Ferguson Redux

Jelani Cobb, in the New Yorker, late yesterday:

The conversation here [in Ferguson] has shifted from the immediate reaction to Michael Brown’s death and toward the underlying social dynamics. Two men I spoke with pointed to the disparity in education funding for Ferguson and more affluent municipalities nearby. Another talked about being pulled over by an officer who claimed to smell marijuana in the car as a pretense for searching him. “I’m in the United States Navy,” he told me. “We have to take drug tests in the military so I had proof that there were no drugs in my system. But other people can’t do that.” Six black men I spoke to, nearly consecutively, pointed to Missouri’s felon-disfranchisement laws as part of the equation. “If you’re a student in one of the black schools here and you get into a fight you’ll probably get arrested and charged with assault. We have kids here who are barred from voting before they’re even old enough to register,” one said. Ferguson’s elected officials did not look much different than they had years earlier, when it was a largely white community.

Ferguson had, instead, recently seen two highly visible African-American public officials lose their jobs. Two weeks before Brown was shot, Charles Dooley, an African-American who has served as St. Louis County Executive for a decade, lost a bitter primary to Steve Stenger, a white county councilman, in a race that, whatever the merits of the candidates, was seen as racially divisive. Stenger lobbed allegations of financial mismanagement and incompetence, and worse. Bob McCulloch, the county prosecutor appeared in an ad for Stenger, associating Dooley with corruption; McCulloch would also be responsible for determining whether to charge Darren Wilson. In December, the largely white Ferguson-Florissant school board fired Art McCoy, the superintendent, who is African-American. Those who were gathered at the QuikTrip parking lot on Saturday were as inclined to talk about the underlying political issues as they were about the hail of bullets that ended Brown’s life…

Jordan Weissman, at Slate:

Jeff Smith, a New School professor and former Missouri state senator, had a sensational op-ed in this weekend’s New York Times that dived into the economic forces that have helped shape the strife in Ferguson. His big point is that the local police have a strong financial incentive to arrest, ticket, and otherwise harass the city’s black residents for minor offenses, because that’s how the department funds its budget

When you split a metro area into dozens of tiny local governments (St. Louis County, to be clear, doesn’t include the actual city of St. Louis, which spun off from it in the 19th century), they tend to duplicate each others’ services, which is of course extremely expensive. But raising taxes so that each tiny borough can afford its own police and fire department is a nonstarter, since wealthy residents can always just move one town over. End result: You have police departments that self-fund by handing out tickets. And thanks to the delightful racial dynamics of U.S. law enforcement, black residents are disproportionately stopped and accosted, even though police in Ferguson are less likely to find contraband when they search black drivers than when they search whites….

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108 replies
  1. 1
    raven says:

    Dooley was on one of the MSNBC shows and they made no note that he was on his way out.

  2. 2
    Roger Moore says:

    Now if we can only get the national media to start spending as much time talking about the big picture racial dynamics as they do debating whether Michael Brown deserved to be shot, we’ll actually be getting somewhere. A pony would be nice, also, too.

  3. 3
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Roger Moore: You could probably buy the pony.

  4. 4
    KG says:

    @Roger Moore: that would nKe the media very uncomfortable… So instead… SQUIRREL!

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    Given the racial dynamics of Ferguson, I find it interesting that our Newsmax friends on the right have spent more time talking about the Perry indictment, judging by the headlines.

  6. 6
    Comrade Mary says:

    @KG: Speaking of which: big Toronto news today was the death of one of our white squirrels. Best response was from local writer Desmond Morris.

    Black squirrels die every day, y’all. RT @metrotoronto ‘elusive’ white squirrel found dead.

  7. 7
    KG says:

    @Comrade Mary: is it wrong that I laughed at that tweet?

  8. 8

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Hell, I’d GIVE him a pony if he promised to feed & vet it.

    But an informed dialogue about the complex ongoing effects of structural racism in this country? That, we just can’t afford. Or expect.

  9. 9
    ruemara says:

    What can I say? The blue as all git out CA municipality I am very familiar with the inner workings of, has even fewer black or latino employees than when I started. When I started with them, you might be able to get pickup basketball league. Now, you couldn’t put together a bridge game of colour. I asked another on the bubble employee why? He explained that since he was listed a in an executive position, they considered him to be at the max level necessary for accurate demographic representation to the population. I believe he is now the sole and highest level POC left. It has also been noted that any upper level direct report to electeds has also been refined so no one with objectionable accents will be giving reports to them directly.
    It’s not just the south.

