Start the Way You Think</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274366"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/watch-president-obama-talk-about-whats-happening-baltimore"> Obama: It's About Decades of Inequality</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274361"> <li><a href="/mojo/2015/04/rand-paul-baltimore-riots-absentee-fathers"> Rand Paul: Blame Absentee Fathers</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274496"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/what-martin-luther-king-thought-about-urban-riots"> What MLK Really Thought About Riots</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274351"> <li><a href="/mojo/2015/04/following-riots-baltimore-residents-unite-clean-city"> Photos: Residents Help Clean Up</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274326"> <li><a href="/mixed-media/2015/04/baltimore-orioles-freddie-gray"> Orioles Exec: It's Inequality, Stupid</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274391"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/baltimore-teens-police"> These Teens Aren't Waiting Around for Someone Else to Fix Their City </a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274386"> <li><a href="/mixed-media/2015/04/athletes-celebrities-call-end-violence-baltimore"> Ray Lewis: "Violence Is Not the Answer"</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274331"> <li><a href="/mojo/2015/04/bloods-and-crips-baltimore-protests"> Bloods and Crips Want "Nobody to Get Hurt"</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> <p>"It's depressing, it's sad, it's scary. I came through the train on Baltimore last night, I'm glad the train didn't stop," Paul said, laughing at his own unfunny joke. He then pontificated of the unrest: "The thing is that really there's so many things we can talk about, it's something we talk about not in the immediate aftermath but over time: the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of sort of a moral code in our society. And this isn't just a racial thing, it goes across racial boundaries, but we do have problems in our country."</p> <p>By the way, a week ago, Paul's 22-year-old son William was <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/04/22/rand-pauls-son-dui/26213657/" target="_blank">cited</a> for driving while intoxicated after he was in a car crash.</p> <p>Listen to the audio of the interview, recorded by Media Matters (hat tip to <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rand-paul-freddie-gray-baltimore-morals" target="_blank">TPM</a>):</p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/202955758&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Paul wasn't the only presidential aspirant to comment on the riots. Hillary Clinton sent out a tweet on Monday calling for peace but supporting the protestors who were upset by Gray's death.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Tonight I am praying for peace &amp; safety for all in Baltimore, &amp; for Freddie Gray's family - his death is a tragedy that demands answers. -H</p> &mdash; Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) <a href="https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/592881927725658112">April 28, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Former Baltimore resident and likely presidential candidate Ben Carson pleaded with parents in the city to keep their children away from the disorder. "I urge parents, grandparents and guardians to please take control of your children and do not allow them to be exposed to the dangers of uncontrolled agitators on the streets," Carson said in a <a href="http://dailycaller.com/2015/04/28/ben-carson-pleads-with-people-of-baltimore-please-take-control-of-your-children/" target="_blank">statement</a>.</p> <p>Texas Sen. Ted Cruz <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/28/sen-ted-cruz-on-baltimore-riots-today-families-are-scared/" target="_blank">lamented</a> the school closures across the city. "No man, woman, or child should fear for his or her safety in America&mdash;not in their schools, not in their neighborhoods, not in their cities&mdash;but today families are scared," the GOP contender said.</p> <p>But long-shot Democratic candidate Martin O'Malley went further than just a simple statement. O'Malley, the former mayor of Baltimore, <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/04/28/martin-omalley-quits-european-tour-to-return-to-riot-stricken-baltimore/" target="_blank">canceled</a> a string of paid speeches in Europe to return home.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Hillary Clinton Rand Paul Ted Cruz The Right Baltimore Protests Tue, 28 Apr 2015 18:15:09 +0000 Patrick Caldwell 274361 at http://www.motherjones.com Some Hopeful Images From Baltimore: Residents Uniting to Clean Up the City http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/following-riots-baltimore-residents-unite-clean-city <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>After an evening of violent unrest, Baltimore residents emerged Tuesday morning to clean up after the destruction and prepare for what could be more chaos. On Monday, at least <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/29/us/baltimore-riots.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=photo-spot-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news&amp;assetType=nyt_now&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">15 police officers </a>were injured and dozens of businesses were destroyed, as rioters clashed with law enforcement officials throughout most of the evening.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Everybody pitching to clean up. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PrayForBaltimore?src=hash">#PrayForBaltimore</a> <a href="http://t.co/4ANwpLPNBI">pic.twitter.com/4ANwpLPNBI</a></p> &mdash; Aaron Gilchrist (@nbcaaron) <a href="https://twitter.com/nbcaaron/status/593022415556476928">April 28, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>Residents, including children, were seen gathering around a CVS that had been looted and torched the night before. An affordable housing unit for <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2015/apr/28/baltimore-freddie-gray-riots-live-updates" target="_blank">senior citizens </a>was also among the buildings destroyed by fires. Many businesses remain <a href="https://twitter.com/GraceyWeather/status/593061196250664960" target="_blank">closed</a> until further notice.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Young people (very young) helping with clean up efforts outside burned out Baltimore CVS. <a href="http://t.co/LYtI1DgpSs">pic.twitter.com/LYtI1DgpSs</a></p> &mdash; Athena Jones (@AthenaCNN) <a href="https://twitter.com/AthenaCNN/status/593040924667707392">April 28, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Nalani Mfume is 7 and she and her father came to clean up outside the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Baltimore?src=hash">#Baltimore</a> cvs <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/solutionfocus?src=hash">#solutionfocus</a> <a href="http://t.co/HAMmLomcZ9">pic.twitter.com/HAMmLomcZ9</a></p> &mdash; Chris Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChrisCuomo/status/593046817656414208">April 28, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>A <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2015/04/28/1-000-volunteer-to-clean-up-baltimore.html" target="_blank">large part</a> of the clean-up effort was initiated by a Facebook group seeking volunteers to help amid Monday's violence. By Tuesday morning, nearly <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/757249374388332/" target="_blank">2,500 people</a> gathered at various meeting points throughout the city.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Members of Phi Beta Sigma and others from community cleaning up houses. Also general community cleanup. <a href="http://t.co/lWwf7Hi6RR">pic.twitter.com/lWwf7Hi6RR</a></p> &mdash; Brandon Weigel (@brandon_weigel) <a href="https://twitter.com/brandon_weigel/status/593071145802452992">April 28, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>Monday's rioting followed the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, whose death after suffering a spinal cord injury while in police custody sparked protests. Initially, those protests were mostly peaceful; Gray's family was quick to denounce the ugliness that erupted Monday. "To see that it turned into all this violence and destruction, I am really appalled," Richard Shipley, Gray's stepfather,<a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/baltimore-unrest/freddie-grays-family-condemns-baltimore-riots-urges-end-violence-n349501" target="_blank"> told NBC.