Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jon Stewart Wants You To Help Him Buy CNN

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Forget that potato salad Kickstarter campaign. Jon Stewart has something much more fun you can do with any money you're willing to throw away.
Stewart wants to buy CNN, and on Tuesday night's "Daily Show," he asked   for your help.
Rupert Murdoch is angling to purchase Time Warner. But since he already owns Fox News, he'd likely be forced to sell CNN, which experts say could fetch $10 billion -- or exactly the amount Stewart is hoping to raise.
"This $10 billion all-cash bid for CNN would secure control of a massive television network reaching over 100 million homes in the US alone, which we could then use to rebuild a news organization befitting this proud land," a statement on Stewart's "Let's Buy CNN" page reads. "Or more likely we'd use it to make a lot more poop jokes."
Like any good Kickstarter campaign, Stewart is offering up some enticing rewards.
Watch the clip above to find out what they are.
Daily Show Correspondents & Contributors
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Rick Perry Orders Dallas Cowboys to Mexican Border

(photo: James D Smith/AP)
(photo: James D Smith/AP)

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker
24 July 14

The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, "The Borowitz Report."

In his boldest move yet to address the immigration crisis, on Thursday Texas Governor Rick Perry dispatched the Dallas Cowboys to the United States’ border with Mexico.
In a photo opportunity with the Cowboys and several of the team’s cheerleaders, Perry explained the rationale behind his latest decision. “Those who would cross our borders illegally will have to contend with the power and fury of America’s Team,” he said.
Critics of the move dismissed it as political theatre, noting that once the Cowboys arrived at the border it was unclear what they would do there.
Additionally, there were questions about how effective the Cowboys would be in stopping illegal immigrants, since the team has the worst-ranked defense in the N.F.L.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mayor Bill de Blasio watched on Thursday as his wife, Chirlane McCray, danced to folk music  in Grassano, Italy.
Gianni Cipriano for The New York Times
Mayor Bill de Blasio watched on Thursday as his wife, Chirlane McCray, danced to folk music  in Grassano, Italy.

In an Ancestral Town, De Blasio Is Celebrated

A second ancestral visit for New York City mayor whose grandmother left Italy 111 years ago.

Carmine Donnola, a longtime Grassano resident, said Mr. de Blasio’s return was a significant moment for a town seeking some hope. In Piazza Purgatorio on Thursday morning, Mr. Donnola handed a poem to a visitor; he planned to present it to the mayor later that day.
The poem was written in Italian. But its title was, simply, 

In the little piazza with cobblestones
Where your grandmother was born
Grassano now cheers up

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The de Blasios spent two days in the low-key village of Anacapri. On Tuesday, tourists admired the view from Villa San Michele.
Gianni Cipriano for The New York Times
The de Blasios spent two days in the low-key village of Anacapri. On Tuesday, tourists admired the view from Villa San Michele.
The mayor’s Italian vacation continued with a quiet day on the island of Capri, with no official appearances. Despite the island’s glittering reputation, Mr. de Blasio and his family kept a modest profile.

Police Study Use of Force; May Issue More Tasers

Days after the death of Eric Garner, Commissioner William J. Bratton disclosed a sweeping review of the department’s training and tactics.

Eric Garner: Citizen or skell?