  10. 10
    Comrade Mary says:

    BTW, if you care at all about what’s happening in Ferguson, you should be listening to TWiB’s live stream from the scene (it’s on NOW!) and following Elon on Twitter.

  11. 11
    El Caganer says:

    @Roger Moore: How do you expect them to WIN THE MORNING talking about ‘big picture racial dynamics’? Where’s your ‘both sides do it’ in all that? You might actually have to ask black people what it’s like to live their lives rather than listen to white people’s speculations (which would not, of course, be informed in any way by learned cultural biases). BAWWWRRRINNNNG!

  12. 12
    Comrade Mary says:

    @Comrade Mary: HOLY SHIT THAT WAS DESMOND COLE NOT DESMOND MORRIS I AM AN IDIOT AND ALSO MAYBE A NAKED APE.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @PhoenixRising: Even well-meaning people often trouble with it. People of color figuring that they need to tone things down a bit so as to not shock the white folks too much and the white folks finding themselves shocked anyway. Then there are the cynics, the angry, the clueless, the pollyannas, the unconscious of their privileges, etc. – and that’s just me.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Comrade Mary: The pic could have been a surrealist image.

  15. 15
    ruemara says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): You’re not that clueless if you can type that without being forced. FYI.

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @ruemara: I might be going through an angry phase right now. I’ll do clueless again at some point – no matter how hard I try to avoid it.

    But, thanks, I try. How well I succeed is a day by day thing.

  17. 17
    Felinious Wench says:

    Glad Elon is there.

  18. 18
    Mike in NC says:

    Our town is notorious for speed traps to bring in revenue. Live here and you soon figure out where they are. Summer tourists aren’t so fortunate.

  19. 19

    It’s autoplaying for me (Mac, Chrome)

  20. 20
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): You can’t protect from racists. Everything you do will be contorted to validate their racism. Religions are funny that way.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    Six black men I spoke to, nearly consecutively, pointed to Missouri’s felon-disfranchisement laws as part of the equation. “If you’re a student in one of the black schools here and you get into a fight you’ll probably get arrested and charged with assault. We have kids here who are barred from voting before they’re even old enough to register,” one said.

    I was wondering if that was part of the reason for the vast disparity between the politicians being elected and the population. I’d be very interested to see if anyone could find hard numbers.

  22. 22
    Cervantes says:

    @Comrade Mary: I wondered about that, but for less than ten seconds.

    Not really wondering at all, I suppose.

  23. 23
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Comrade Mary:

    LOL I was just about to ask. L.O.L. Seriously, Out Loud.

  24. 24
    lamh36 says:

    “Obama Is Seen As Frustrating His Own Party

    read it yourselves, but I came away more pissed at those quoted than with the President

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @lamh36: Obama has been pushing for each branch of government to handle its own shit since he came into office. This is more of the same.

  26. 26
    El Caganer says:

    @lamh36: That article seems to be making an awful lot out of nothing. The government is in crisis because the President won’t golf with some of the Congressional Democrats? What delicate creatures.

  27. 27
    patrick II says:

    I lived in a St. Louis suburb for thirty years. Traffic through our town was over 95% white, but after a while I noticed that over half the people I saw pulled over at our local speed/stop sign trap were black people driving through town.
    On one occasion our business had a black network administrator visit us and he stayed at a hotel in Clayton — the county seat and a very expensive white suburb just West of St. Louis city. On his second morning he was over two hours late to work. He had been stopped by a cop in Clayton for no reason other than he was a young, well dressed black man mistakenly staying in Clayton and driving a new car. The car was a rental with Ohio license plates, so our visiting network administrator had to sit and wait for the cop to check every stolen car in Ohio, because it “matched the description” of a stolen car.
    I would say St. Louis has the worst police force, except that I retired and moved to Florida to be near family.

  28. 28
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @lamh36: This is all part of the Village narrative about Obama being, well, near and different.

  29. 29
    Helen says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): This. Democrats are a bunch of weenies (I first wrote pussies , but us (we?) real pussies have so much more to deal with).

    I am tried of bringing a knife to a gun fight. And am tired of the “exceptional” shit. Get over it. Oh we are not.