</a></p> <p>Many community members have also condemned the destruction. On Monday, one unidentified mother was seen reprimanding her son for participating in the violence.</p> <center> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EuHmk2jpVLM" width="630"></iframe></p> </center> <p>Another protest is scheduled for <a href="http://baltimoreuprising.org/" target="_blank">3 p.m. on Tuesday. </a></p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Baltimore Protests Tue, 28 Apr 2015 16:20:43 +0000 Inae Oh 274351 at http://www.motherjones.com Bloods and Crips Members Say They Want "Nobody to Get Hurt" in Baltimore Protests http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/bloods-and-crips-baltimore-protests <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Amid mounting <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/baltimore-freddie-gray-riots" target="_blank">unrest in Baltimore</a>, an unexpected alliance&mdash;members of the Bloods and Crips&mdash;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/live/confrontation-in-baltimore/church-leaders-gang-members-meet/" target="_blank">emerged</a> yesterday to call for protection of local residents. At an event in a local church shown in a <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bal-video-gangs-call-for-calm-in-baltimore-20150427-premiumvideo.html" target="_blank"><em>Baltimore Sun</em> video</a>, a man named Charles, who said he was a member of the Crips, wrapped his arm around a self-described Bloods member named Jamal to call for an end to riots over the death of Freddie Gray.</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/baltimorecops2.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 coverage of the protests in Baltimore. </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-274411"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/how-baltimore-riots-began-mondawmin-purge"> Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn't Start the Way You Think</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274366"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/watch-president-obama-talk-about-whats-happening-baltimore"> Obama: It's About Decades of Inequality</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274361"> <li><a href="/mojo/2015/04/rand-paul-baltimore-riots-absentee-fathers"> Rand Paul: Blame Absentee Fathers</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274496"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/what-martin-luther-king-thought-about-urban-riots"> What MLK Really Thought About Riots</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274351"> <li><a href="/mojo/2015/04/following-riots-baltimore-residents-unite-clean-city"> Photos: Residents Help Clean Up</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274326"> <li><a href="/mixed-media/2015/04/baltimore-orioles-freddie-gray"> Orioles Exec: It's Inequality, Stupid</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274391"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/04/baltimore-teens-police"> These Teens Aren't Waiting Around for Someone Else to Fix Their City </a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274386"> <li><a href="/mixed-media/2015/04/athletes-celebrities-call-end-violence-baltimore"> Ray Lewis: "Violence Is Not the Answer"</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-274331"> <li><a href="/mojo/2015/04/bloods-and-crips-baltimore-protests"> Bloods and Crips Want "Nobody to Get Hurt"</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> <p>Hours earlier, Baltimore police had warned that members of "various gangs," including the Bloods, Crips, and Black Guerrilla Family, <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bs-md-ci-freddie-gray-gang-threat-20150427-story.html" target="_blank">would "team up"</a> to attack police officers and posed a "credible threat." In January, a member of the Black Guerrilla Family <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bs-md-ci-police-station-gun-20150106-story.html" target="_blank">walked into</a> a Baltimore police station with a loaded .22-calibur handgun, marijuana, and cocaine to "test security."</p> <p>"We not here for nobody to get hurt," Charles told the <em>Sun</em> reporter. "We don't want nobody to get hurt. All that about the police getting hurt by certain gangs, that's false. We not here for that. We here to protect our community, and that's it. We don't want no trouble. We're doing this because we don't want trouble."</p> <p>"The police department hate to see us right now," Jamal said.</p> <p>Though unusual, a Bloods-Crips alliance would not be without precedent. On Saturday, members of both groups joined protests throughout Baltimore, marching side by side against police brutality. The <em>Daily Beast</em> <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/04/27/the-bloods-and-crips-anti-cop-ceasefire-in-baltimore.html" target="_blank">reported that</a> in August,&nbsp;several former Bloods and Crips carried signs while protesting in Ferguson, Missouri, that read: "NO MORE CRIPS. NO MORE BLOODS. ONE PEOPLE. NO GANG ZONE."</p> <p>And more than two decades ago, when four white Los Angeles police officers were acquitted in the 1992 beating of Rodney King, the two factions struck a truce that <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1992/05/12/us/after-the-riots-hope-and-fear-in-los-angeles-as-deadly-gangs-call-truce.html" target="_blank">drew skepticism</a> from officers and community workers, but is thought to have helped limit street violence in LA for years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Baltimore Protests Tue, 28 Apr 2015 13:03:12 +0000 Edwin Rios 274331 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's What the Nepalese Earthquake Devastation Looks Like From a Drone http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/drone-footage-shows-cost-earthquake-nepal <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Over the weekend, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake and multiple aftershocks <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/rescue-crews-expand-helicopter-sorties-to-reach-remote-villages/2015/04/27/e44280c2-ec63-11e4-8050-839e9234b303_story.html" target="_blank">wiped out</a> buildings, infrastructure, and <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/04/25/nepal-earthquake-reduces-world-heritage-sites-to-rubble/" target="_blank">historic sites</a> in Nepal, killing more than 4,000 people, injuring thousands more, and <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/27/nepal-earthquake-authorities-struggle-to-cope-despite-international-aid-efforts" target="_blank">leaving</a> tens of thousands homeless. As fatalities continue to rise after the worst earthquake to hit the country in more than 80 years, the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/nepal-earthquakes-economic-toll-expected-to-be-massive-1430133298" target="_blank">reports</a> that the disaster could cost the country $5 billion to rebuild over the next five years.</p> <p>So far, rescue teams have <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/rescuers-struggle-reach-many-nepal-quake-fear-worst-062325069.html" target="_blank">struggled</a> to reach remote villages, and news orgs are having a hard time getting reporters into the country. This amateur aerial drone footage, zooming in and out above the devastation in Kathmandu, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/apr/27/drone-footage-kathmandu-nepal-earthquake-video" target="_blank">shows why</a>:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N52LX1GZYWs" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Video International Mon, 27 Apr 2015 20:43:13 +0000 Edwin Rios 274306 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's How Elizabeth Warren Is Holding Clinton's "Feet to the Fire" on Liberal Policies http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/elizabeth-warren-hillary-clinton <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) may have officially ruled out a bid for the White House, but she might as well be a shadow candidate. That's according to a report by Ryan Lizza in the <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/04/the-virtual-candidate" target="_blank"><em>New Yorker</em></a> today, which describes the Massachusetts senator and her advisers working in the background to ensure Warren's populist agenda is embedded into Hillary Clinton's campaign. Judging by Clinton's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/hillary-clinton-elizabeth-warren-wall-street" target="_blank">recent embrace</a> of a number of key Warren issues, the strategy seems to be working pretty well&mdash;and Warren's team appears to know it. In the <em>New Yorker </em><a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/04/the-virtual-candidate" target="_blank">today:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>One of Warren&rsquo;s advisers believes that if she entered the race against Clinton she would be shredded by the Clinton political machine. Instead, the best way to pursue her agenda is to use the next year to pressure Clinton.