NEW YORK — The trial of the New York City Police Department’s controversial stop-and-frisk practice ended on Monday as lawyers defending the city were peppered with sharp questions from the federal judge hearing the case.
But whether U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin will declare stop-and-frisk unconstitutional — and whether she will impose changes on NYPD procedures — were questions that lingered over the closing arguments in her Manhattan courtroom. Civil rights attorneys led by the non-profit Center for Constitutional Rights are suing the city on behalf of black and Latino residents.
The lawsuit, filed in January 2008, draws to a close in the waning months of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s three terms in office. It centers on one of his defining legacies: the massive expansion of reported stop-and-frisk searches, which last year resulted in 533,042 stops, 87 percent of them on blacks and Latinos.
Climate change requires that we transition to a fossil fuel free economy: But at what pace? How will we fund this transition? Who will pay the costs? What technologies will be used? If the transition takes place too slowly, we bear the risks of climate change. Read More… More on Climate Change
Now that you’ve shaken the glitter out of your clothes and sufficiently nursed your hangover, it’s time to bask in the revelry that was Bay to Breakers 2k13.
What better way to relive your glory than by joining in our photo contest?
We want to see the most creative costumes, the most stunning shots from your proudest moments, anything that captures the essence of our city’s biggest festival. All you have to do is upload your favorite images from the Big Race below. Your HuffPost SF editors will choose their favorite at the end of the week, and the winner will get an amazing prize. (We can’t tell you what it is yet, but we promise it’ll be worth it).
The following excerpt, via Alternet, comes from Robert Kuttner’s new book, Debtors’ Prison, titled Austerity and Debt Conspire to Wreck the Lives of Working American Families:
“Living within one’s means” is an appealing but oversimplified metaphor. Before the crisis, some families and nations did borrow to finance consumption—a good definition of living beyond one’s means. But this borrowing was not the prime cause of the crisis. Today, far larger numbers of entirely prudent people find themselves with diminished means as a result of broader circumstances beyond their control, and bad policies compound the problem.
After a general collapse, one’s means are influenced by whether the economy is growing or shrinking. If I am out of work, with depleted income, almost any normal expenditure is beyond my means. If my lack of a job throws you out of work, soon you are living beyond your means, too, and the whole economy cascades downward. In an already depressed economy, demanding that we all live within our (depleted) means can further reduce everyone’s means. If you put an entire nation under a rigid austerity regime, its capacity for economic growth is crippled. Even creditors will eventually suffer from the distress and social chaos that follow.
Take a closer look at moral hazard ex ante from ex post and you will find that blame is widely attributed to the wrong immoralists. Governments and families are being asked to accept austerity for the common good. Yet the prime movers of the crisis were bankers who incurred massive debts in order to pursue speculative activities. The weak reforms to date have not changed the incentives for excessively risky banker behaviors, which persist.
The best cure for moral hazard is the proverbial ounce of prevention. Moral hazard was rampant in the run-up to the crash because the financial industry was allowed to make wildly speculative bets and to pass along risks to the rest of the society. Yet in its aftermath, this financial crisis is being treated more as an object lesson in personal improvidence than as a case for drastic financial reform.
The last great financial collapse, by contrast, transformed America’s economics. First, however, the Roosevelt administration needed to transform politics. FDR’s reforms during the Great Depression constrained both the financial abuses that caused the crash of 1929 and the political power of Wall Street. Deficit-financed public spending under the New Deal restored growth rates but did not eliminate joblessness. The much larger spending of World War II—with deficits averaging 26 percent of gross domestic product for each of the four war years—finally brought the economy back to full employment, setting the stage for the postwar recovery.
By the war’s end, the U.S. government’s public debt exceeded 120 per- cent of GDP, almost twice today’s ratio. America worked off that debt not by tightening its belt but by liberating the economy’s potential. In 1945, there was no panel like President Obama’s Bowles-Simpson commission targeting the debt ratio a decade into the future and commending ten years of budget cuts. Rather, the greater worry was that absent the stimulus of war and with twelve million newly jobless GIs returning home, the civilian economy would revert to depression. So America doubled down on its public investments with programs like the GI Bill and the Marshall Plan. For three decades, the economy grew faster than the debt, and the debt dwindled to less than 30 percent of GDP. Finance was well regulated so that there was no speculation in the public debt.
