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sabrina 1

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Member since: Sun Mar 30, 2008, 05:51 AM
Number of posts: 47,548

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The Ferguson Prosecutor, McCullough, 'Failed' to get a GJ Indictment. How rare is this?

According to Nate Silver's Blog, author Ben Casselman, failure to get a Grand Jury Indictment is statistically very, very rare!

It's Incredibly Rare For A Grand Jury To Do What Ferguson's Just Did

A St. Louis County grand jury on Monday decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of teenager Michael Brown. The decision wasn’t a surprise — leaks from the grand jury had led most observers to conclude an indictment was unlikely — but it was unusual. Grand juries nearly always decide to indict.

Or at least, they nearly always do so in cases that don’t involve police officers.

Former New York state Chief Judge Sol Wachtler famously remarked that a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.” The data suggests he was barely exaggerating: According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in 11 of them.


“If the prosecutor wants an indictment and doesn’t get one, something has gone horribly wrong,” said Andrew D. Leipold, a University of Illinois law professor who has written critically about grand juries. “It just doesn’t happen.”

This is true, in fact, the frequency with which Prosecutors get indictments from GJs has been the topic of controversy for a long time.

Except in the cases of Police Officers. Why are GJs less likely to indict Police Officers?

There are at least three possible explanations as to why grand juries are so much less likely to indict police officers. The first is juror bias: Perhaps jurors tend to trust police officer and believe their decisions to use violence are justified, even when the evidence says otherwise. The second is prosecutorial bias: Perhaps prosecutors, who depend on police as they work on criminal cases, tend to present a less compelling case against officers, whether consciously or unconsciously.

Iow, the system itself is responsible for the lack of justice in cases of cop killings.

A Grand Jury Indictment is Extremely Common

"A riot is the language of the unheard." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Justice was unlikely in the case of Darren Wilson and Michael Brown. This is a world where hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised to support the man who shot to death an 18-year-old boy and left his body in the street. But that Darren Wilson won't even go to trial - that we won't even get the rote, mechanical illusion of justice - demonstrates precisely what black lives are worth to our judicial system.

Stop calling the protests in Ferguson "riots." These are the protests of those who have gone unheard, who deserve justice and receive tear gas. These are the protests of people who know that what happened to Michael Brown - and Trayvon Martin, and Oscar Grant, and Amadou Diallo, and Sean Bell, and Kendrec McDade, and so many others - will happen again and again, and that no one will be brought to justice for the killing of their sons, fathers, husbands, brothers, friends.

Black lives matter. The people of Ferguson deserve to be heard. Hear them.

Read the statement from Michael Brown's family, and follow the fight to require all police officers to use body-worn cameras.

They 'system' did work. The Prosecutor, McCullough was acting as a Defense Attorney for Wilson from what I heard from him.

So who was representing Mike Brown?

A Plea to Riot Police, Robo Cops, the National Guard and to Governor Nixon tonight.

We are asking that you refrain from violence against US Citizens when the verdict from the GJ is announced tonight.

Please remember that the US Citizens assembled, not just in Ferguson, but across the country, are exercising their 1st Amendment Rights to peacefully assemble to air their grievances against actions they believe taken by those who work for them, are not in their best interests.


And remember that these protesters are not armed. They are American Citizens who have every right to be where they are tonight.

We ask you also, to stop arresting Reporters for doing the job Journalists in a Democracy are expected to do.

We noted the arrest of such a journalist last night after a ruling that made it illegal for you to inhibit journalists in the course of their duty:

Anonymous @YourAnonNews · Nov 22

.@stlcountypd your arrest of @TreyYingst directly violates of yesterday's federal court ruling which prohibits inhibiting media. #Ferguson
0 replies 166 retweets 116 favorites

Reply Retweeted166 Favorite116

Yes the ruling came down yesterday. And from the ACLU who are tireless in their efforts to ensure the rights granted in the US Constitution to the citizens of this country:

Sad that it was needed, isn't it, since we thought we already had the right to a free and open press.