    I have paid well over $1,000,000 , yes that is ONE MILLION DOLLARS in taxes in my lifetime (and I am a month shy of 52 years old). And where has it gone? To war. And to those profiting from war. I want my money to go to education. And social programs. And roads and bridges and… Good FSM I am exhausted

  30. 30
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @lamh36: apparently I’ve used up my free articles, and I’m waiting for a special offer to subscribe so I can’t read it, but it’s particularly rich if Joe Mancin is whining because Obama isn’t paying enough attention to him

    Michael Grunwald @ MikeGrunwald · 17m
    Joe Manchin: Waaaah! All I did was shoot Obama’s energy bill in an ad and now he never invites me over for dinner!

    In other congressional news, dimwitted, cowardly old drunk John Boehner, who has less power in his caucus than racist full-mooner Steven King, said today that ISIS is a result of Obama’s “apology tour”. Obama should reach out to him, then Congress could Get Something Done.

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: When exactly was this “apology tour” and couldn’t they have named it something cooler like “Voodoo Lounge?”

  32. 32
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    People are throwing rocks at Chris Hayes and Craig Melvin

  33. 33
    JCT says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: These guys sure get paid a fine salary + benefits to do absolutely fucking NOTHING but whine, complain and say stupid shit.

    What a scam.

  34. 34
    Violet says:

    This tweet made me laugh:

    Too many young male bankers lack strong role models and fail in a broken system. It's time for My Banker's Keeper.— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) August 19, 2014

  35. 35
    Violet says:

    @Violet: It came after this one:

    "Wall Street bankers commit crime. We can argue about why, but if they commit a crime they need to be prosecuted." – No one in power— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) August 18, 2014

  36. 36
    ruemara says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: At this point, all media outlets look like Fox.

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    @El Caganer: My goodness, they are practically hot house flowers. So delicate.

  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    @El Caganer:
    This has been a thing for a while now, hasn’t it: berating Obama for not working with people who don’t dare get caught working with him.

  39. 39
    Carolinus says:

    @lamh36:

    It’s particularly rich considering how much beltway flak the President has been taking for the fundraising he’s constantly doing for these ungrateful ankle-biters.

  40. 40
    Citizen_X says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    People are throwing rocks at Chris Hayes and Craig Melvin

    Wait, what?

  41. 41
    Bennett says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t Ferguson MO have a city government? Why has its mayor & council not suspended or fired the police chief, responded to its community, and acted as if they gave a damn?

  42. 42
    leeleeFL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I really wish POTUS would reach out and clean his clock! I know he can’t but it sure would be sweet!

  43. 43
    Helen says:

    @Citizen_X: No they are not. Watching Chris Hayes live on MSNBC. Nothing is happening except Chris is talking about something may be happening. Jeebus.

  44. 44
    leeleeFL says:

    @Bennett:hmm, because they don’t?

  45. 45
    Mike in NC says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: He’s also aloof and deliberate and fails to give reporters cute nicknames!

  46. 46
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I got in to that NYT article, where Manchin, whining about the lack of Obama’s “outreach”, is referred to as a bridge-building “centrist Democrat”

    Here’s his ad, bragging about his NRA endorsement, vowing to “take on this administration”, to repeal “the bad parts of Obamacare”, to fight the EPA, and shooting up the cap and trade bill. I give him credit for trying to pass some gun control, but he’s a dick, he’s constantly available for a media quote suggesting the administration needs to compromise more. Why would Obama want to eat with him?

  47. 47
    leeleeFL says:

    @Helen: Rocks were thrown at them, I kid you not. Melvin was grabbing Hayes to pull him back

  48. 48
    Violet says:

    @Bennett: The police are doing just what the city leaders want them to do–keep the black folks under control. They don’t see any problems with their police department.

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @leeleeFL: They hate his glasses.

  50. 50
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    If they’ve lost Jake Tapper…

    CNN Tonight @ CNNTonight · 23m
    “There is nothing going on in the street right now that merits this.” @ jaketapper on massive police presence on ground in #Ferguson
    James Downie @ jamescdownie · 21m
    .@ jaketapper tells the truth about the militarized police: “There’s no threat [from the protestors]. This doesn’t make any sense.”

  51. 51
    leeleeFL says:

    @Violet: THIS!

  52. 52
    divF says:

    @lamh36: I looked at the article, and this seemed like a whole lot of nothing. The two most concrete complaints were:

    (1) telling Harry Reid to work out some ambassador nominations with Mitch McConnell, rather than having the discussion of it take up time devoted consulting with Democratic leadership on the Iraq crisis (Obama called up McConnell later about the issue);

    (2) Obama being unwilling to schmooze with Dems (e.g. small parties, having his picture taken with members).

    OTOH, Sen. McCaskill seemed generally sympathetic towards Obama.

