Kamala Harris Releases Criminal Justice Reform Plan to Address Police Brutality, Mass Incarceration, the Drug War Michael Harriot

Image result for kamala harris

Kamala Harris has a lot of plans.

Every other week the California senator introduces a proposal that would end climate change (with a trillion dollars,) create Medicare-for-all (without pushing out private insurers) and fund black businesses (while ensuring that the local Jamaican restaurant never runs out of oxtails). And on Monday, the Democratic presidential hopeful shared her ideas on how she plans to reimagine the criminal justice system with an ambitious set of proposals that include legalizing marijuana, investigating prosecutorial misconduct, sentencing reform and changing laws that govern when police can use deadly force.

Harris, a former San Francisco prosecutor and California attorney general, drew on two decades of experience as a law enforcement officer to craft the policy proposals that promise to “transform the criminal justice system and re-envision public safety in America.” Based on four guiding principles of ending mass incarceration, holding law enforcement accountable, equality in the criminal justice system and protecting the vulnerable, the senator promises to use Congress, executive authority and the president’s bully pulpit to accomplish her wide-ranging goals.

While the outline has a number of specific objectives, Harris’ blueprint only covers the broad strokes of how she would accomplish these goals, making it nearly possible for policy analysts to measure the potential costs and impact of her suggestions.

Mass Incarceration

After she legalizes marijuana, Harris would levy a federal sales tax that would fund grants for community programs, small business loans and training for people who were adversely affected by the war on drugs. She is also a co-sponsor of the Justice Safety Valve Act, which gives judges the discretion to go below mandatory minimum sentences. She advocates for the end of federal private prisons and investing money in a number of areas, including:

  • Reducing the number of nonviolent female inmates
  • Creating a Bureau of Children and Family Justice
  • Education and job training
  • A National Criminal Justice Commission
  • Addiction and treatment programs

Reforming Law Enforcement

Harris supports a national standard for deadly use of force that requires cops to use proportional force, and only when force is “objectively reasonable, necessary, and...a last resort.” The plan also proposes a National Police Systems Review Board that would look at policing policies and data, including police shooting statistics. Currently, the federal government does not collect data on police shootings.

She wants to invest money into body cameras, bias training, mental health screenings, and de-escalation training, as well as changing laws on civil asset forfeiture. She also wants to double the size of the Department of Justice’s civil rights division and use some of those resources to conduct independent investigations of police shootings.

Equality in Criminal Justice

The California senator calls for an end to money bail and the death penalty, both of which are disproportionately applied to black people in the criminal justice system. Harris’ agenda would wipe out policies that “criminalize the poor” and such as the suspension of drivers’ licenses for unpaid fines. Although many of these policies are controlled by state, county and local laws, Harris again suggests “investing” in the entities to promote change such as ending solitary confinement and giving access to video conferencing for imprisoned mothers.

Protecting Vulnerable People

Harris’s catch-all fourth priority would use the DOJ to protect citizens from corporate fraud and discrimination while holding financial and educational institutions accountable to consumers. Another $1 billion investment from Harris’ plan would end the rape kit backlog.

“Americans deserve a criminal justice system that focuses on fairness, rehabilitation, and accountability to build trust and safe communities,” Harris said in a press release. “As president, I’ll fix this broken system to make it fairer and more accountable for communities across the country.”

After a surge following the first Democratic debate, Harris’ poll numbers have steadily fallen. The latest ABC/Washington Post poll has the former district attorney in fourth place, behind Sens. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Many of Harris’ detractors have cited her controversial history as a no-nonsense “smart on crime” prosecutor and attorney general.

But if we get those oxtails, though...




Jay-Z’s Words Come Back To Haunt Him As His NFL Social Justice Initiative Disappoints

Image result for jay z + goodell

ideo of Jay-Z discussing what he sees as social justice issues earlier this year has resurfaced online, prompting some people on social media to claim that footage may have been the first hint that he planned to team up with the NFL. The footage from a media event with New England Patriots owner Bob KraftVan Jones and others was the latest ammunition for people who have been upset with Jay’s partnership with the NFL that many have said undercut Colin Kaepernick’s own social justice movement against the pro football league.

In the video from January, which didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, Jay — along with rapper Meek Mill, Kraft, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, Brooklyn Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai and others to launch the Reform Alliance to address criminal justice issues — spoke about topics that, especially in retrospect, seemed to run counter with many things the rapper has espoused in his lyrics.

At the time, Jay seemed to blame single parent households for negative police relations with Black people, defended jailing with discretion and sympathized with “hard working” taxpayers who pay for jails.

Nevermind how Jay-Z has rapped extensively about his single mother raising him and his own exploits as a drug kingpin years ago. Does that mean he thinks he should be jailed?

That irony was not missed by folks on social media after they saw the video.

Of course, those fateful words came one month before Kaepernick — the free agent quarterback who claims the NFL blacklisted him for his silent kneeling protest during the playing of the national anthem to bring attention to police brutality against Black people — settled with the league and withdrew his grievance.



READ MORE : https://blackamericans.com/20-other-news/118138-jay-z-s-words-come-back-to-haunt-him-as-his-nfl-social-justice-initiative-disappoints

Lou Dobbs’ Guest Blames ‘Black Culture’ For Academic Achievement Gap

Embedded video
Heather Mac Donald said it was up to “Black culture and the rest of culture” to close the academic achievement gap.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders To Join Fox News As A Contributor

Image result for sarah sanders

As White House press secretary, Sanders often fed the media false and misleading information.

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will join Fox News as a contributor, the company disclosed on Thursday.

She’ll make her first appearance on the Sept. 6 airing of “Fox & Friends,” a show that President Donald Trump favors and to whom he has given a rare interview from time to time.