So, to all the Riot Police, Robo Cops, Military Personnel sent out to, well, whatever it is you are being sent to do, let's not have a repeat of the violence you engaged which caused the near deaths of two US Veterans and thousands of illegal arrests during the OWS protests.

The world will be watching tonight. Please try, hard though it may be, to control the violence against US Citizens that is becoming all too familiar to those watching all over the world.

ღ Alexis ღ ‏@ColeLaShea 10m10 minutes ago
Why is #Ferguson important? Because war torn countries are sending messages of hope to US citizens.

New Grassroots Climate Change Group Endorse 17 Candidates in 2014 Midterms - Wins 11 races, loses 6!

Climatehawksvote 2014 endorsements

I had not heard of this, apparently new, Grassroots Group.

They seem to be doing what we are interested in doing, identifying and/or choosing candidates which they then support, who are 'hawks' on Climate Change.

The website linked above, explains how they went about accomplishing their goals in this last election, so I thought it might interesting to this Group.

Btw, I do recognize the author of the Home Page as a long time member of Daily Kos.

From the Site's Homepage, after the 2014 election where they, imo, scored a major victory, 11 out of 17 candidates endorsed, that seems like a 'win' to me.


The work for 2016 begins now. We're hatching an entirely new flight plan for 2015-16, and we need your help in shaping it - take our short survey.

Our goal remains steadfast: to elect climate hawk leaders - those who prioritize and speak on the climate crisis. Simply put, climate change is the greatest threat facing the next few generations of humanity, not just another Democratic issue, but too many politicians are afraid to talk about it.

Waffling on carbon pollution and voting for fossil fuels should be as unacceptable as voting against a woman's right to choose. We don't tolerate elected officials and candidates taking money from tobacco companies who profit from human suffering and death; we shouldn't tolerate them taking money from coal, oil, and gas companies whose business plan is to cook the planet.

We're proud of every candidate we endorsed, no matter what the result - whether solar solutionistas or energy efficiency evangelists, all our candidates were no-compromises climate hawks. We're a grassroots-funded organization seeking to elect only those politicians who show leadership on climate change.

It is well worth reading their Endorsement link, especially the analysis of the races they lost , because even the losses show that a small group like this who are committed to changing the way the system works, CAN change the numbers.

More from the link where I found them on Daily Kos. What is interesting is that they used the SOCIAL MEDIA to great effect, and very little MONEY:

We Won The Final Tally For Climate Change Hawks Votes 2014 Races


Endorsed Brian Schatz and Stanley Chang in Hawaii-Senate and Hawaii-01. Local organizers registered voters, made thousands of calls, hosted debate watch parties, appeared at candidate events. Schatz won by 1600 votes (later won general election); Chang came in 3d in a 7-way primary.

Endorsed Ruben Gallego in Arizona-07. Local organizer appeared at candidate events, organized a rally, outreach to environmental groups. National blogging work to expose opponent's dependence on coal money became a race meme. Collected hundreds of local signatures on petition to local newspapers to cover candidates' climate position. Won primary (later won general election).

General election, in order purely alphabetical:

Endorsed Shenna Bellows, Maine-Senate. Local organizer registered voters and engaged targeted low-turnout student voters in person; phonebanking. National blogging to expose opponent's policy homeopathy. Lost, but hopeful that Collins won't be considered a moderate environmental Republican any longer.

Endorsed Lois Capps, California-24. Social media. Won.

Endorsed in Michigan: Paul Clements, MI-06 and Gary Peters, MI-Sen. Clements lost; Peters won. Registered voters, voter registration rally in Benton Harbor, phonebanking, national blogging, substantial earned media, coordinated events with local NAACP, boosted turnout in six targeted precincts by nearly 40%; details here.

Endorsed Heidi Hall, CA-01. Social media. Lost.