    Senator Claire McCaskill, the Missouri Democrat who was an early supporter of Mr. Obama’s presidential bid, said that if her fellow Democrats were hoping for Mr. Obama to transform into a Lyndon B. Johnson late in his second term, they should quit waiting.

    “For him, eating his spinach is schmoozing with elected officials,” she said. “This is not something that he loves. He wasn’t that kind of senator.”

    “The White House has something in common with the rest of America, and that is disdain for Congress,” Ms. McCaskill said. “It is hard to blame them.”

    It is unclear who the “them” in the last quote is – Congress, or the White House.

  53. 53
    leeleeFL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Sadly, it will not last. Shep Smith had a moment of clarity during Katrina, but he still works at Fox.

  54. 54
    mike with a mic says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDG2bcTA_tw

    Video of the rocks being thrown and a comment about Jews.

  55. 55
    Helen says:

    @leeleeFL: That was a tape. OMG I am watching CNN and someone is talking about “anarchists” Who? Mark O’mara – George Zimmerman’s defense attorney.

  56. 56
    Carolinus says:

    @lamh36:

    “Maybe if something isn’t working, you’d say, ‘What can I do better?’ ” said Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, expressing dismay that the president seemed to have little interest in taking a warmer approach with Democrats.

    Democratic senators, for their part, do not always show up at White House events. Twelve were invited to a St. Patrick’s Day reception this year, for example, but only one showed up.

  57. 57
    Pattonbt says:

    @patrick II: as someone (white upper middle class family) who grew up in Clayton I can definitely speak to that. Many anecdotes about the Clayton cops and black people. Drive thru Clayton late at night while black, you are getting pulled over. Period.

    We had a new kid move in in my junior year of high school. Black. Like many of us he was fortunate to have parents who bought him a car (most of us had shit boxes, as did he, since our parents didn’t trust us with any valuable car). The first six weekends he drove when we went out, he was pulled over. When the cops would see the rest of the occupants (and they knew us too because they also pulled over teens quite frequently) they would change it from a “black stop” (I.e. Call in backup, have the car pulled over for a long time, search the car, etc.) it would turn in to a “white teen stop” (“you got booze, drugs, up to no good? Ok on your way). Once the cops knew his car, the stops decreased massively. Only to start again when his patents had to get him a new car when the old one died. The stops ramped back up again until the cops recognised his car again.

    Obviously, that’s pretty tame stuff, but showed a vivid example of profiling and different treatment for different people based on color in St. Louis county.

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Carolinus:

    Twelve were invited to a St. Patrick’s Day reception this year, for example, but only one showed up.

    FWIW St. Patrick’s Day is a good time to schmooze with constituents back home. Parades and all that.

  59. 59
    leeleeFL says:

    @Helen: Well, isn’t that special? And Chris Hayes is live since 11

    Also want to send some love to Ms. McCaskill. The snark us strong un that lady!

  60. 60
    Mike in NC says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Video I see seems to indicate cops outnumber protesters by roughly three to one. They really look like Gestapo goons.

  61. 61
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Carolinus: I’d go. I’d even bring a dish to pass. Maybe shrimp toast.

    I don’t get Senators at all. They are a lot more id than super ego.

  62. 62
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): When this Obama-doesn’t-socialize shit started up last summer (IIRC) the White House released a list of events they had invited McConnell to, to which McConnell didn’t show up, including again IIRC a screening of Spielberg’s Lincoln. Chuck Todd, who seized on that issue like it was his invite to the grown-up table, said those didn’t count because it wasn’t “the living quarters”. Obama is supposed to have McConnell over for milk and cookies and a playdate.

    Also, that flare up started when Bob Woodward quoted Newt Gingrich as lamenting Obama’s lack of outreach. GOPAC memo, Susan Smith-is-a-result-of-Democrat-policies, foodstamp-president Gingrich was Bob Woodward’s Deep Throat for Outreachgate.

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Chuck Todd, who seized on that issue like it was his invite to the grown-up table, said those didn’t count because it wasn’t “the living quarters”.

    This is yet another reason why Chuckles the Toddler should be imprisoned in a pain amplifier with the dial turned up to 11.

  64. 64
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    FUck. They’ve started launching tear gas.

  65. 65
    Helen says:

    DELETED

  66. 66
    Mike in NC says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Chuck Todd needs to be fitted for an Iron Maiden.

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Susan Smith-is-a-result-of-Democrat-policies, foodstamp-president Gingrich was Bob Woodward’s Deep Throat for Outreachgate.

