Sunday, July 17, 2016

Last Call For Copping Out In Cleveland

Seems like Cleveland's Finest are a bit worried about the Republican National Convention and Ohio's open carry firearms laws, and want the city to do something about it ASAP.

The head of Cleveland's largest police union is calling on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to temporarily restrict the state's open carry gun laws during this week's Republican National Convention following Sunday's shooting in Louisiana that killed three officers and wounded at least three others. 
"We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him. He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something -- I don't care if it's constitutional or not at this point," Stephen Loomis, president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, told CNN. "They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over." 
State law in Ohio allows for licensed firearm owners to wear their weapons in public. With the exception of a small "secure zone" inside and around the Quicken Loans Arena, residents, delegates and protesters are legally permitted to walk around the city -- including within its 1.7 square mile regulated "event zone" -- with any firearm not explicitly banned by the state. 
Kasich, responding to the request, said: "Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested." 
"The bonds between our communities and police must be reset and rebuilt -- as we're doing in Ohio -- so our communities and officers can both be safe. Everyone has an important role to play in that renewal," he said. 
Earlier, he released a video offering his condolences in the wake of the Baton Rouge attack.

So no, cops, the Republican party doesn't exactly have your back when it comes to you -- and public safety -- versus the NRA.  Maybe you want to keep that in mind the next time you decide the GOP is the "law and order" party, huh?

Guns will alway be more important that cops to the GOP.  Always remember that.

Republicans Hanging Around

Meanwhile, as the GOP prepares to get a good exchange rate by trading in Obama Derangement Syndrome back in for Clinton Derangement Syndrome...

A member of the West Virginia House of Delegates is causing a stir after tweeting that Hillary Clinton should be "hung on the Mall in Washington, DC."

CBS affiliate WOWK-TV reports that Michael Folk, a Republican legislator who is also a United Airlines pilot, posted a tweet Friday night saying: "Hillary Clinton, you should be tried for treason, murder, and crimes against the US Constitution... then hung on the Mall in Washington, DC."

Folk told the station that he posted the tweet over the FBI's decision not to charge Clinton over the investigation into her private email server.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, drew a swift rebuke from his employer, United Airlines.

"We are appalled by comments advocating harm to any person," said airline spokesperson Mary Clark. "They do not represent United Airlines and we are looking into the matter further."

So we've got a sitting Republican state lawmaker openly calling for the execution of the Democratic candidate for president, but let's start screaming about how there's no difference between the two parties again and how "Republicans are batshit crazy" is just not a good enough reason for you to vote for Democrats in 2016.

Because you need something more to stop the GOP.

OK, sure.

Police Killed In Baton Rouge

Multiple police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were shot on Sunday morning, a department spokesman said, as the country remains on edge about police and community relations.

Two of the officers have died, Baton Rouge's chief administrative officer told the Advocate Newspaper.

The officers were taken to a local hospital, spokesman Sergeant Don Coppola said the local CBS affiliate, adding he did not know the extent of their injuries. Sheriff's deputies may have also been involved.

While the scene of the shooting was contained, police have still not taken the shooter into custody and warned local residents to stay away from the scene, near Airline Highway.

The reports come a week after a wave of protests against police violence in Baton Rouge and other cities after a 37-year-old father of five was shot and killed at close quarters by law enforcement officers. At one of the demonstrations in Dallas, a gunman opened fire on white officers assigned to the protest, killing five of them.

Telephone video footage carried on a local news station showed police cars arriving at a suburban intersection, and then five shots rang out.

Baton Rouge was of course the place two weeks ago where Alton Sterling was killed by two police officers, the shooting captured on video.  Nothing justified Sterling's death, just as nothing justified the deaths of these Baton Rouge officers today.

Things were pretty scary before in 2016, now they're just getting worse during this long, hot summer.

Sunday Long Read: Mistake By The Lake

As the Republican National Convention gets underway shortly in Cleveland, Kyle Swenson explores the city's history of always looking for a fight and being at most two to three steps away from finding it.

Cleveland has always been quick to throw a punch. That’s not a homer tough guy boast. If I can lift a line from Jack Nicholson’s gangster boss in The Departed, I slander my own environment, and it makes me sad. But flare-ups of violence are status quo here, both if you dive into the historical record or consult your own eyeballed primary source memories of being ringside for bar brawls. That bruiser history is symptomatic of a civic arena marked historically by fractious competition and tension between groups, racial injustice, bad vibes pinballing all over the place. That track record will also tell you a lot more about the upcoming Republican National Convention than a busload of national pundits—particularly in the jacked-up political landscape that has draped the country in 2016.

Much of the prognostications about the upcoming RNC have been dooming and glooming over the possibility of chaos in Cleveland when Donald Trump accepts the GOP Presidential nomination. But those guesses assume the candidate himself is the wild card, the agent of possible chaos. In reality, the stage, not the players, is the x-factor here.

This is not to say my hometown isn’t full of lovely people. It is. But historically, Cleveland has been hot-wired with the kind of bad socioeconomic juju that not only has combusted regularly into violent public episodes, but also has fed local flirtations with homegrown fascism. Look at this history, you see there’s violence sitting close to the heart of depressed and distressed American metros like Cleveland. Look closer, you see that this energy is swelling behind Trump’s candidacy like wind filling a sail. Look closer still, get eye-to-eye with that history, and you’ll understand that despite his rise, Donald Trump has zero clue about the forces he’s set loose.

And those forces will indeed be loose in Cleveland this week. The problem is of course they've been swirling around this country for centuries now, and when they do explode, people get hurt or a lot, lot worse.

I really do think it's going to get bad in Cleveland.  We just don't know how bad.  But as I keep saying, should Hillary Clinton win in November, the people behind the rise of Donald Trump aren't going to magically vanish.

They've been here for a very, very long time.
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