Endorsed Mike Honda, CA-17. Social media - educated fellow Kossack and local activist Glen The Plumber re Mike's high score on the Climate Hawks Vote scorecard and general record on climate; said local activist cited by Ro Khanna in concession speech. Won.

Endorsed Ted Lieu, CA-33. Social media, local speeches, outreach. Won.

Endorsed Jeff Merkley, Oregon-Senate. Social media. Won.

Endorsed Scott Peters, CA-52. Local organizer targeted low-turnout youth voters: spoke and tabled at all colleges in district; spoke to local climate activists re Peters' political courage; spoke to local Democratic clubs re Peters' climate record; spoke at local movie nights; tabled at farmers' markets, sustainable food businesses, and other public spaces chosen for emphasis on climate-friendly voters; appeared at rallies; leafleted; extensive social media. Won.

Endorsed Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire-Senate. Social media. Won.

Endorsed Tom Udall, New Mexico-Senate. Social media. Won.

Endorsed carbon price in the human forms of Chris Van Hollen, MD-08 and Dave Peiser, CA-49. Social media. Won MD-08, lost CA-49.

Endorsed Rick Weiland, South Dakota-Senate. National blogging; worked with South Dakota NDN PAC to get out the vote on reservations, targeting reservations where opposition to Keystone XL pipeline is strongest. Lost.

grassroots peregrine CHVNow it's time to start planning work for 2015. Do we get involved in Presidential politics? Score bills and alert media, as I did with Mary Landrieu and the Keystone XL pipeline vote? Take on the hard task of recruiting candidates for 2016? and if so, where? Stick to the basics of updating and upgrading our sophisticated scorecard measuring not just votes, but leadership on climate? Something else?

Emphasis mine

Seem like they did this with no Commercial Ads, mostly using Social Media and Activists knocking on doors.

Very impressive work imo. I will follow them on Twitter to keep up with their activities.

The Power of the Minority! The Silver Lining of lost Elections.

I don't know about anyone else, but from the time Dems gained the majority in the House and Senate, and won the WH, putting the GOP in the minority, I remember that we have been told over and over again how POWERFUL the Minority Party was.

We, the people who thought that when a Party WINS, they get to call the shots, were admonished and even attacked at times, for insisting that the point of winning was to get some of what you worked so hard for.

No, we were told, the Minority is so powerful that they will NOT let anything we want, mostly concerning Progressive issues, PASS.

They will stop all of our nominations and they simply won't allow us, the MAJORITY to get ANYTHING done.

Well, we did get two things done without them, Bailing out Wall St crooks and the ACA, which btw we were told we had to compromise on in order to get some of them on board, which never happened airc .... but I am digressing ...

So, looking for a silver lining, I remembered how often I was told of the enormous Power of the Minority and have concluded that the Good News is that Dems will now have all the power of the Minority to Block Every Right Wing Piece of Legislation that THEY had when THEY were in the Minority.

Some possible opportunities for the Minority to use their power:

Will the Majority try to pass the Keystone Pipeline Legislation? No problem, Dems can STOP them!

How about the Chained CPI/Cuts to SS? A GOP Dream?? Again, no need to worry, Dems now have the power of the Minority to get that Piece of Right Wing garbage OFF the Deficit Table.

How about GOP nominees? No problem, Dems can hold them up forever until we get back in power.

Obstruct and prevent any Right Wing legislation. The Minority has the Power to do so!

And now we will get to see who actually USES that power we have been told so much about to stop Cuts to SS eg, and who doesn't!

Am I wrong about this? Will the Minority lose its power now, or take advantage of it?

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Sen. Bernie Sanders Attends Huge NYC Climate Change March! Thank You Senator!