    You mean THIS Newt Gingrich?

  68. 68
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Visit the Times from a PrivateBrowsing/Incognito tab to get around their limits. Ctrl-Shift-P in Firefox, Ctrl-Shift-N in Chrome.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  69. 69
    Cervantes says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Gingrich was Bob Woodward’s Deep Throat for Outreachgate.

    Could you please re-phrase that? Thanks in advance.

  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Cervantes: Triggered your gag reflex, did it?

  71. 71
    mai naem says:

    I find politics really depressing. There was a tweet from Bill Moyers citing a study that showed that only wealthy people have any real statistically significant effect on politics. If that’s the case then what’s the point of even voting? I have a couple of liberal friends who feel the same way primarily because they see Obama being blocked at every step. They understand the reason why but we’ve all reached the same conclusion – the people who need to show up to vote don’t bother. And don’t fucking tell me they don’t have the time because the same people find time to go to the casino to gamble, to spend hours getting their hair and nails done, they find out when there’s a $100 tax refund and do the paperwork for that, they go to movies – all that but they can’t spend an hour to vote every couple of years.

  72. 72
    Goblue72 says:

    @ruemara: O.C.?

  73. 73
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Goblue72: Person Of Color.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  74. 74
    Cervantes says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): That’s a comment I wish I’d written.

  75. 75
    Mike J says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: I thought he was asking if it was Orange County, but since ruemara said “blue as all git out” I’d guess not.

  76. 76
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Cervantes: Thank you.

  77. 77
    Goblue72 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Study of Felon Disenfranchisement – http://sentencingproject.org/d.....n_2010.pdf

    Missouri – 6.9% of A-A’s cannot vote due to felon disenfranchisement laws.

  78. 78
    Goblue72 says:

    @Mike J: yes. That is what I was asking. Curious if it was a city in OC. Wouldn’t be surprised. Heck, there’s even some towns in the Bay Area I wouldn’t be surprised at that. (Certain cities in Contra Costa County, I’m looking at you.)

  79. 79
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    This seems appropriate for tonight’s activities in Missouri (or, as my great aunt who lived in Missouri called it , “Missoura”)

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I had expected this.

  81. 81
    Roger Moore says:

    @Bennett:

    Why has its mayor & council not suspended or fired the police chief, responded to its community, and acted as if they gave a damn?

    They don’t give a damn and aren’t good enough actors to pretend. The city government is white dominated and appears to see the police department’s job as keeping the majority black populace under control and fining them to bring in revenue. That’s exactly what the police have been doing, and the city government isn’t going to fire the police chief for doing his job no matter what you, I, or the black citizens of Ferguson think.

  82. 82
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    or, as my great aunt who lived in Missouri called it , “Missoura”

    Doesn’t everyone who lives there pronounce it that way? When I lived in Arkansas I never heard anyone pronounce it Missour-ee.

  83. 83
    Steeplejack says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    I think Goblue72 was asking whether she’s in Orange County (O.C.).

    ETA: What Mike J said.

    ETFA: Fuck, just late to the thread on all counts.

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay: Yup, I reckon you’re right about that.

    The PNW English pronunciation has always been “Missour-ee”, though.

  85. 85
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mandalay:

    I lived in Missouri for three years and heard many people pronounce it with a long e at the end. They didn’t stress it, though.

  86. 86
    Steeplejack says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I think the key part of Mandalay’s comment is “When I lived in Arkansas.”

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The Upper Midwest and New England say “Missour-ee” as well.

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Steeplejack: It also explains a lot about Mandalay.

  89. 89
    Mandalay says:

    @Goblue72:

    Missouri – 6.9% of A-A’s cannot vote due to felon disenfranchisement laws.

    It’s awful, but this is something Rand Paul is trying to address. And anyone who wants to leap in and tell us what a POS he is should also be required to list the Democrats who are doing more than Rand Paul on this issue. I don’t know of any.

    To highlight the injustice of what we do, the European Court of Human Rights has overruled Britain’s prohibition on voting by prisoners. As Kurt Vonnegut used to say, think of that. Britain is in the shit for disenfranchising prisoners, yet some states here won’t let them vote even after they are released.

    We are a wealthy country, but socially we remain in the Dark Ages.

  90. 90
    askew says:

    @Mandalay:

    Corey Booker is working with Rand Paul on this issue. He’s doing as much lifting as Rand is. He just gets less press coverage.