</p> <p>"I think she&rsquo;s in a beautiful position right now," the Warren adviser said, "because she can get Hillary to do whatever the hell she wants. Now the question is, will Hillary stick to it if she gets in? But at the moment Elizabeth can get her on record and hold her feet to the fire."</p> </blockquote> <p>Even as recently as last week, members of Warren's team reportedly passed around a photo of the two sitting next to each other with a thought quote hovering over Clinton that read, "What she said." <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/04/the-virtual-candidate" target="_blank">Additionally from Lizza:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>When I asked Warren last week if she believed that Clinton was co-opting her message, she hesitated and replied, "Eh."</p> </blockquote> <p>Burn. Of course, team Clinton is quick squash any notion she's hijacking Warren's signature policies to score some liberal points. We'll see where she officially stands on the <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/17/hillary-clinton-questions-liberals-immigration-lgbt-rights" target="_blank">issues</a> soon.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Hillary Clinton Mon, 27 Apr 2015 17:59:58 +0000 Inae Oh 274286 at http://www.motherjones.com Ted Cruz's Princeton Years Included Jokes About a Woman's Hymen http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/ted-cruzs-princeton-years-included-jokes-about-womans-hymen <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>During his days as a member of Princeton University's debate team, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/ted-cruz-texas-gop-senate" target="_blank">Ted Cruz</a> earned a reputation as a spirited orator. But when an opponent would try to poke fun at him, Cruz's rhetorical skills couldn't compensate for his complete lack of a sense of humor. According to a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/23/us/politics/ted-cruz-honed-political-skills-in-princeton-debate-club.html?_r=0" target="_blank">story in the <em>Times</em> today</a>, the situation would get even worse when he actually tried to be funny himself:</p> <blockquote> <p>Mr. Cruz&rsquo;s own attempts at humor sometimes missed the mark. In one debate, he proposed a method to detect infidelity, in which God should "give women a hymen that grows back every time she has intercourse with a different guy, because that will be a 'visible sign' of the breach of trust," according to a recollection by David Kennedy published in a Harvard debate team reunion booklet in 2001.</p> <p>Mr. Kennedy&rsquo;s debate partner mocked Mr. Cruz&rsquo;s knowledge of the subject matter by contorting herself to see how the anatomy in question could be "visible," according to the booklet.</p> </blockquote> <p>Other than demonstrating Cruz had an odd understanding of how a woman's body operates, the "joke" clearly did not resonate with anyone. But that didn't mean Cruz lacked a lighter side. His fellow debate team members remember his love for musicals, which he'd frequently blast in car rides to competitions. "He was an extreme fan of the 'Les Mis&eacute;rables' soundtrack," one member recalled to the <em>Times</em>.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Sex and Gender Ted Cruz Wed, 22 Apr 2015 15:39:41 +0000 Inae Oh 274036 at http://www.motherjones.com Former Walker Aide Blasts Walker for Immigration Flip-Flop http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/former-walker-aide-blasts-walker-immigration-flip-flop <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Liz Mair, the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/03/18/digital-strategist-for-scott-walker-resigns-amid-controversy-over-iowa-comments/" target="_blank">GOP operative who resigned from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign-in-waiting</a> after a day on the job, is in campaign mode again&mdash;and this time, she's targeting her former boss. On Tuesday morning, Mair sent an email detailing Walker's "Olympic-quality flip-flop" on the issue of immigration.</p> <p>On Monday, <a href="http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/20/scott-walker-lays-out-pro-american-worker-stance-on-immigration/" target="_blank"><em>Breitbart</em> reported that Walker is the only declared or likely GOP candidate</a> so far to support rolling back legal immigration to the United States, including for highly skilled workers. In her email, Mair pointed out that, historically, Walker has hardly been an immigration hardliner: In 2013, <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/scott-walker-supports-path-to-citizenship-87960.html" target="_blank">he vocally supported expanding legal immigration</a>, and as recently as March, <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/walker-backs-path-to-citizenship-at-private-new-hampshire-dinner-1427390295" target="_blank">he said he was in favor</a> of giving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. She suggested that Walker's back-tracking could make him an easy target for strong GOP rivals.</p> <p>Mair, who served on Walker's recall campaign in 2012, resigned from the governor's PAC in March in the wake of a kerfuffle over several tweets in which <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-03-18/scott-walker-s-consultant-debacle-says-plenty-about-the-fight-for-iowa" target="_blank">she criticized Iowa and its outsized political importance</a>. Mair told <em>Mother Jones</em> she did not call out Walker in service of a client. She said she is "in the camp of people who see immigration as a benefit, who believe we should be welcoming to immigrants and make legal immigration easier, and who favor comprehensive immigration reform in some form&hellip;I've also long been highly critical of flip-floppery."</p> <p>Here's an excerpt from her email:</p> <blockquote> <p>In fulfilling my professional duties as constructed today, as opposed to on March 16, I wanted to flag the below Olympic-quality flip-flop on immigration policy to you. Apologies if this seems crass to some of you, but I would not be meeting certain responsibilities if I did not shoot this email out.</p> <p>Yesterday, it was reported that Scott Walker has now adopted the immigration position of Sen. Jeff Sessions and has been taking instruction from Sessions on the issue of immigration. Notably, Sessions wants to further restrict legal immigration including high-skilled immigration, a position that is at odds with the traditional GOP anti-amnesty stance taken by virtually all presidential candidates, and which also puts him at odds with conservative policy experts and economists&hellip;this new positioning seems to represent a full 180 degree turn from where Walker has been on immigration historically, which is to say in the very pro-immigration and even pro-comprehensive reform camp&hellip;</p> <p>Setting aside the substance of the policy, as the 2008 election demonstrated, it is really difficult in the age of Google to execute full policy reversals without earning a reputation as an untrustworthy, "say anything to win," substance-and-guts-free politician. Even in 2012, when Republicans nominated Mitt Romney, his reputation for policy, er, flexibility was a significant negative for him and one that diminished enthusiasm for the candidate, probably adversely impacting his performance in that race.