Bishop45 wrote:Wild that this isn't something of more national news
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/399196-florida-cop-admits-to-framing-two-black-men-at-direction-ofA former Florida police officer said he framed two innocent black men for unsolved crimes at the direction of his boss.
Guillermo Ravelo appeared in a Miami federal court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge, The Miami Herald reported.
Former Biscayne Park Police Chief Raimundo Atesiano has been accused of encouraging his staff to pin unsolved crimes on random, nearby black people so his 12-person department would have a better arrest record.
Prosecutors allege that Atesiano told Ravelo in 2014 to arrest 31-year-old Erasmus Banmah for five unsolved vehicle burglaries despite a lack of evidence.
Ravelo filled out the required paperwork on Banmah just days later, where he “falsely claimed in an arrest affidavit that [Banmah] had taken him to the site of the respective burglary and confessed to the items that [he] had stolen,” according to court records the Miami Herald obtained.
It was allegedly the second time Ravelo made a false arrest under Atesiano’s guidance.
Prosecutors claim that Ravelo arrested 35-year-old Clarens Desrouleaux in January 2013 for two unsolved home break-ins at Atesiano's direction.
Ravelo falsely wrote in the arrest affidavits that Desrouleaux “had confessed to committing the burglary,” according to the prosecution.
The charges against both Banmah and Desrouleaux were eventually dropped.
Ravelo, who was kicked off the force earlier this year, also pleaded guilty on Thursday to an excessive force charge against him following a 2013 traffic stop where he punched a handcuffed suspect in the face, the newspaper noted.
The charges were part of an alleged department history of targeting random people to achieve a spotless crime-solving record before an internal investigation in 2014, the Herald reported earlier this month.
“If they have burglaries that are open cases that are not solved yet, if you see anybody black walking through our streets and they have somewhat of a record, arrest them so we can pin them for all the burglaries,” Officer Anthony De La Torre said in a 2014 probe uncovered by the Herald this month. “They were basically doing this to have a 100 percent clearance rate for the city.”
Atesiano's department cleared 29 out of 30 burglary cases in 2013 and 2014, but at least 11 of those cases were based on false arrests, investigators say.
Atestiano and two officers, Raul Fernandez and Charlie Dayoub, have also been charged with falsely accusing in 2013 a black Haitian-American teenager — identified as T.D. — of four burglaries in order to achieve a perfect clearance rate on property crimes that year.
All have pleaded not guilty to the accusations, but Fernandez and Dayoub plan to change their pleas to guilty next month, according to the Herald reporting on court records.
All three men are reportedly cooperating in the charges against Atesiano. Prosecutors may add an additional charge to Atesiano’s indictment based on Ravelo's testimony, according to the Herald.
Something we'd be able to pay attention to without the constant distractions but those distractions are likely there for a reason
http://thehill.com/regulation/labor/399323-osha-reduces-obama-era-injury-report-requirements-for-large-companiesThe Trump administration has proposed rolling back an Obama-era Labor Department rule requiring companies with 250 or more workers to submit detailed forms to the agency on workplace injuries, a move labor advocates say will allow companies to cover up the extent of injuries.
The department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a notice on Friday stating that it is seeking to roll back the rule passed under the Obama administration that greatly increased the amount of detail supervisors are supposed to provide to the federal government on workplace injuries.
Some of that information was then posted publicly by the Labor Department under the rule, and included summaries of incidents that occurred in larger-scale companies.
A spokesperson for the Labor Department told NBC News that the rule change would not alter the agency's ability to collect information from companies on workplace injuries and safety violations.
"This proposal maintains safety and health protections for workers while protecting sensitive worker information from public disclosure," communications director Megan Sweeney told NBC. "The data OSHA continues to collect is robust and enables the agency to most effectively protect workers on the job."
The Labor Department argued that the original rule violated workers' privacy by exposing incidents that they were involved in to Freedom of Information Act requests.
Public safety advocates argued that the rule's rollback would only hurt workers.
"The existing rule is in place to protect workers," said Sean Sherman, an attorney at the Public Citizen Litigation Group which is involved in a lawsuit over the rule. "The idea that you can protect workers by rolling back a strong worker protection is absurd."
Nice to see something become of the deficit spending and budget increases that Reps refused the Obama administration. Something they should hopefully keep bragging about to the working class as their wages continue to drop
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/399150-trump-gdp-commentstook a victory lap at the White House on Friday, touting his tax and regulatory policies as drivers of the best economic growth in nearly four years.
The U.S. economy expanded at a 4.1 percent rate in the April-to-June quarter, the highest level since growth hit 5.2 percent in the third quarter of 2014, the Commerce Department reported.
In a speech at the White House, Trump said the country is growing "at the amazing rate" and that "we're on track to hit the highest annual average growth rate in over 13 years."
Trade deals will further help the economy and "we're going to go a lot higher than these numbers and these are great numbers," said Trump, surrounded by top administration officials on the South Lawn.