Over 150 countries world wide, participated in the Global People's Climate Change March. See below

Bernie Sanders was in NYC to add his support to this huge and growing Global Movement:

From the Senator's Web Site:

Senator Bernie Sanders


Bernie praised fellow Vermonter Bill McKibben, who founded the international environmental group 350.org. “Bill and all those who worked with him to organize this extraordinary demonstration know that the only way we defeat the powerful fossil fuel companies, and reduce carbon emissions, is when people around the globe take to the streets and demand action from their governments. Sunday’s march was a great step forward in that effort.”



People's Climate March

From London:

From NYC:

From Paris:

From Rome:

From Berlin:

From Spain:

From Hong Kong:

From Rio De Janeiro:

From Brussels:

From Australia:

From Finland's Aland Island:

From Budapest:

There is lots more at the link.

Neil Young eg, wrote a song for the movement.

Neil Young just debuted a new environmentally-themed song on the Democracy Now! broadcast of the march.

Click through to here an acoustic version of the track, Who’s Gonna Stand Up.

Ban Ki Moon, UN Sec. Gen. attended the march.

The Bishop of London spoke to the people.

And credit to JOHN KERRY for his statement:

• US secretary of state John Kerry issued a strong warning about the threat of climate change after the New York City demonstrations. Kerry said: “There is a long list of important issues before all of us, but the grave threat that climate change poses warrants a prominent position on that list.”

Thanks to all who helped make this happen. Those on the streets and those who helped organize all over the world.

Australia's PM apparently isn't interested so let's hope voters there can replace him with someone who is. Australia hosted marches in several cities.

Thanks again the Sen. Bernie Sanders for his public support for this most important issue!

Run Bernie, Run!

How Not To Get The Best Possible Democratic Candidate For The White House!

Right now is when the people have the upper hand.

There are no actual candidates yet for 2016's Presidential race.

But 'feelers' for one candidate have been out there for a couple of years now.

A whole lot of Democrats are not happy with Hillary as their only choice.

One way to guarantee that the people will get someone they really do not want is to say 'however, if s/he is the nominee, I will hold my nose and vote for her anyhow'.

Why on earth would they feel compelled to even care what the people want when they are being told 'go ahead and give me what I don't want because you know I'll take it anyhow'??

Telling them NOW that if this is the only choice we have, we will not vote for her/him is a far better strategy in order to persuade them that they need to present a candidate people WANT if they want to win.

We the people are supposed to be in charge of this democracy. Acting helpless and leaving up to politicians is an abdication of duty on the part of citizens.

Isn't it time for the PEOPLE to start strategizing in order to get what THEY want?

Do we really want a candidate who has shown themselves to represent Corporate America over the People as the only choice we are given?

No? Then let them know what we DO want and this time let them know we mean it!

We get what we deserve and what we are willing to work for.

Democratic voters have a right to expect a true Democratic Candidate who represents the best interests of the PEOPLE first.

That is a fact!

But keep on telling them you are helpless and will accept whoever they force on you and they will do exactly that.

It makes no sense to show your hand at this point.

They take votes for granted and those who are the most loyal get the least attention.

Watch how they try to win over those they know they cannot take for granted!

See how often we are told when they push things like 'SS on the Deficit Table: 'but we would not get the (fill in the blank) vote if we didn't compromise!

Politics is all about compromise!! we are told!

Good, we agree! Now let them start compromising for OUR votes for a change.

How about they try to get Bernie to run?

How about we pressure them to do that?

How about we tell them 'it's either HIM or NO ONE!

How about US telling THEM: This is your only choice for a change??

No more US doing all the COMPROMISING!

Just my opinion after watching this process repeat itself over and over again, then when we have the gall to point out broken campaign promises, we are told 'you should not have expected anything else, he made it clear he was not a progressive etc etc'. Iow, blame the voters! And to an extent they are right!

Shows one thing clearly, there is NO respect for Democrats who don't make their voices heard, they are merely taken for granted and told to 'go sit down and be quiet' and are then ignored.

Bernie or some other non-corporate Democratic Candidate who will put the people's needs first.