</p> </blockquote></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Scott Walker Top Stories Tue, 21 Apr 2015 14:54:37 +0000 Sam Brodey 273961 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's What You Need to Know About the Trade Deal Dividing the Left http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/trans-pacific-partnership-negotiations-explainer-obama <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Senior lawmakers introduced <a href="http://www.finance.senate.gov/newsroom/chairman/release/?id=7701eb50-a0ef-4257-bfc1-b06efe725b8c" target="_blank">bipartisan legislation</a> last week that would let the Obama Administration keep negotiating the <a href="http://www.ustr.gov/tpp" target="_blank">Trans-Pacific Partnership</a> (TPP), a pact that could be <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-03/obama-ask-trade-nominees-to-tackle-slumping-u-s-exports.html" target="_blank">the most far-reaching free trade agreement in American history</a>.</p> <p>Now in its fifth year of negotiations, the TPP is intended to bolster free trade among <a href="http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R42344.pdf" target="_blank">12 participating countries</a> and set the tone for future trade deals. Getting it done before campaign politics interfere hinges on the passage of the new legislation, a Trade Promotion Authority bill (a.k.a. "fast track") that limits congressional participation to a up/down vote on the final deal, rather than opening it up for amendments. The TPA is needed to ensure negotiating partners that their hard-fought agreements won't be altered at the whims of one politician or another. But some members of Congress, along with various interest groups, insist that the pact needs additional congressional oversight and public approval.</p> <p>Like most trade deals, the TPP is being negotiated by the administration behind closed doors, and details are scant. But here's what we do know so far:</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mojo/2015/04/trans-pacific-partnership-negotiations-explainer-obama"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> MoJo Congress Corporations International Labor Top Stories Tue, 21 Apr 2015 10:30:06 +0000 Gabrielle Canon 273906 at http://www.motherjones.com Politician Tasked With Oil Industry Oversight Gets a Paycheck From Big Oil http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/04/cartoonish-conflicts-interest-louisianas-legislature <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The BP oil spill turned five years old on Monday, and as my colleague Tim McDonnell <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/04/five-year-anniversary-deepwater-horizon-bp-spill" target="_blank">reported</a>, we're still paying the price: There's as much as 26 million gallons of crude oil still on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. But the story of the Deepwater Horizon wasn't just about environmental devastation&mdash;it was also a story about regulation.</p> <p>In Louisiana, where many politicians rely on oil and gas companies to fill their campaign coffers (and keep their constituents employed), environmental consequences often take a back seat to business concerns. But sometimes, things go even further. Take the case of Republican state Sen. Robert Adley&mdash;the vice-chair of the committee on environmental quality and the chair of the transportation committee (which oversees levees)&mdash;who played a leading role in trying to stop a local levee board from suing oil companies for damages related to coastal erosion. As Tyler Bridges <a href="http://thelensnola.org/2014/04/03/oil-and-gas-interests-have-no-better-friend-in-baton-rouge-than-the-wiley-sen-adley/" target="_blank">reported</a> for the Louisiana investigative news site <em>The Lens</em>, Adley doesn't just go to bat for oil companies&mdash;he works for them as a paid consultant. He even launched his own oil company while serving as a state representative, and he didn't cut ties to the company until nine years into his stint in the senate:</p> <blockquote> <p>"He has carried a lot of legislation for the oil and gas industry over the years," said Don Briggs, the industry association's president. "I've never seen him carry one that he didn't truly believe was the right thing to do."</p> <p>Adley's numerous ties to the oil and gas industry have led critics to say he is the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse.</p> <p>...</p> <p>Adley said calls that he should recuse himself from the issue because of his industry ties are "un-American" and "outrageous."</p> <p>"It's what I know," Adley said. "Is it wrong to have someone dealing with legislation they know?"</p> </blockquote> <p>For the time being, at least, voters in northwest Louisiana have decided that the answer is no.</p></body></html> MoJo Climate Change Energy Infrastructure Mon, 20 Apr 2015 18:57:59 +0000 Tim Murphy 273916 at http://www.motherjones.com Nebraska Conservatives Take On GOP Governor Over Death Penalty http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/nebraska-republicans-take-gop-governor-over-death-penalty <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A group of conservative legislators in Nebraska are gearing up for what could be a multi-day battle to end the state's death penalty. The fight pits the right-wing anti-death penalty crusaders against their fellow conservatives and the state's Republican governor. Here's the <em>Omaha World-Herald</em>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Nine conservative lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors of a repeal measure the Nebraska Legislature will begin debating Thursday. One of their key platforms: Repealing the death penalty makes good fiscal sense.</p> <p>"If capital punishment were any other program that was so inefficient and so costly to the taxpayer, we would have gotten rid of it a long time ago," said Sen. Colby Coash of Lincoln.</p> </blockquote> <p>The bill is unlikely to become law. There are currently enough votes for passage, but advocates warn that anything could happen when the bill comes up for a final vote. Death penalty advocates could mount a filibuster to block the legislature from even voting on the measure. If they don't,&nbsp;Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, has vowed to block the legislation, and it's unclear that there are enough votes to override his veto.</p> <p>Still, the upcoming debate and vote on the bill marks a victory for a small conservative group working on a state-by-state basis to end the death penalty and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole. This group, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, argues that capital punishment violates <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/2014/05/23/unlikely-conservative-cause-abolish-death-penalty-251005.html" target="_blank">core conservative beliefs</a> about the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/ron-paul-death-penalty-scott-panetti-texas" target="_blank">sanctity of life</a>, small government, and fiscal responsibility.</p> <p>The Nebraska chapter of the group held a press conference Wednesday in advance of today's floor debate on the bill. "I may be old-fashioned, but I believe God should be the only one who decides when it is time to call a person home," said state Sen. Tommy Garrett, a conservative who supports repeal. "The state has no business playing God."</p> <p>Nebraska has not carried out an execution since 1997, when the state was still using the electric chair, but that might change, according to the <a href="http://www.omaha.com/news/legislature/on-eve-of-repeal-debate-republican-lawmakers-push-for-ending/article_072f43e0-e390-11e4-afbc-c79c33ec8b49.html" target="_blank"><em>World-Herald</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said this week that his staff is working to restore the viability of a lethal injection protocol. He did not, however, predict when executions could resume.</p> </blockquote></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Top Stories death penalty Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:06:41 +0000 Pema Levy 273766 at http://www.motherjones.com Billionaire Casino Magnate Sheldon Aldelson's Israeli Paper Is Obsessed With Marco Rubio http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/sheldon-adelsons-israeli-paper-obsessed-marco-rubio <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For years, Republicans who aspire to the presidency have sought the support of Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate and GOP mega-donor. Adelson spent $150 million backing Republicans during the 2012 election cycle, and the candidate who secures his support this time around will get a big boost in a crowded GOP field. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who announced his campaign on Monday, already has one billionaire backer&mdash;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/marco-rubio-norman-braman-billionaire" target="_blank">Norman Braman, a Miami car dealer</a>. But <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/marco-rubio-norman-braman-billionaire" target="_blank">Rubio also seems to have impressed Adelson himself.</a></p> <p>Israel-watchers on Twitter have pointed out that <em>Israel Hayom</em>, the daily newspaper owned by Adelson, has been particularly interested in the junior senator from Florida.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Third morning in a row Marco Rubio has been on the cover of Israel HaYom. He seems to be winning the Adelson primary. <a href="http://t.co/KwxkrpPRaH">http://t.co/KwxkrpPRaH</a></p> &mdash; Gregg Carlstrom (@glcarlstrom) <a href="https://twitter.com/glcarlstrom/status/587854059048017920">April 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Full-page in Yisrael Hayom pitting Rubio vs Clinton. No mention of other GOP candidates. "Adelson primary" is over. <a href="http://t.co/xcjXQLThIL">pic.twitter.com/xcjXQLThIL</a></p> &mdash; Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) <a href="https://twitter.com/LahavHarkov/status/588235049746571264">April 15, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>The fourth day in a row that Rubio has been featured in Yisrael Hayom, Israel's Sheldon Adelson-owned paper. Hmmm. <a href="https://t.co/NT8OzijFPA">https://t.co/NT8OzijFPA</a></p> &mdash; Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) <a href="https://twitter.com/Yair_Rosenberg/status/588332264825561088">April 15, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>It's too early to call the Adelson primary for Rubio. As in the past, Adelson will want each of the major candidates to court him; the casino magnate is <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/03/03/washingtons-first-official-2016-fundraiser-starring-lindsey-graham-and-sheldon-adelson/" target="_blank">known to be fond of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)</a> and <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/christie-accused-of-blocking-casino-deal-for-adelson-2015-2" target="_blank">Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)</a>, both of whom are seriously considering runs. But Rubio&mdash;who <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/03/03/rubio-dines-with-republican-mega-donor-adelson/" target="_blank">dined one-on-one with Adelson last month</a>&mdash;is off to a good start.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections International Money in Politics The Right Wed, 15 Apr 2015 22:02:14 +0000 Sam Brodey 273736 at http://www.motherjones.com Hillary Clinton to Supreme Court: Legalize Same-Sex Marriage Nationally http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/hillary-clinton-same-sex-marriage-supreme-court <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Hillary Clinton's now-official <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/hillary-clinton-running-president-heres-what-you-need-know" target="_blank">presidential campaign</a> has so far opted for gauzy announcement videos and vague feel good promises over much in the way of policy specifics. But on Wednesday, Clinton's team clarified one stance she she will take: same-sex marriage is a constitutional right that should be legal in every state.</p> <p>"Hillary Clinton supports marriage equality and hopes the Supreme Court will come down on the side of same-sex couples being guaranteed that constitutional right," campaign spokesperson Adrienne Elrod <a href="http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/04/15/breaking-clinton-urges-supreme-court-to-rule-for-marriage-equality/" target="_blank">told <em>The Washington Blade</em></a>, referring to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/16/supreme-court-gay-marriage_n_6439926.html" target="_blank">four cases</a> on gay marriage the court is scheduled to hear later this month.</p> <p>Clinton hasn't always supported <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/03/18/how-hillary-clinton-evolved-on-gay-marriage/" target="_blank">same-sex marriage</a>. In the 2008 Democratic primary, Clinton, like then-Sen. Barack Obama, supported civil unions for LGBT couples but opposed marriage rights. She avoided weighing in on domestic politics while at the State Department and didn't announce that she supported marriage equality until March, 2013&mdash;but maintained that same-sex marriage was up to the states and not a nationwide, constitutional right. Last year, she ducked probing questions from NPR's Terry Gross about how she had evolved on the issue. Earlier this week, <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/hillary-clinton-hasnt-said-how-she-thinks-the-supreme-court#.aqv78onOe" target="_blank"><em>Buzzfeed</em> called</a> out the Clinton campaign for not saying where the presidential candidate stood on the upcoming court case.</p> <p>Now Clinton seems ready to strike a different tone. Her top campaign operative, Robby Mook, will be the first openly gay presidential campaign manger, as my colleague Andy Kroll and I <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/robby-mook-hillary-clinton-campaign-manager-profile" target="_blank">reported last week</a>. Among the gauzy images in the video she <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/hillary-clinton-officially-launches-presidential-campaign" target="_blank">released on Sunday</a> announcing her presidential campaign were scenes of a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/meet-gay-couple-featured-hillary-clintons-presidential-announcement/story?id=30275674" target="_blank">gay couple</a> discussing their upcoming wedding. And, thanks to her statement today, she's fully on board with the idea that LGBT couples should enjoy the same constitutionally protected rights as heterosexual couples.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Gay Rights Hillary Clinton Supreme Court Wed, 15 Apr 2015 18:13:05 +0000 Patrick Caldwell 273696 at http://www.motherjones.com Ted Cruz's Big Money Man Is A Hedge Funder With a $2 Million Train Set http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/ted-cruz-super-pac-donor-robert-mercer <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Robert Mercer, a Long Island hedge fund magnate, has made <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/robert-mercer-timothy-bishop-hamptons" target="_blank">some lavish investments</a> over the years: There's his 203-foot super yacht, called the <em>Sea Owl.</em> There's the $2 million model train set he had custom-built in his mansion&mdash;and the lawsuit he filed against the builders, saying they'd overcharged him.</p> <p>And now there's the money he's putting behind Ted Cruz's presidential ambitions.</p> <p>Mercer is the main bankroller of a ring of four super-PACs supporting Cruz for president, the <em>New York Times</em> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/11/us/politics/hedge-fund-magnaterobert-mercer-emerges-as-a-generous-backer-of-ted-cruz.html?_r=0" target="_blank">reported</a> Friday. The PACs have collected $31 million in the four weeks since Cruz launched his campaign, giving the freshman Senator's bid for the Republican nomination a powerful start.</p> <p>This is not Mercer's first foray into campaign finance. As <em>Mother Jones </em>previously <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/robert-mercer-timothy-bishop-hamptons" target="_blank">reported</a>, Mercer is a longtime Republican donor who shares Cruz's disdain for financial regulation. He has plowed millions into campaigns against lawmakers who have pushed to rein in Wall Street. Rep. Pete DeFazio (D&ndash;Ore.), who started an effort to tax high-frequency financial transactions, was the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/robert-mercer-timothy-bishop-hamptons" target="_blank">target of a Mercer</a> campaign of more than half-a-million dollars. So was former Rep. Timothy Bishop (D&ndash;N.Y.), an ex-SEC prosecutor. In 2012, Mercer shoveled <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/robert-mercer-timothy-bishop-hamptons" target="_blank">more than $900,000</a> into an effort to unseat Bishop. While Bishop held onto his seat, Mercer <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/hedge-fund-taxes-superpacs-election-renaissance" target="_blank">targeted him again</a> in 2014&mdash;this time, with success. Also in 2012, Mercer pumped millions into two super PACs, headed by Karl Rove, that flooded the airwaves with ads for Mitt Romney and Republican candidates for Congress. Club For Growth, a free-market focused super PAC, has notched <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/robert-mercer-timothy-bishop-hamptons" target="_blank">more than a half million</a> from Mercer, too.