Gallup is out with an interesting new survey showing where the Republican Party has lost the most ground over the past eight years, and conservatives aren’t going to like what it reveals.
The narrative spun by the Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys and Dick Cheneys of the world is that the GOP’s problem is that it hasn’t been conservative enough, and that rather than moderate its policies, the GOP should focus its rebuilding efforts on the party’s conservative base.
But the Gallup survey tells a completely different story. According to Gallup, only 1 percent of self-described conservatives have left the Republican Party over the past eight years. In fact, the only group more loyal to Republicans were those who attend church weekly. Meanwhile, even as Republicans held their conservative base together, 9% of moderates and 8% of liberals left the party.
Awesome. MT @MaxBlumenthal: Billy Nye, Science Guy, booed in Waco, Texas for explaining moon reflects the sun’s light http://t.co/… — @billmon1 via TweetDeck
Every Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for “Netroots Radio.”
TRENTON, N.J. — Funeral services have been held for the New Jersey woman and boy whose bodies were found in their home after a 37-hour hostage standoff last weekend.
The Times of Trenton (http://bit.ly/113Q2dJ) reports Carmenlita Stevens’ four surviving children were among those attending Saturday’s service for the 44-year-old woman and her 12-year-old son, Quavon Foster. Stevens’ boyfriend had held three of the surviving children hostage during the standoff.
Watergate 2: Electric Benghaziloo
These chapters (plural) will consist of nothing but the redacted transcript of a conversation between myself, DickCheney, DonaldRumsfeld, and Alberto Gonzales. The four of us will meet at an undisclosed location for a freewheeling discussion about the numerouscrimes that PresidentObamacommitted in Benghazi, and where in the world he should be tried for them. I will be played by Matthew McConaughey, or a Matthew McConaughey type. SPOILER: ██████ █████████, █████'█ ███████ ██ ███ ████.
We’re back, once again. The kids once again dominated the week, with seven kids under 16 years of age who either shot themselves or were shot by other kids under 16. The youngest victim of GunFAIL this week was just 13 months old, shot by her dad while cleaning his guns. A shocker, to be sure, but then again it was the second time in the space of as many months that a dad had done the same, in Tennessee alone.
Three concealed carry ninjas had accidental discharges this week, as did five cops. Two accidental discharges were in school settings, with one student injured. The first involved a cop on a school bus, whose weapon was discharged into the floor of the bus when a student grabbed at the trigger while his gun was still in his holster. But of course, that will never happen once we quadruple the number of officers in our schools, or whatever it is people are proposing these days. The other incident involved a school employee who’s apparently not a teacher, but who holds a second job as a security guard elsewhere, and who gave a student a ride home after school, but accidentally shot him trying (unsuccessfully, evidently) to put the gun in the glove compartment. I never imagined that would prove so difficult a task, and very likely, neither did he. But life—and especially life around firearms—is always full of surprises. Though sometimes those lives are a little shorter than usual.
We also recorded two folks (the 109th and 110th of 2013) shot while cleaning loaded weapons, plus three more home invasion shootings. You’re still not allowed to make a list of your neighbors who own guns, out of an abundance of concern for their privacy and liberty and such. But sometimes, they just can’t help but make a public declaration of it, such is their pride.
Florida continues its dominance of the Derp Crown Sweepstakes this week, thanks to the woman in St. Petersburg who accidentally shot her friend while on a Starbucks run, with a gun she had forgotten was in her purse and which went off when she dropped her bag. The state’s top run status was cemented when another concealed carry ninja in Jupiter shot himself in the leg while bowling with a loaded pistol in his pocket.
Finally, we note the passing of a young and relatively new gun enthusiast from Colorado, a 22-year-old woman killed this week with a newly purchased AK-47 style assault rifle that she apparently fumbled after sharing a few beers with friends. The very young kids are of course a special kind of tragedy, but it seems particularly sad when the victims are of an age when they’re likely to have left behind Facebook photos of themselves posing with their guns, as was the case here.