Some quality-of-life crimes just aren’t worth enforcing

Monday, July 21, 2014, 8:00 PM
A needless death 
New York Daily News A needless death
"I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”
Watching the brutal video of the police bringing down Eric Garner, never to get up again, I though about Mo and his cousins at the Ditmas Park bodega I bought my loosies from for years. They’re part of the neighborhood, keeping an eye on the street and watching out for their neighbors. They don’t sell to strangers, to avoid fines or losing their license to sell smokes, but they don’t worry about getting arrested, let alone killed.
It’s a permanent tension, that in rightly focusing their efforts where crime is highest, police can easily make criminals of the people they’re charged with protecting, and upping the opportunities for the sort of ugly encounters that leave scars, or worse.
Garner, who had a lengthy record for selling loosies and other petty things, was someone who the cops and EMTs Thursday plainly saw as a skell — even as the people from his neighborhood now mourning him describe someone very different, a good-natured father of six who, like Mo, helped break up fights and keep an eye on his street.
When Mayor de Blasio brought Bill Bratton back to serve a second stint as police commissioner, he gave a double mandate: keep crime down to its current record low, and give a peace dividend to the people in high-crime neighborhoods after a decade in which over-reliance on stops and frisks left too many decent citizens in dangerous neighborhoods resentful of the police.
It remains to be seen if those are compatible goals. With the number of stops having plummeted, Bratton has relied, as he did in his first stint as commissioner under Rudy Giuliani, on broken windows policing — the idea that going after small crimes or signs of disorder helps stop larger ones.
When Bratton first took the job, in 1994, there had been 2,420 murders the previous year. Last year, there were 333. Some things that couldn’t be overlooked back then perhaps should be now.
But so far Bratton, as Kelly did before him, has pressed cops to keep the pressure up and the numbers down. With less serious crime, that means a lot of interactions between police officers and people who’ve done nothing much, or nothing at all, wrong.
To enforce the law on our behalf, we empower the police to use force and, no matter how well trained they are, every encounter has a chance of going wrong.
It’s crucial police are focused on laws that matter, and enforcing them fairly. But right now, there’s a “common sense” standard about who and what warrants police attention, with all the potential for violence, arrests and more that brings.
Open-air drinking isn’t allowed, but no one thinks twice about uncorking wine at Bryant Park movie nights. As I wrote about pot last week, the same thing can’t be a crime in East Flatbush, but okay in Ditmas Park, or for a black kid but not his white pal.
If Bratton really wants to bring the temperature down, he may need to simply have police make fewer arrests for small things, and find other ways to ensure his officers remain active in dealing with real crimes. That is, treat people in every park like they’re in Bryant Park.
And the truth is that if that happens, crime is likely to go up some — and this newspaper and many New Yorkers will bitterly protest any upward tick, as will the victims of those crimes.
But I don’t want New York to be Singapore, where people get caned for spitting gum on the sidewalk, any more than I want it to go back to the murder peak of the late 1980s. That it must be one or the other is, obviously, a false choice.
Yes, many of the advocates now calling for Bratton’s head are reflexive critics of all policing. But the commissioner and mayor need to decide how much enforcement they want, for how much crime.
There’s a point at which aggressive policing makes criminals of people for committing harmless acts — drinking in a park, say, or smoking a joint on their stoop or even just jaywalking.
Cops and civilians engage in millions of encounters a year, each with a small chance of going wrong. How many don’t may be underappreciated. But every needless one risks another Garner. And with every phone a camera now, there’s no hiding the violence when it happens.
As George Kelling, the co-author of the original broken windows article and a consultant to Bratton, told me last week, the point of quality-of-life enforcement was never to criminalize people, but to keep order and shift behavior: “We were never interested in a mounting number of arrests.” That’s right.
“Many people that own stores sell illegal cigarettes,” said Ellisha Flagg , Garner’s sister. “They lose their license, not their lives.”
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Big City

City Politics Abhors a Vacation

Officeholders, like Mayor Bill de Blasio, are in the difficult position of having to showcase family devotion, only to face scrutiny when they honor the obligations of parenthoo
Mayor Bill de Blasio arrived at the Fiumicino Airport in Rome on Sunday with his family at the start of their vacation.
Michael Grynbaum/The New York Times
Mayor Bill de Blasio arrived at the Fiumicino Airport in Rome on Sunday with his family at the start of their vacation.
An unshaven Bill de Blasio, along with his family, emerged from the airport in Rome on Sunday to face reporters and gawking Italians eager for a selfie with the New York City mayor.

Victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Among the 298 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 were a renowned AIDS researcher, a Dutch senator and an Australian novelist.

Document: Airline Releases List of Passengers

Thursday, July 17, 2014

De Blasio Takes a Vacation, and a Calculated Risk

Mayor Bill de Blasio is gambling that residents will be sympathetic to his need for time off and that no major crisis will occur during his absence.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Suit Seeks to Establish Right to Record New York Police Officers

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, seeks to bar city employees from retaliating against those who tape them in public.

Church Founded in Sixth Century Has More Modern Views on Women Than Scalia

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. (photo: unknown)
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. (photo: unknown)
By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker
15 July 14

The article below is satire. Andy Borowitz is an American comedian and New York Times-bestselling author who satirizes the news for his column, "The Borowitz Report."

he Church of England, an institution whose origins date back to the sixth century A.D., has far more modern views about the rights of women than Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, experts said today.
“In recognizing that women are the equals of men, the Church of England has embraced a position that is centuries ahead of Scalia’s,” Davis Logsdon, a professor of religion at the University of Minnesota, said. “This is a remarkable achievement, given that Scalia was born in 1936 and the Church began in the late five hundreds.”
But Dr. Carol Foyler, a history professor at the University of Sussex, took issue with that assessment. “I date the beginning of the Church of England to 1534, when it was officially established under Henry VIII,” she said. “But regardless of whether the Church is fourteen centuries old or five centuries old, it’s unquestionably more modern than Scalia.”
As for Justice Scalia, he seemed to dismiss the controversy, issuing a terse official statement Monday afternoon. “I do not keep up with the goings on of every newfangled institution,” he said.