</p> <p>Given Mercer's views, it's no wonder that he would back the GOP presidential candidate who has mused about <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/03/ted-cruz-abolish-the-irs/" target="_blank">abolishing the IRS</a>. But Mercer has felt the sting of financial oversight professionally, too. As Mariah Blake <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/hedge-fund-taxes-superpacs-election-renaissance" target="_blank">reported for <em>Mother Jones</em></a> in 2014, for several years, federal agents had been scrutinizing Renaissance, the hedge fund Mercer runs along with a business partner, Peter Brown.</p> <p>Last year, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations got in on the action. In a hearing with Renaissance executives, its members accused the fund of using complicated financial maneuvers to avoid an estimated $6 billion in taxes. As Blake reported:</p> <blockquote> <p>Renaissance is notoriously secretive about its investment formula. But <a href="http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittees/investigations/hearings/abuse-of-structured-financial-products_misusing-basket-options-to-avoid-taxes-and-leverage-limits" target="_blank">documents</a> released by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in July offer some clues about the engine behind its growth. In 1999, Deutsche Bank&mdash;which did not respond to requests for comment&mdash;approached Renaissance and offered to package all of the Medallion fund's investments into a portfolio, or "basket," that was held in the bank's name. Under this arrangement, Renaissance would still control the trades and reap all the profits (minus the bank's generous fees). But it didn't have to pay short-term capital gains taxes on the underlying assets, even if they were only held for a few hours or days. (Short-term gains are taxed at 39 percent for the highest earners; long-term gains are taxed at roughly half that rate.)</p> <p>"Renaissance profited from this tax treatment by insisting on the fiction that it didn't really own the stocks it traded&mdash;that the banks that Renaissance dealt with, did," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking Republican on the subcommittee, said during the recent hearing. "But, the fact is that Renaissance did all the trading, maintained full control over the account&hellip;and reaped all of the profits."</p> </blockquote> <p>The company has denied any wrongdoing and the IRS investigation is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/11/us/politics/hedge-fund-magnaterobert-mercer-emerges-as-a-generous-backer-of-ted-cruz.html?_r=1" target="_blank">ongoing</a>.</p> <p>Despite his outsized giving, Mercer is described by those who know him as quiet and intensely private. But as Bradley Smith, a campaign finance expert, pointed out to the <em>Times</em>, his money will do plenty of talking for him: The cash "sends the message to other donors that Cruz is a serious guy&hellip;And that brings in other donors."</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Money in Politics Ted Cruz The Right Mon, 13 Apr 2015 19:49:02 +0000 Molly Redden 273551 at http://www.motherjones.com Even Ray Kelly Is Now Convinced Cops Need to Wear Body-Cams http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/ray-kelly-body-cams <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly&mdash;who once <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/ray-kelly-people-will-suffer-after-stop-and-frisk-appeal-dropped-discusses-police-body-cameras-1412106415" target="_blank">warned </a>against police officers being equipped with body-cameras&mdash;is now coming out in support of the recording technology. Kelly's reversal, he noted on ABC's <em>This Week </em>on Sunday, was prompted by the video in South Carolina that caught police officer Michael Slager fatally <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/walter-scott-michael-slager" target="_blank">shooting Walter Scott</a>.</p> <p>"It has changed my mind," Kelly <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/routine-police-stops-turn-violent-30262611" target="_blank">told</a> host George Stephanopoulos. "Because we have to assume that this officer would not act the way he did if in fact he had a body camera that was recording."</p> <p>Prior to the video's emergence last week, local reports of the shooting appeared to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/walter-scott-michael-slager" target="_blank">largely rely on the officer's </a>account alone: Slager told authorities he had "felt threatened" by Scott and defended his actions as nothing more than a traffic stop gone wrong. The video's eventual publication, which clearly showed Slager shooting Scott in the back eight times as he attempted to flee, quickly lead to his arrest and murder charge.</p> <p>"I think it is a game changer," Kelly said of the video. "What you will see is a movement now by many more police departments to go to cameras. There are issues with it, there are problems with it, but this trumps all of those problems."</p> <p>As head of the NYPD, Kelly was a fierce <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/20/ray-kelly-says-stop-frisk-saves-lives-theres-no-good-evidence-for-that/" target="_blank">defender</a> of the department's controversial use of stop-and-frisk tactics and credited the program as a major factor in the city's declining crime rate. He also argued outfitting all officers with body-cameras would only thwart their abilities to perform their jobs properly. "I think we have to tread carefully in this area," he <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/ray-kelly-people-will-suffer-after-stop-and-frisk-appeal-dropped-discusses-police-body-cameras-1412106415" target="_blank">said</a> in September. "I think cameras will make police officers hesitate and that can be a good thing or a bad thing."</p> <p><iframe height="360" scrolling="no" src="http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=30262611" style="border:none;" width="640"></iframe><br><a href="http://abcnews.go.com/us">ABC Breaking US News</a> | <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/us/video">US News Videos</a></p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Mon, 13 Apr 2015 19:31:17 +0000 Inae Oh 273576 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's Hillary Clinton's Video Launching Her Campaign http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/hillary-clinton-officially-launches-presidential-campaign <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially kicked off her run for president with an email her campaign reportedly sent to her supporters on Sunday. The launch marks her second run for the White House after she was defeated by then Senator Barack Obama in 2008.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>BREAKING: Hillary Rodham Clinton enters White House race; Democrat seeks to be first female president.</p> &mdash; The Associated Press (@AP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AP/status/587327449861660673">April 12, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Podesta sends email to Hillary 2008 alumni announcing she is in -- first official announcement from the campaign. <a href="http://t.co/AsOEw6Z33T">pic.twitter.com/AsOEw6Z33T</a></p> &mdash; Jesse Berney (@jesseberney) <a href="https://twitter.com/jesseberney/status/587323477637619712">April 12, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>Sunday's long-awaited announcement&nbsp;follows years of speculation over when and how Clinton would formally launch her presidential campaign. In recent weeks, much of her team's energy has been focused on building a formidable army of advisers and key players. Earlier this month, Clinton signed a lease for her <a href="http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Hillary-Clinton-Presidential-Campaign-Headquarters-Lease-Brooklyn-NYC-298594701.html" target="_blank">campaign headquarters</a> in Brooklyn. <strong>Watch her video announcement below:</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0uY7gLZDmn4" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Hillary Clinton Sun, 12 Apr 2015 19:03:44 +0000 Inae Oh 273471 at http://www.motherjones.com The Guy Who Filmed Eric Garner's Death Is Still Fighting To Get Out of Jail http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/eric-garner-video-ramsey-orta-rikers <!