Miami Police Beat Up Man With Down Syndrome

Another appalling story of police brutality:

Gilberto Powell, 22, was stopped by officers in the area of Southwest 111th Place and Southwest 138th Street around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a Miami-Dade Police report.

The report said officers spotted a bulge in Powell’s waist band and when they tried to pat him down, he tried to flee. Police say Powell broke free as officers tried to place him in handcuffs, hitting his forehead on the ground.

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Why Palin Hasn’t Announced Her Non-Run

It’s summed up perfectly in this fundraising letter from Sarah PAC, which promises that she’s still thinking about running and will continue to do so if you’ll just send her money now.

As you may know, Gov. Palin is on the verge of making her decision of whether or not to run for office.

It’s one of the most difficult and important decisions of her life. And I want her to know that she has our support…

Someone must save our nation from this road to European Socialism. Do you think it should be Gov. Palin?

If so, can you send your best, one-time gift to SarahPAC today to help her elect more common-sense conservatives – and show her that we support her if she decides to run?

Not a bad scam.

Romney Disappears Past Statements on Health Care Reform

Not only does Mitt Romney flip flop on pretty much every issue in existence, he even tries to make his past statements disappear.

After the Republican presidential debate Thursday night, a senior advisor to Mitt Romney acknowledged that a line about spreading health care reform throughout the country was changed in the paperback version of Romney’s book No Apology.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said during the Florida debate that Romney took out the single line that suggested the Massachusetts health reform law could be applied to the country. The line that is removed in the paperback version reads, “We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country.”

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Sally Kern Brings the Crazy Again

Sally Kern continues to display her authoritarianism and ignorance with statements like this, from an interview with Peter LaBarbera:

LaBarbera: I believe the organized homosexuality movement is an evil movement, its organized sin. It’s taking what God says is wrong and pushing it literally as a right, as a civil right.

Kern: Well I think they’re trying to get the moral high ground and of course America was founded upon freedom and equality, and so they’ve hijacked that…. And as I’ve said earlier, I think they play up on freedom and equality. Sure we want everybody to have freedom and equality, but there should not be freedom and equality for sinful actions.

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Perry Gets Another Insane Endorser

The list of lunatics to endorse Rick Perry for president continues to grow.

Rick Perry snagged the endorsement of 27 New Hampshire state legislators on Wednesday, passing fellow GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has endorsements from just 9 Granite State lawmakers. The Texas governor’s campaign was quick to brag about this ally-recruiting coup. “We are honored to have the support of these men and women who represent and understand the sentiments of voters across the state,” said Paul Young, a senior adviser for Perry. But some of Perry’s new supporters have made headlines for the wrong reasons—including for claiming New Hampshire “sold” children to gay couples and for slamming college students as “transient inmates.”

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Jail or Church in Alabama

This is clearly unconstitutional:

Non-violent offenders in Bay Minette now have a choice some would call simple: do time behind bars or work off the sentence in church.

Operation Restore Our Community or “ROC”…begins next week. The city judge will either let misdemenor offenders work off their sentences in jail and pay a fine or go to church every Sunday for a year.

If offenders elect church, they’re allowed to pick the place of worship, but must check in weekly with the pastor and the police department. If the one-year church attendance program is completed successfully, the offender’s case will be dismissed.

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Another Reason to Love the First Amendment

If the information in this article is correct, England’s got a real free speech problem. It may be false or distorted, of course; it comes from a fundamentalist group and they’ve got a long history of exaggerating and distorting reality in order to make themselves look like martyrs. But if this is true, it’s very bad:

Police in Lancashire have told the owner of a Christian café to stop displaying Bible texts on a video screen, because it breaches public order laws.

Officers attended the Salt & Light Coffee House on Layton Road, Blackpool, on Monday 19 September, following a complaint about “insulting” and “homophobic” material.

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Officer Charged in Fatal Beating of Schizophrenic man

You may remember the case in Fullerton, California where police officers beat a schizophrenic homeless man to death. Surprisingly, the two officers have actually been charged in the case.

Prosecutors charged officer Manuel Ramos with second-degree murder on Wednesday, saying he initiated the lethal beating of Kelly Thomas with the words, “My fists … are getting ready to f— you up.” They accused a second officer, Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, with shocking and beating Thomas with his Taser and charged him with involuntary manslaughter.