Republicans are hoping that a string of good economic news will bolster their hopes in the November midterm elections. The booming economy is the foundation of the GOP’s pitch to voters as the party tries to defend its vulnerable House majority.
Trump and his top economic aides seized the chance to bolster that message Friday with a hastily planned speech held an hour after the growth report was released.
The president attributed the boom to GOP efforts to slash taxes, repeal finance and energy regulations and strike fairer trade deals, and he called the U.S. “the economic envy of the entire world.”
“Everywhere we look, we’re seeing the effects of the economic miracle all across America,” Trump said.
Trump also touted a $50 billion drop in the U.S. trade deficit and a recent agreement with the European Union to negotiate a free-trade deal.
“We were abused by countries themselves, even allies,” Trump said. "We were abused like no country had ever been abused on trade before. They stole our jobs and plundered our wealth. But that ended.”
Trump and his top aides touted the trade deficit decrease as proof that his tariffs on imported steel, aluminum and Chinese goods are yielding fairer trade terms for the U.S. But economists attribute it to buyers stocking up on U.S. crops before retaliatory tariffs imposed by several nations drive up prices.
Economists have also doubted the sustainability of the second quarter growth rate. Analysts have attributed the massive spike in growth to one-time increases in consumer spending driven by tax cuts, and the global rush to buy U.S. soybeans before tariffs kick in.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated that those factors accounted for 1.4 percentage points of growth, and that the second-quarter growth rate would be 2.7 percent without them.
Trump's top economic advisers disputed those concerns Friday, saying the U.S. could expect similar growth levels for the foreseeable future.
“If we look at the data today, we can see the proof in the pudding that the president’s policies are working. And it’s not just in the top line, it’s in the details," said Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett.
“If you stand up for American workers and let our allies know the deal that aren’t reciprocal aren’t acceptable, we can make a lot of progress.”
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said “this is a boom that will be sustainable as far as the eye can see. It is no one shot-effort.”
Semi long read, in spoilers but interesting story
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/bret-stephens-abolish-ice-ocasio-cortez-no-evidence-radical-left-is-helping-trump.htmlSpoiler:In late June, a 28-year-old Democratic Socialist – who had called for nationalizing health insurance, guaranteeing public jobs to the unemployed, and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — won a primary challenge against a high-ranking House Democrat.
And centrists have been lamenting Team Blue’s imminent self-immolation ever since.
Last week, the center-left’s “radical pragmatists” warned NBC News that if progressive Democrats keep ignoring their preferences, they “will lead the party to disaster in the midterm elections and the 2020 presidential contest.” The moderate reactionaries of the Never Trump movement wholeheartedly agree. Days after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory, New York Times columnist (and world-champion concern troll) Bret Stephens wrote that “democratic socialism” was “political hemlock”; “social democracy” was a “dying force”; and “Democrats who aren’t yet sick of all their losing should feel free to embrace them both.” Meanwhile, former Republican James Comey (a man who knows a little something about inadvertently aiding Donald Trump) implored Democrats not to “lose your minds and rush to the socialist left,” since “America’s great middle wants sensible, balanced, ethical leadership.”
But the Democrats’ ascendant left wing shrugged off these warnings. Since Ocasio-Cortez’s upset, prominent Senate progressives have called for abolishing ICE, ending cash bail, and canceling Puerto Rico’s debt — while the House’s Medicare for All caucus has welcomed (self-styled) moderate Democrats into its ranks.
Now, one month after voters in the South Bronx put “democratic socialism” in the headlines, real America has registered its outrage at the Democrats’ hard-left turn — by giving the party a larger lead in the generic congressional ballot.
Since the Democrats (supposedly) embraced open borders and slow-motion Stalinism, their party’s poll numbers have gone up, while both Donald Trump — and his favorite immigration agency — have seen their own standing decline (the former, only modestly).
To be sure, month-to-month polling changes are typically more noise than signal. And even if Democrats did gain support over the past four weeks, there’s little reason to assume that this constitutes a public endorsement of the party’s leftward lurch. A lot of big, weird news broke in July; Trump’s trade wars, the Helsinki press conference, or the family-separation fiasco could all theoretically explain Team Blue’s polling boost.
Regardless, it remains the case that, over the past month, the Democratic Party became simultaneously more closely associated with “socialism” and more popular.
You might think that this development would make Bret Stephens question his political acumen — or at least, wait for new evidence that the Democrats’ left wing is, in fact, politically toxic before writing another column centered on that claim. If so, then you might be on the committee that awards the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary — because you’ve given Bret Stephens far too much credit.
Instead of waiting for future events to prove his punditry prescient, Stephens has decided to devote his latest column to detailing a fictional future in which Democrats pay a heavy price for betraying his counsel:
Donald J. Trump has been decisively re-elected as president of the United States, winning every state he carried in 2016 and adding Nevada, even as he once again failed, albeit narrowly, to gain a majority of the popular vote. Extraordinary turnout in California, New York, Illinois and other Democratic bastions could not compensate for the president’s abiding popularity in the states that still decide who gets to live in the White House: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
…“Trump succeeded,” lamented one moderate former Democratic lawmaker who asked to speak on background. “He got my party to lose its marbles.” The lawmaker cited calls by party activists to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency — calls the Warren campaign did not formally endorse but did little to refute — as emblematic of the party’s broader problems.