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/ramsey_3.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The Rev. Al Sharpton introduces Ramsey Orta at Eric Garner's funeral in July 2014. </strong>Julia Xanthos/AP</div> </div> <p><em><strong>Update:</strong> Ramsey Orta was released from Rikers Island on Friday night and is now with his family, according to his lawyers. Earlier on Friday, the Staten Island district attorney's office canceled Orta's "bond source" hearing after reviewing paperwork submitted by the bail bondsman regarding the crowd-funded bail money. "We were satisfied that it met the requirements of the statute," said Daniel Master, the chief assistant district attorney. </em></p> <p>It's been a rough eight months for the man who shot the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/grand-jury-doesnt-indict-staten-island-cop-death-eric-garner" target="_blank">video of Eric Garner's death</a>. Since Garner was killed by a police officer's chokehold on a Staten Island sidewalk last July, Ramsey Orta, the 23-year-old who filmed the scene, has been arrested twice and has spent the past two months in Rikers Island. According to his attorneys, Orta believes he has been targeted by New York police in retaliation for having shot the video, which became a flash point for the growing civil-rights movement against police brutality.</p> <p>Orta also fears that jail officials will try to poison him. "He's not eating the food that Rikers provides him," one of his attorneys, William Aronin, says<em>.</em> "Instead, he's surviving right now off of candy bars, chips, things he can get on the vending machine or the commissary. He's hungry, he is not happy, and he is scared."</p> <div><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/millionsmarchcrop.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 MoJo coverage on police shootings: </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><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-268206"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/01/police-misconduct-payments-eric-garner-nypd"> The Cop Who Choked Eric Garner to Death Won't Have to Pay a Dime in Damages</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-272236"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/03/philadelphia-police-officer-involved-shootings"> Philadelphia Cops Shoot and Kill People at 6 Times the Rate of the NYPD</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258621"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/darren-wilson-ferguson-police-officers-shoot-unarmed-black-men"> Here's What Happens to Police Officers Who Shoot Unarmed Black Men</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-266611"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/12/death-custody-reporting-act-police-shootings-ferguson-garner"> Congress Is Finally Going to Make Local Law Enforcement Report How Many People They Kill</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-259121"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-ferguson-race-data"> Here&acirc;&#128;&#153;s the Data That Shows Cops Kill Black People at a Higher Rate Than White People</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> </div> <p>Last month, 19 other inmates at the jail <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/rikers-inmates-sickened-poisoned-meatloaf-article-1.2142869" target="_blank">filed a lawsuit</a> alleging that they had fallen ill after being served meatloaf with blue-green pellets in it. They say the pellets were rat poison, a claim which New York City Department of Correction officials have dismissed. Orta has not eaten any food served at the jail since the incident, his attorneys say. Department of Correction officials were not immediately available to respond to requests for comment.</p> <p>About two weeks after Garner's death, Orta was arrested for allegedly passing a gun to a 17-year-old girl. He was sent to Rikers Island and was subsequently released. He was later arrested for allegedly selling drugs. His attorneys say it is likely Orta's cases will go to trial. "We have to get him out of jail as soon as possible so that one, he's safe, and two, he can prepare for his defense," Aronin says.</p> <p>On Thursday morning, Orta posted $16,250 bail with donations that he'd received on a <a href="http://www.gofundme.com/of948k" target="_blank">crowdfunding</a> website. His family has been trying to raise $100,000 for bail and legal fees, and over the past month more than 1,800 people have contributed more than $47,000.</p> <p>"He should have been out today," says Ken Perry, another of Orta's lawyers. But the Staten Island district attorney's office isn't letting Orta leave just yet. The assistant district attorney prosecuting the case against Orta&nbsp;has requested a bail source hearing to "determine the funds being used did not come from an illegal or illicit source," explains a spokesman from the DA's office said. The bail source hearing is scheduled for this afternoon.</p> <p>Orta's attorneys say they have provided the district attorney's office with an approximately 115-page packet with names and details about everyone who has donated to their client's campaign. The packet also includes copies of the transfers from the crowdfunding website to Orta's aunt, and from her to the bail bondsman. "Why are they keeping him in when it's so patently obvious where this money came from?" Aronin asks.</p> <p>Family members were upset by the news of the delay. "My heart is extremely heavy, these past two months have been pure hell for Ramsey," his aunt, Lisa Mercado, wrote on his crowdthefunding page, which received a flood of donations this morning. "You are not alone, Ramsey," one donor commented. "You did something brave for all Americans."</p> <p>In December, a Staten Island grand jury <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/grand-jury-doesnt-indict-staten-island-cop-death-eric-garner" target="_blank">declined to indict</a> NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for his role in Garner's death. In Orta's video,&nbsp;Pantaleo can be seen wrestling Garner to the ground and wrapping an arm around his neck.</p> <p>Orta has reportedly been <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/court-date-delayed-chokehold-cameraman-article-1.1891220" target="_blank">arrested 27 times since 2009</a> for alleged offenses including drug possession, robbery, and fare evasion. His attorneys say the majority of the arrests have not led to charges, and that they believe Orta's claims of being unfairly targeted are viable. "There's something more going on than would normally be the case were this not Ramsey Orta," Perry says. "There are things here that are not right."</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Prisons Fri, 10 Apr 2015 18:55:46 +0000 Samantha Michaels 273391 at http://www.motherjones.com Hillary Clinton May Ruin Pundits' Weekend, Announce Campaign Sunday http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/hillary-clinton-announce-presidential-campaign-launch-sunday <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Hillary Clinton is set to announce her run for president this Sunday, <em>The Guardian, </em><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/10/politics/hillary-clinton-2016-announcement-sunday/" target="_blank">CNN</a>, and other outlets are reporting. She reportedly plans to <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/10/exclusive-hillary-clinton-to-launch-presidential-campaign-sunday-en-route-to-iowa-source" target="_blank">release a video</a> with the news on Twitter and follow up with campaigns stops in Iowa.</p> <p>If she secures the Democratic nomination, Clinton will become the first woman from either major party on the presidential ballot. For a deeper dive into the key players inside her campaign, read our inside look at the man tasked to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/robby-mook-hillary-clinton-campaign-manager-profile" target="_blank">guide her to the White House. </a></p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Hillary Clinton Fri, 10 Apr 2015 12:53:05 +0000 Inae Oh 273436 at http://www.motherjones.com Elizabeth Warren: "I Don't Support the Death Penalty" for Boston Marathon Bomber http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/elizabeth-warren-boston-marathon-bomber-should-be-spared-death-penalty <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said she is opposed to sentencing Dzohkhar Tsarnaev to death, one day after the Boston Marathon bomber was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/breaking-jury-has-reached-verdict-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-boston-bombing-trial" target="_blank">found guilty on all 30 charges</a> related to his involvement in the deadly 2013 attack.