Petro Poroshenko, current President of Ukraine, IS known as Ukraine's 'Chocolate King'

It's old news by now. He won.

That is not why I am posting the link further down in this thread.

Ukraine us a very current topic in the news right now.

DU is a place where people come to get FACTS so I am posting this to correct an apparent stunning lack of facts regarding Ukraine and its current President, Poroshenko, who is known as Ukraine's Chocolate King because he made his fortune from the production of various kinds of chocolate sweets.

THIS Jury decision alerted me to the fact that there are people here who are unfamiliar with the facts about Poroshenko and to make those facts known:

On Mon Sep 1, 2014, 01:46 PM an alert was sent on the following post:

Don't talk to me about the 'election' in Ukr. Talk to the Chocolate King who has declared


This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate.


Calls Obama "the Chocolate King". A rather racist comment, elevating his skin color over everything else.


You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Mon Sep 1, 2014, 02:00 PM, and the Jury voted 6-1 to HIDE IT.

Juror #1 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: Referring to Obama as "the chocolate king" is racist, vote to hide
Juror #2 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given
Juror #3 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: WTF??!
Juror #4 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given

Juror #5 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: Not sure if poster is referring to Obama. Probably is referring to the Ukraine's current president.

I am voting to hide for a different reason. The poster is calling those who disagree with them McCarthyist. That is a violation of the TOS
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE
Explanation: Oops - the "Chocolate King" refers to Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petro_Poroshenko . Try the Google before alerting next time.

Juror #7 voted to HIDE IT
Explanation: No explanation given

Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.

I am wondering if anyone who may have posted anything referring to the man known as 'Ukraine's Chocolate King'has had a post hidden for referring to him as such.

This article, eg, is from The Guardian:

Chocolat Tycoon Heads For Landside Victory in Ukraine Presidential Election

Presidential hopeful Petro Poroshenko meets supporters in Uma. Photograph: Reuters

The chocolate king

Created in 1996, Poroshenko's company Roshen produces more than 300 kinds of sweets, cakes and biscuits at factories in Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania and Hungary.

Perhaps top of the list is the slightly unimaginatively named Cherries in chocolate, a cherry liqueur smothered in dark chocolate.

They are certainly sweet, but then people in this part of the world are famous for their sweet tooth. "They are tasty and always of decent quality," said Lyudmila Miroshnychenko, from Kherson, southern Ukraine. Cherries in chocolate, for her, is a treat to take with coffee in the afternoon.

Then there is Evening Kiev, a sort of Ferrero Rocher for the east, though frankly most ambassadors in Kiev haven't had much time of late for spoiling guests.

There is an entire range of chocolate bars that retail for around 20p – cheaper than imported Mars bars or Snickers. But many Ukrainians prefer the smaller chocolate sweets in colourful wrappers purchased by weight, some of which have retained brand names that were popular in Soviet times, like Camomile or Red poppy.

Apparently Poroshenko chose to sell his company so that the 'politics will be taken out of chocolate for good'. See article above.

In case anyone else decides to refer to Poroshenko by his well known nickname, it might be a good idea to attach a link to explain the reference and do not assume, as I did, that everyone posting about this most important news story unfolding in Ukraine, knows a whole lot about the man who won the election
and is now president of that country.

Edited to add link to jury decision which was cut off in the copy and paste, but pointed out by DUer muriel_volestrangler


Leave Discussionist Alone.

If you don't like it, that is your right.

Solution to that is 'don't go there'.

For those of us who enjoy putting down Right Wing talking points, Discussion is a perfect place to do so.

I am confident enough in our positions on the issues that I have no problem engaging the Right on those issues at all.

Haven't been there for a while due to RL obligations. But definitely plan to return.

Thanks to the Admin for providing us with a place where we CAN challenge the nutty views of the Far Right if we choose to do so!

I am editing this to add information I have received since I responded to the calls to 'shut Discussionist down'.