  91. 91
    patrick II says:

    @Pattonbt:

    Obviously, that’s pretty tame stuff,

    It is tame right up until the stopped person isn’t deferential enough — at which time it can get serious in a hurry. Ask any number of stopped and then beaten black men. The potential for any stop to turn into a serious incident is always just a hair away, which is why that sort of racial profiling is more insidious and stifling than just accounting for the number of traffic stops would seem.

  92. 92
    Mandalay says:

    @askew:

    Corey Booker is working with Rand Paul on this issue. He’s doing as much lifting as Rand is. He just gets less press coverage.

    I thought the same myself until a few minutes ago. I amended my comment after reading this:

    Correction: Mr. Paul is sponsoring a bill that would allow non-violent felons to regain their voting rights after serving time. The initial version of this post incorrectly said Democratic Sen. Cory Booker was also a sponsor.

  93. 93
    Violet says:

    @Mandalay:

    It’s awful, but this is something Rand Paul is trying to address. And anyone who wants to leap in and tell us what a POS he is should also be required to list the Democrats who are doing more than Rand Paul on this issue. I don’t know of any.

    Link:

    Paul has proposed a bill that would restore all federal voting rights to nonviolent felony offenders not on probation or parole on release from prison. Meanwhile, Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin has introduced a bill, the Democracy Restoration Act of 2014, which would enfranchise all felons on release regardless of their crime or level of post-incarceration monitoring.

  94. 94
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Steeplejack: Well, my great aunt was originally from Arkansas, and lived in Thayer…which is right on the border with Arkansas.

    So there’s that.

  95. 95
    askew says:

    @Mandalay:

    That’s weird. Booker is definitely working with Paul on criminal justice issues. I’ve seen them do media together about it.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Mandalay: Paul is still a complete asshole and unworthy of federal office. If you add everything up.

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Violet:

    So Paul has talked about introducing a bill, while Cardin has actually introduced one, but Paul gets all the credit and Cardin gets ignored while people sneer about Democrats not doing anything.

    Ah, glibertarians.

  98. 98
    askew says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Good for Cardin. He is one of those Senators who gets no media attention at all.

  99. 99
    Mandalay says:

    @Violet: Excellent news – I did not know about that. Thanks. While Cardin’s bill goes further, my understanding is that Paul has been forced to reduce the potency of his original proposal in order for it to have any chance of progressing. Even if neither bill goes anywhere they represent a step forward, however small.

  100. 100
    Violet says:

    @Mnemosyne: Cardin’s probably not media-sexy like Paul. By media-sexy I mean “the media find him sexy”, not that he is in any way sexy.

  101. 101
    Pattonbt says:

    @patrick II: sorry. I meant only what I witnessed was tame in the context of the larger issues involved and being discussed. Obviously what I witnessed is only the tip of the iceberg, but I didn’t want to exaggerate my experiences into more than they were.

  102. 102
    patrick II says:

    @Pattonbt:

    Don’t be sorry, and thanks for amplifying my remark. I didn’t mean to be strident, but that sword of damocles constantly hanging over their heads during any encounter with white cops must be horrible.

  103. 103
    BobS says:

    @askew: Don’t look for Booker to do a lot of “lifting” on behalf of the poor and downtrodden. He’ll be too busy saturating every form of media with his presence while doing the bidding of Wall Street (and Silicon Valley). He’s the Ted Cruz of the Democratic Party — they both see the Senate as a warm-up for the White House.

  104. 104
    Tata says:

    The New York Times did not dived, it dove. I’ve seen that quite a few times recently. As a reader-type-person, it feels as if I’ve hit a speed bump.

  105. 105
    Interrobang says:

    @Mandalay: In Canada, prisoners have been able to vote for as long as I can remember. If you go to the Elections Canada website, they have special sections on how to vote from various kinds of institutions (e.g. prisons and hospitals).

    I bet the Conservatives don’t garner much of the prison vote. There is probably a goodly faction in this country anymore that is in prison because of Conservative policies…

  106. 106
    drkrick says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Video I see seems to indicate cops outnumber protesters by roughly three to one. They really look like Gestapo goons.

    Counting the agents provocateurs or not? Maybe they only work the late shift.

  107. 107
    drkrick says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    Visit the Times from a PrivateBrowsing/Incognito tab to get around their limits. Ctrl-Shift-P in Firefox, Ctrl-Shift-N in Chrome.

    FYI for those interested: this doesn’t seem to fool the Washington Post.

  108. 108
    Cervantes says:

    @Tata: Both are OK, and “dove” is more American than not.

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