Ramos is scheduled to enter a plea on Monday and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. He was being kept in isolation at the jail because of death threats, the high-profile nature of the case and his status as a police officer, Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Cicinelli pleaded not guilty on Wednesday and was released on $25,000 bail.

Whether they can convict them is another matter. Juries tend not to convict police officers, no matter how obviously guilty they may be.

Republicans and Debt

Here are some fascinating numbers from the most recent Harper’s Index:

* Seventy-one percent of current U.S. debt was accumulated during Republican presidential terms.
* Two-thirds of debt-ceiling elevations since 1960 have been signed into law by Republican presidents.
* In 1961 the percentage of corporate profits paid in taxes was nearly forty-one; now it is less than eleven.
* Seventy-five percent of the increase in corportate profit margins since 2001 has come from depressed wages.
* The value of government subsidies that will go to oil and gas industries between now and 2015 is estimated at $78,155,000,000.

750,000 People Arrested for Marijuana Possession

The latest figures are out and they’re appalling:

If these statements are true, then how do they justify the arrests of more than 853,000 people for marijuana-related violations in 2010? That’s one person arrested every 19 seconds! The Drug Czar maintains that law enforcement protocols are still considered a useful tool for eliminating suppliers and dealers as a way to decrease overall use.

Okay, that seems like it makes sense. So how many of those 853,000 arrests were for sale or manufacture of marijuana? The answer is just over 103,000. That means that more than 750,000 people were arrested last year for simple possession! A remarkably small number of people who may have distributed marijuana were arrested last year, along with three quarters of a million simple users, in an effort to curb marijuana use nationwide.

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Ellis Washington Projects About Projection

Here’s one of the funniest things you’ll read this week. Our old friend Ellis Washington writes about Richard Dawkins, the wingnuts and their ignorant stance on evolution in his latest column.

Dawkins, in ablog entry, attacked Perry:

There is nothing unusual about Gov. Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office. What is unusual about today’s Republican [P]arty (I disavow the ridiculous ‘GOP’ nickname, because the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt has lately forfeited all claim to be considered ‘grand’) … Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.

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Online Poker Bust: The Government’s Fault

The legal complaint against Full Tilt Poker is worth reading. It’s pretty obvious that the company was guilty of bank fraud and money laundering, as all the online sites doing business in the United States were, and that was obvious years ago. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act forced them to set up hundreds and hundreds of dummy companies to get around the limitations on transferring money to online gambling sites, despite the fact that online poker is not actually illegal in this country.

But the far worse crime is what Full Tilt Did but the other sites apparently did not, which was use player deposits for operating expenses instead of holding them in accounts. As the complaint says:
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Creationism on Dallas School Website

The Dallas Observer reports on creationist material found on a teacher’s online bulletin board in the Dallas public schools:

Turns out, Rick Perry was right after all.

What you see at right is a slide I received last night from a fellow Dallas Independent School District parent. It was, until this morning, available on the district’s Curriculum Central website, accessible only to teachers and administration and a resource for instructors needing further materials to flesh out what’s being taught in class.

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Bachmann Continues to Lie About Gardasil

Being a politician means never saying you ever got anything wrong and nothing demonstrates that as perfectly as Michele Bachmann’s continued tap dance on Gardasil being dangerous. During the most recent debate she was asked whether she had reconsidered her claims about how dangerous the vaccine is and she simply lied. Here’s the question that was asked:

“Do you stand by your statement that the HPV vaccine is potentially dangerous, and if not, should you be more careful when talking about public health issues?” Wallace asked.

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Barton: Impeach Judges I Disagree With

To give you an idea of just how crazed David Barton is, look at what he said on a recent radio show. He says Congress should impeach any judge who issues a ruling they don’t like. And he starts with this illogical argument:

Barton: Well, the first part is they’re not appointed for life. That’s one of the things that people think today and this is one of the great judicial myths that’s out there that’s absolutely not accurate. If you go back and look at the Constitution, Article III deals with the judiciary; there’s nothing in there about judges being appointed for life. They’re not appointed for life.

What they did, and what they also did in the federal Constitution, when you read it it says federal judges are allowed to hold their appointments for the quote ‘duration of good behavior.’ That’s not a lifetime appointment – that’s as long as you act right you can stay there as a federal judge. But if you don’t act right, we’re going to take you out.

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