Four juries on Discussionist hid, unanimously, the vile comments made by a member there. 7-0 for all four juries. Three other juries hid three more of his/her posts.

According to his/her profile, Posting Privileges have been revoked.

Kudos to the juries for acting so swiftly and to the admins for removing his/her posting privileges.

Just wanted to add this information as some people were under the impression that nothing had been done about those vile, nasty comments. And rather than post the information over and over again, I am posting it here.

"The People of Ferguson Have the Power to Fire the Entire Police Force"

According to this article, Ferguson can recall their elected officials. It describes how that right makes it possible to fire the police.

The People of Ferguson Have the Power To FIRE the ENTIRE POLICE FORCE

Although Missouri does not have statewide recall provisions under the law, there are provisions for doing so at the local level.

Missourians do not have the right of statewide recall. However, the right of local recall is available in:

Cities defined as Class 3 cities. A Class 3 City is defined as a city with a population between 3,000 and 29,999.

Cities that operate under their own city charter, if the specific city charter allows for recall.

The recall process that applies to Class 3 cities in Missouri is governed by MRS §77.650 and 78.260.


Recall may not commence during first 6 months in office

Grounds for recall must be stated, and must include misconduct in office, incompetence, and failure to perform duties prescribed by law.

60 days is allowed for collecting signatures.

Signatures equal to 25% of the registered voters in the city must be collected.

That seems possible, to get enough signatures over the next three months to begin the process.

The issue of the nearly all white police force is not one without an ability to correct. This is not some issue where the people have no power. In fact, this is a completely political issue and as DailyKos has aptly demonstrated for more than a decade, any political problem has a political solution.

Given the demographics of Ferguson, the people have the power to fire the entire city council, the mayor, the city manager, the chief of police, and to replace them with officers more capable who will fire the entire police force and replace them with individuals interested in serving and protecting the citizenry of Ferguson.

This process can be accomplished entirely within a period of just over six months.

With a population of about 21,135, Ferguson is a Class 3 city. We must now turn to the Ferguson charter for more information.

First, let's examine the governing body of Ferguson:

It's worth reading the entire article to see the process whereby the people of Ferguson can replace those officials and their appointees, such as the Police Chief, legally.

It's a long process and would require a lot of legal expertise, but I imagine that would not be hard to find at this particular time.

Just starting the process should scare them enough to start acting like they represent the people they are supposed to represent.

If ever there was a time to begin turning the tables, now seems to be that time.

More details at the link.

'There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood leads on to greatness ~ William Shakespeare

This may be that tide for Ferguson ....

David Gregory V Glenn Greenwald - Who is the journalist? A trip down memory lane ...

Glenn Greenwald eviscerated David Gregory in that MTP interview.

And DUers as usual had no problem with the question 'who is the real journalist here':


After the backlash Gregory received from all over the political spectrum, MTP decided not to match up the actual jouralist with the fake journalist a second time. Something which disappointed Greenwald, something he says, 'I was looking forward to'. I wonder was it Gregory himself who asked that he not be put through another session with a real journalist, or MTP's fear of another such embarrassing eviceration of their MTP Host:

Glenn Greenwald Was 'Looking Forward' To Another David Gregory Interview

The Guardian columnist is scheduled to be on "Meet the Press" Sunday to discuss his new book, the first time he will return to the program since his controversial interview last June, in which David Gregory wondered if he should be "charged with a crime" for working with NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Greenwald responded to Gregory during the interview that it was "pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies."

But Greenwald recently found out that Sunday's interview will not be with David Gregory, but with Pete Williams instead.

"That was really disappointing," Greenwald said on HuffPost Live Friday. "I was really looking forward to part 2 of my interview by David Gregory and to see what his approach was."

Gregory may be gone, but his replacement won't be much better. I remember him from the Bush days and his mocking of Dems like Rep. Conyers.

Maybe he too will try to take on Greenwald? Or maybe not ..
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