“What do Democrats stand for?” he asked. “Lawlessness or liberality? Policymaking or virtue signaling? Gender-neutral pronouns and bathrooms or good jobs and higher wages?”
As is his way, Mr. Trump wasted little time rubbing salt into Democratic wounds. “Democrats used to stand with the Working Man,” he tweeted Wednesday morning. “Now it’s the party of Abortion and Amnesty. All that’s missing is Acid. Sad!”
The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik once wrote that the object of all satire is “to take what’s happening now and imagine what would happen if it kept on happening.” By that metric, Stephens’s satire is an abject failure.
Recent polls haven’t just given Democrats a nearly double-digit national lead — they’ve also shown Donald Trump’s popularity to be anything but “abiding” in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa (i.e. the “states that still decide who gets to live in the White House). In May, Morning Consult found Trump’s approval rating underwater in all of those midwestern battlegrounds.
And newly released surveys from NBC News and Marist suggest that the president has not gained any ground in the heartland in recent weeks. According to the pollster, more than 50 percent of voters in both Michigan and Wisconsin disapprove of the president. Meanwhile, only 31 percent of Wisconsinites say Trump deserves to be reelected; among Michiganders, that figure is just 28.
Of course, we’re a long way from 2020. Stephens’s dystopia isn’t wholly implausible. It just isn’t substantiated by much beyond his intuition that Democrats will lose unless they adopt more of his policy preferences (at one point, Stephens suggests that Warren might have won in 2020, if only she’d had the courage to stand up for free trade).
Trump entered office a historically unpopular president — and, despite presiding over the peak of an economic expansion and historically low unemployment, he has seen his approval rating fall precipitously since then in the states that matter most. A lot can happen in two years. But there is at least a chance that Trump will be so unpopular by 2020, centrists will be incapable of mounting a credible “electability” argument against progressive presidential candidates.
And that’s a real problem for “the vital center” — because their substantive case against social democracy is even weaker than the political one. Deficit scaremongering rings hollow in an era of persistently low interest rates, and giant, unfunded tax cuts (unilateral fiscal responsibility is political idiocy — Democrats can’t build a lasting majority by force-feeding the electorate medicine after Republicans spend years doling out sugar). And it’s hard to disparage calls for strengthening unions or increasing redistribution as “class warfare” when concentrated capital dominates the economy so thoroughly, wages are falling amid full employment.
To appreciate what a tough spot these conditions put centrists in, observe this passage from Bret Stephens’s substantive indictment of “democratic socialism”:
The Democratic Socialists of America, of which Ocasio-Cortez is a member, believe in economies defined by state-owned enterprises and worker-owned cooperatives. Versions of this have been tried to varying degrees before: Israel in its first decades; post-independence India; Sweden in the 1960s and ’70s.
It always led to crisis: hyperinflation for Israel in 1980s; an I.M.F. bailout for India in 1991; a banking meltdown for Sweden in 1992…People used to know this stuff. That someone like Ocasio-Cortez apparently doesn’t is a fresh reminder that, in politics as in life, the most obvious lessons are the ones you can least afford to stop teaching.
I have never heard a left-wing Democrat cite Israel or post-independence India as a model for the political economy that they wish to build in the United States. Plenty have, however, expressed affinity for the Nordic model. And Stephens’s case against Swedish social democracy is, apparently, that it produces one banking crisis every 50 years or so.
And that is actually a much too generous summation of Stephens’s case. As Matt Bruenig explains:
The link Stephens uses for his citation about Sweden is a slideshow created by the former Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg. Borg is a member of the right-wing Moderate Party and created the slideshow when Sweden was under a right-wing government in 2012. The slideshow does not talk about the 1992 banking meltdown. It is, in fact, completely unrelated.
Stephens omission of any information about the 1992 Swedish banking crisis is curious. That crisis was caused by the popping of a housing bubble that left banks insolvent, which was the exact same thing that blew up the global economy in 2008. In fact, the two events were so similar that the New York Times published a piece in 2008 titled “Stopping a Financial Crisis, the Swedish Way[.]”
Social democracy might allow Sweden to provide its people with longer lives, a lower poverty rate, cheaper health care, more retirement security, better educational outcomes, and higher levels of self-reported happiness than Americans enjoy. But American capitalism provides U.S. citizens with something even better than all that: total immunity from the threat of banking crises produced by housing bubbles.
People used to know this stuff. That someone like Ocasio-Cortez apparently doesn’t is a fresh reminder that, in politics as in life, the least obvious lessons are the ones that conservative Times columnists can least afford to stop teaching.
Maybe the longest lasting legacy outside of any scandal that's still being recorded. Watchable segment
That Florida cop story is insane. I wonder if the cop making the accusation is not credible. This is a story that should be blowing up