</p> <p><a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/elizabeth-warren-tsarnaev-should-die-in-prison/" target="_blank">Speaking on <em>CBS This Morning</em></a>, Warren said, "Nothing is ever going to make those who were injured whole&hellip;My heart goes out to the families here, but I don't support the death penalty." "I think he should spend his life in jail, no possibility of parole," she said. "He should die in prison."</p> <p>"The alternative to the death penalty&mdash;it's not as if you set this guy free. He's put away&hellip;he's not someone who is able to keep sucking up a lot of energy. The families need their chance to move on."</p> <p>Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R), on the other hand, <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2015/04/08/25480941/" target="_blank">supports putting Tsarnaev to death.</a></p> <p>Watch the full video <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/elizabeth-warren-tsarnaev-should-die-in-prison/" target="_blank">here</a>:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UvHFOKpt78M" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Congress Crime and Justice Thu, 09 Apr 2015 17:47:22 +0000 Sam Brodey 273376 at http://www.motherjones.com The Walter Scott Shooting Video Shows Exactly Why We Can't Just Take the Police's Word For It http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/walter-scott-michael-slager <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A white police officer in South Carolina was arrested and charged with murder on Tuesday, after a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/michael-slager-walter-scott-murder-charge" target="_blank">shocking video emerged</a> showing him fatally shooting an unarmed black man attempting to flee from the scene. The video, which was first published in the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/08/us/south-carolina-officer-is-charged-with-murder-in-black-mans-death.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=a-lede-package-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a>, captures the lethal confrontation between Officer Michael Slager and Walter Scott that quickly ensued during a traffic stop, which included Slager firing eight shots at Scott.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="354" id="nyt_video_player" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=100000003615939&amp;playerType=embed" title="New York Times Video - Embed Player" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Slager originally told police that Scott had stolen his Taser and attempted to use it against him. This narrative was largely accepted by police authorities, at least according to what they initially told local media. The first report of the fatal encounter reported by the <em>Post and Courier</em> on Saturday ran with the headline, <a href="http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150404/PC16/150409635" target="_blank"><em>"Man shot and killed by North Charleston police officer after traffic stop; SLED investigating"</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>An officer&rsquo;s gunfire disrupted a hazy Saturday morning and left a man dead on a North Charleston street.</p> <p><strong>Police in a matter of hours declared the occurrence at the corner of Remount and Craig roads a traffic stop gone wrong</strong>, <strong>alleging the dead man fought with an officer over his Taser before deadly force was employed.</strong></p> <p>The officer&rsquo;s account, witness statements and other evidence gathered from the scene are now the subject of a State Law Enforcement Division investigation to determine whether the shooting, the state&rsquo;s 11th this year involving a lawmen, was justified.</p> <p>A statement released by North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor said a man ran on foot from the traffic stop and an officer deployed his department-issued Taser in an attempt to stop him.</p> <p>That did not work, police said, and an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device. Police allege that during the struggle the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer.</p> </blockquote> <p>The description reads eerily similar to police deaths that occur all around the country. If it had not been for the video's eventual publication, it's easy to imagine this being the press' final narrative of how Scott died. Oftentimes, newspapers struggle to report anything more than what law enforcement agencies tell them.</p> <p>In the case of the <em>Post and Courier's</em> first story, the paper's note that "in a matter of hours" police were quick to label the incident nothing more than a "traffic stop gone wrong" is revealing, as the video that has since surfaced clearly shows a very different account: Slager shoots Scott in the back multiple times; an object that appears to be Slager's Taser is placed next to Scott's body as he lays handcuffed on the ground.</p> <p>It's unclear when authorities became aware that a video of the incident existed, but on Monday, Slager appeared increasingly defensive. Speaking through an attorney, he doubled down on his actions to <a href="http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150406/PC16/150409558/1268/north-charleston-police-say-officer-who-fatally-shot-man-pulled-him-over-because-of-brake-light&amp;source=RSS" target="_blank">the same paper</a>, saying he had "felt threatened" by Scott and needed to "resort to deadly force":</p> <blockquote> <p>A North Charleston police officer felt threatened last weekend when the driver he had stopped for a broken brake light tried to overpower him and take his Taser.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why Patrolman 1st Class Michael Thomas Slager, a former Coast Guardsman, fatally shot the man, the officer&rsquo;s attorney said Monday.</p> <p><strong>Slager thinks he properly followed all procedures and policies before resorting to deadly force</strong>, lawyer David Aylor said in a statement.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>Monday&rsquo;s developments filled in <strong>some of the blanks</strong> in what was South Carolina&rsquo;s 11th police shooting of the year.</p> </blockquote> <p>By Tuesday, the <em>Times</em> and the <em>Post and Courier</em> had obtained a bystander's footage of the incident and the stories published that day are a direct about-face of the initial account, with both papers leading with news of the officer's arrest and murder charge. The <em>Post and Courier's</em> lead below:</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>A white North Charleston police officer was arrested on a murder charge after a video surfaced Tuesday of the lawman shooting eight times at a 50-year-old black man as the man ran away.</strong></p> <p>Walter L. Scott, a Coast Guard veteran and father of four, died Saturday after Patrolman 1st Class Michael T. Slager, 33, <strong>shot him in the back.</strong></p> <p>Five of the eight bullets hit Scott, his family&rsquo;s attorney said. Four of those struck his back. One hit an ear.</p> </blockquote> <p>In just a few days, the account's drastic evolution in a single newspaper highlights yet again the problems surrounding <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men" target="_blank">police reporting</a>&mdash;issues that have received national attention following recent events in Ferguson and New York City. Scott's tragic death underscores the power video can bring to police accountability. As Scott's family said during an appearance on the <a href="http://www.today.com/news/walter-scotts-dad-sons-shooting-would-have-been-swept-under-2D80592931" target="_blank"><em>Today show</em> Wednesday</a>, this video helped an officer avoid a successful cover-up. "It would have never come to light,"&nbsp;Walter Scott Sr, Scott's father, said. "They would have swept it under the rug, like they did with many others."</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Wed, 08 Apr 2015 19:10:49 +0000 Inae Oh 273291 at http://www.motherjones.com