Monday, December 7, 2015

Last Call For Roger, Rahm Jet

As the Justice Department announced a civil rights investigation into the Chicago PD today...

The U.S. Department of Justice will investigate the Chicago Police Department following protests over the city's handling of last year's killing of a black teenager shot by a white police officer, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Monday. 
U.S. authorities will look at the department's use of force, including deadly force, among other issues, she said at a news briefing to announce the civil probe. 
"Our goal in this investigation ... is not to focus on individuals but to improve systems," Lynch said. 
She said federal officials would be investigating "constitutional violations" in one of the nation's largest police departments. 
"What we are looking is to see whether or not the police department as a systemic matter has engaged in constitutional violations of policing," the nation's top law enforcement official said.

...suddenly a lot of people in charge of that "system" in Chicago are suddenly resigning.

The Chicago Police Department's chief of detectives resigned from his post Monday amid a series of resignations following the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video.

A police source confirmed Constantine "Dean" Andrews' resignation Monday. Andrews was promoted from deputy chief of detectives to the top spot by former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy in October. During his tenure as deputy chief of detectives, Andrews was in charge of investigating the David Koschman case, which he closed without charges against Richard J. "R.J." Vanecko, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

It is unclear who will replace Andrews.

Andrews' resignation follows the resignation of Scott Ando, formerly the head of the Independent Police Review Authority, who stepped down on Sunday. McCarthy was also ousted last week by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Quite a lot of heads rolling in Chicago this week, and it's only Monday.

But Mayor Rahm Emanuel?  He's not going anywhere.  Guaranteed.

Trump-eting Your Failure

The Donald's increasingly dangerous rhetoric may have given him a safe lead among his GOP cohorts, but it's also increasingly costing him the general election, particularly among Latino voters.

Hillary Clinton leads the Republican presidential field in hypothetical general-election match-ups, with Ben Carson and Marco Rubio running the closest to her, according to a new national MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist poll. 
And with just one exception, the margin of Clinton's lead among Latino voters determines just how competitive each match-up is. 
Clinton's biggest lead is against current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump: She's ahead of him by 11 points among all voters, 52 percent to 41 percent, and a whopping 42 points among Latino voters, 69 percent to 27 percent. 
The former Democratic secretary of state leads Ted Cruz by seven points nationally, 51 percent to 44 percent, and by 27 points among Latinos, 61 percent to 34 percent.
Clinton holds a four-point advantage over Jeb Bush, 49 percent to 45 percent, and a 26-point lead among Latinos, 61 percent to 35 percent. 
She's ahead of Marco Rubio by three points among all voters, 48 percent to 45 percent, and 19 points among Latinos, 57 percent to 38 percent. 
And Clinton leads Ben Carson by just one point, 48 percent to 47 percent, and she holds a 26-point edge among Latinos, 61 percent to 35 percent.

I know there's not much stock you can put in polls eleven months out, but it's an indication at least that among those who are paying attention to the race, Clinton would have a cakewalk against Trump or Cruz.  Against Bush, Carson or Rubio, not so much.

Still a long way to go before November though, and while the race appears to be changing weekly, in reality both Clinton and Trump have lead their respective primary polls for several consecutive months now.

If things hold, it's going to be Goldwater all over again, and the Republicans know it.

President Obama Speaks To The Nation

President Obama's Oval Office address last night wasn't new, but it was newsworthy as he made a number of key points about the continuing battle against terrorists and what Americans can and should do to help.

For seven years, I’ve confronted this evolving threat each morning in my intelligence briefing. And since the day I took this office, I’ve authorized U.S. forces to take out terrorists abroad precisely because I know how real the danger is. As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than the security of the American people. As a father to two young daughters who are the most precious part of my life, I know that we see ourselves with friends and coworkers at a holiday party like the one in San Bernardino. I know we see our kids in the faces of the young people killed in Paris. And I know that after so much war, many Americans are asking whether we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure.

Well, here’s what I want you to know: The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us. Our success won’t depend on tough talk, or abandoning our values, or giving into fear. That’s what groups like ISIL are hoping for. Instead, we will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless, and by drawing upon every aspect of American power.

Here’s how. First, our military will continue to hunt down terrorist plotters in any country where it is necessary. In Iraq and Syria, airstrikes are taking out ISIL leaders, heavy weapons, oil tankers, infrastructure. And since the attacks in Paris, our closest allies -- including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom -- have ramped up their contributions to our military campaign, which will help us accelerate our effort to destroy ISIL.

Second, we will continue to provide training and equipment to tens of thousands of Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting ISIL on the ground so that we take away their safe havens. In both countries, we’re deploying Special Operations Forces who can accelerate that offensive. We’ve stepped up this effort since the attacks in Paris, and we’ll continue to invest more in approaches that are working on the ground.

Third, we’re working with friends and allies to stop ISIL’s operations -- to disrupt plots, cut off their financing, and prevent them from recruiting more fighters. Since the attacks in Paris, we’ve surged intelligence-sharing with our European allies. We’re working with Turkey to seal its border with Syria. And we are cooperating with Muslim-majority countries -- and with our Muslim communities here at home -- to counter the vicious ideology that ISIL promotes online.

Fourth, with American leadership, the international community has begun to establish a process -- and timeline -- to pursue ceasefires and a political resolution to the Syrian war. Doing so will allow the Syrian people and every country, including our allies, but also countries like Russia, to focus on the common goal of destroying ISIL -- a group that threatens us all.

And again, we've heard this before, but I think that in the noise from the GOP primary that this has gotten lost, and I definitely see why the President made this speech in a national address on a Sunday evening.  He also challenged Congress to give him the authority to do more about ISIS in Syria and Iraq, something that recalcitrant Republicans and worried Democrats will almost certainly not grant him.  It's much easier to blame the President's strategy when you've tied his hands and sabotaged it, just look at Obamacare.

President Obama's most important point however was what America should not do.

Here’s what else we cannot do. We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam. That, too, is what groups like ISIL want. ISIL does not speak for Islam. They are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death, and they account for a tiny fraction of more than a billion Muslims around the world -- including millions of patriotic Muslim Americans who reject their hateful ideology. Moreover, the vast majority of terrorist victims around the world are Muslim. If we’re to succeed in defeating terrorism we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away through suspicion and hate.

That does not mean denying the fact that an extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities. This is a real problem that Muslims must confront, without excuse. Muslim leaders here and around the globe have to continue working with us to decisively and unequivocally reject the hateful ideology that groups like ISIL and al Qaeda promote; to speak out against not just acts of violence, but also those interpretations of Islam that are incompatible with the values of religious tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity.

But just as it is the responsibility of Muslims around the world to root out misguided ideas that lead to radicalization, it is the responsibility of all Americans -- of every faith -- to reject discrimination. It is our responsibility to reject religious tests on who we admit into this country. It’s our responsibility to reject proposals that Muslim Americans should somehow be treated differently. Because when we travel down that road, we lose. That kind of divisiveness, that betrayal of our values plays into the hands of groups like ISIL. Muslim Americans are our friends and our neighbors, our co-workers, our sports heroes -- and, yes, they are our men and women in uniform who are willing to die in defense of our country. We have to remember that.

My fellow Americans, I am confident we will succeed in this mission because we are on the right side of history. We were founded upon a belief in human dignity -- that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what religion you practice, you are equal in the eyes of God and equal in the eyes of the law.

It's an idea that has long been lost on America, that Republicans allowed Bush 43 to make, that Muslim Americans are Americans.  That has been lost in the storm of hatred coming from the right, and I'm glad the President stood up to that in the most public way possible.


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