With Sanders’ hiring, the number of high-profile former Trump communications officials on the payroll at Fox News or its parent company is up to three: Former White House communications director Hope Hicks now serves as the parent company’s chief communications officer; former White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah was hired as a senior vice president; and now Sanders joins their ranks.

Sanders departed the Trump administration at the end of June, roughly two months after special counsel Robert Mueller’s report found that she had lied to reporters in 2017 about the circumstances surrounding James Comey’s ouster as FBI director.

During her tenure in the press secretary’s office, Sanders repeatedly fed the media false and misleading information and obscured the truth. Her press briefings gained a reputation as performances for “an audience of one,” seeking mainly to appease Trump.

The president encouraged Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas, her home state, in a tweet confirming her mid-summer departure. It’s unclear how her new role at Fox News might impact any political aspirations she has, but given that current Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) was reelected in 2018, Sanders has time to spare.




Trump's approval remains weak despite economy: Poll

Image result for trump

About six in 10 Americans disapprove of President Trump's overall job performance, according to a new poll released Thursday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which finds some support for the president's handling of the U.S. economy but gives him weak marks on other major issues.

Just 36% of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president; 62% disapprove.

The numbers may be ugly for a first-term president facing reelection in 14 months, but they are remarkably consistent. Trump's approval rating has never dipped below 32% or risen above 42% in AP-NORC polls since he took office. By comparison, President Barack Obama's approval never dropped below 40% in polling by Gallup.

The poor grades extend to Trump's handling of several key issues: immigration, health care, foreign policy and guns. Views of the Republican president's handling of the economy remain a relative bright spot despite fears of a potential recession, but at least 60% of Americans disapprove of his performance on other issues. The consistency suggests the president's weak standing with the American people is calcified after two years of near-constant political crises and divisive rhetoric at the White House.

The new survey was conducted shortly after back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio left dozens dead and renewed calls from Americans for answers from their elected officials. Trump pledged immediate action in the immediate aftermath of the attacks but has since shifted back and forth on whether to push for stronger background checks on people seeking to buy guns.

"He does whatever's politically expedient. He's awful," said 60-year-old Robert Saunders, a retired police officer from New Jersey who's not registered with either major political party and vowed not to vote for Trump in 2020.

According to the poll, 36% approve of Trump on gun policy, while 61% disapprove, numbers that mirror his broader approval rating.

In response to the shootings, Trump said that he would pursue policy options with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and that he would like to see "very meaningful background checks." Earlier this week, however, Trump said the U.S. already has significantly strict background checks in place and that many of his supporters are gun owners. On Wednesday, however, he again backed tighter background checks while speaking to reporters at the White House.

Seven in 10 Republicans express approval of Trump's handling of gun policy in the new poll, among his lowest ratings from the GOP. Self-identified moderate and liberal Republicans were slightly less likely than conservative ones to express approval, 64% versus 74%.

Beyond guns, Trump remains overwhelmingly popular within his own party.

Nearly 8 in 10 Republicans approve of Trump's overall job performance, while 20% disapprove. As has been the case for his entire presidency, Democrats overwhelmingly oppose his leadership: 94% of Democrats disapprove in the new survey.

Independents remain decidedly low on Trump as well, with about two-thirds disapproving of Trump's performance.

Significantly more Americans approve of Trump's handling of the economy, although even on that issue he remains slightly underwater: 46% approve and 51% disapprove of his performance.

Trump's current economic rating represents a 5 percentage point drop from the same time last year, but for a president who has struggled to win over a majority of American voters on any issue, the economy represents a relative strength.

Even some Democrats approve: Just 5% of Democrats approve of his job performance overall, but 16% approve of his handling of the economy. Independents are closely divided — 44% approve and 47% disapprove — while 86% of Republicans approve of his economic leadership.

"He's kind of a bully, but I've seen some improvement," said Mandi Mitchell, a 38-year-old registered Democrat from North Carolina. "Our unemployment rate has definitely dropped."

Mitchell, who is studying for her doctoral degree, said she didn't vote for Trump in 2016 but might in 2020.

"I'm not going to be too hard on him," she said. "I just think he doesn't address America properly."

Amid regular distractions from the president's social media feed, Trump's team has worked to highlight rising retail sales and the solid labor market with its 3.7% unemployment rate as sources of strength. The U.S. economy appears to be showing vulnerabilities after more than 10 years of growth, however. Factory output has fallen and consumer confidence has waned as Trump has ramped up his trade fight with China.

Trump rattled the stock and bond markets this month when he announced plans to put a 10% tax on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports. The market reaction suggested a recession might be on the horizon and led Trump to delay some of the tariffs that were scheduled to begin in September, though many others remain.

"The economy is doing OK, but he's doing a horrible job for the country," said 67-year-old John Sollenberger, of Philadelphia.

He said he left the Republican Party after Trump's rise and is now a registered independent.

"To me, it's the vitriol that comes out of him," Sollenberger explained. "He's obviously a racist. He's anti-immigrant. He foments discontent with so many people it doesn't matter what the economy's doing really."

Those who remain in the Republican Party do not share the negative assessment.

Greg Traylor, a 53-year-old small businessman from North Canton, Ohio, acknowledged that Trump is "rough around the edges," but he praised his work on immigration and his support for Israel. On the economy, Traylor cheered Trump's hard-line stance with China, while acknowledging it may cause some short-term pain.

"He's got balls of steel," Traylor said.

The AP-NORC poll of 1,058 adults was conducted Aug. 15-19 using a sample drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods and later were interviewed online or by phone.




National Weather

Click on Map for Forecast

The Opinion Poll