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thepoliticalfreakshow:

upporters of an Oklahoma City police officer who was charged with raping or sexually abusing eight black women have raised more than $7,000 for the 27-year-old cop.

Daniel Holtzclaw was arrested in August on charges of rape, forcible oral sodomy, sexual battery, and indecent exposure for allegedly sexually assaulting women while on patrol. He is being held on $5 million bond.

Friends and family of the three-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department have created a Facebook page called “Justice for Daniel Holtzclaw.” They insist the criminal allegations against him are false, and have been using the page to try to sell shirts that read, “Free the Claw” and “#JusticeForDanielHoltzclaw.”

More than 500 people have “liked” the Facebook page.

Supporters of Holtzclaw have also launched a crowdfunding campaign on the websiteGoFundMe. The page was created by Holtzclaw’s sister, who hopes to raise $100,000 for her brother, according to MLive.com. The crowdfunding campaign has raised $7,390 so far.

“The pursuit of Justice will be lengthy, but with the support of Family, Friends, and the Community, Daniel Holtzclaw will be vindicated and justice will prevail,” the page states. “All funds raised will assist Daniel and his Family as they seek the JUSTICE Daniel Holtzclaw so rightly deserves.”

Prosecutors claim that Holtzclaw stopped women, who were all black and between the ages of 34 and 58, while on patrol and threatened to arrest them or physically harm them unless they exposed themselves, allowed him to fondle them, or had sex with him.

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thepoliticalfreakshow:

Police officers in Ferguson, Missouri August 11, 2014. Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

President Obama urged “reflection and understanding” Tuesday after the shooting of a Missouri teenager by a police officer, calling Michael Brown’s death “heartbreaking.”

The full statement:

The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed. I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.

Source: Katherine Miller for Buzzfeed News

KMOV reporter Brittany Noble (@BrittanyNoble) on her station’s news truck window being broken:

H/T: Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs



thepoliticalfreakshow:

Marriage Equality Litigation At The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals: An Eventful Few Days For Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, & Tennessee

On this Wednesday, August 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will review same-sex marriage cases from each of the four states in its geographic area – Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. A panel of three judges in Cincinnati will hear the landmark cases from the four states.

MICHIGAN

April DeBoer and her family, at the center of one of the cases from Michigan, will be participating in a couple of events before heading down to Cincinnati for Wednesday’s hearing. DeBoer and her partner of fourteen years, Jayne Rowse originally challenged Michigan’s same-sex marriageban in 2012 for the right to jointly adopt their children. Tuesday evening two simultaneous interfaith rallies will take place in Warren and Lansing, Michigan. Faith leaders from many congregations, including Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Jewish, American Baptist and more will give their blessings to all families. “From a faith perspective, marriage equality is about recognizing lifelong love and commitment within the full diversity of human experience,” said Reverend Mike Cooper, Inclusive Justice Board Member and Associate Pastor of Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Lansing.

TENNESSEE

Tennessee is already preparing to welcome marriage equality into the state. The Tennessee Equality Project Foundation is touring around the state through the month of August to make sure everyone is ready for the first days of marriage equality. The group is putting on information sessions for same-sex couples who would like to get married, allies who are interested in volunteering to help with safety and logistics, and clergy and elected officials who want to solemnize marriages.

OHIO/KENTUCKY

On the eve of the hearing in Cincinnati, the Rally for Marriage will bring together people from all four states to cheer on marriage equality and build excitement for Wednesday’s events. According to Why Marriage Matters Ohio, this will be the largest marriage equality rally Ohio has ever seen, with attendees being encouraged to wear red in support of marriage equality. Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland is among the featured speakers, along with April DeBoer and her family.

And on the day of the hearing, there will be a March for Marriage Equality in front of the Cincinnati Federal Court House while the hearing takes place.

Wednesday will be a momentous day for individuals and families in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Attend one of the events in your area and be on the lookout for more news after Wednesday! And visit www.glaad.org/marriage for the latest marriage equality news.

H/T: Kelly Kennedy at USAToday.com 

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The GOP putting politics over the American People as usual, edition 4,500. 

Five GOPers voted against, most likely because it didn’t go far enough:

thepoliticalfreakshow:

The most authoritative paper in the United States has put its weight behind the federal legalization of marijuana, a momentous endorsement in the prolonged fight to end to the criminalization of marijuana that has been in place since 1937.

Debuting what is to be a six-part seriesThe New York Times editorial board called for an end to the “prohibition” of marijuana, saying the current ban “[inflicts] great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.” The interactive series is to run from July 26 to August 5, beginning with Saturday’s editorial, “High Time: An Editorial Series on Marijuana Legalization.” An accompanying blog post by editor Andrew Rosenthal stated the decision to back legalizing marijuana was “long in the making,” and “as more and more states liberalized their marijuana laws in open defiance of the federal ban, it became clear to us that there had to be a national approach to the issue.”

The board argues that after weighing the pros and cons of legalization, the scale tips in favor of ending the ban. The Times acknowledges that there are concerns about certain forms of marijuana use, including that by minors. Thus, the board advocates for restricting sales of marijuana to those under the age of 21. Addressing other health, social and legal concerns, the board writes that “there are no perfect answers but neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol.” But as the Times argues, the concerns are outweighed by the “vast” social costs of marijuana laws.

From the Times editors:

There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.



As Politico notes, the “The Times is the biggest U.S. newspaper to endorse the legalization of marijuana.” Adding to the significance is the Times’ history of being conservative when it comes to legalization. In 2013, an article stressed the dangers of more potent forms of marijuana as well as use of the drug by teenagers. Following Colorado’s legalization of marijuana in January 2014, a Times article sounded alarm over having more users of the drug behind the wheel. The article was accompanied by a photo of Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin in the film “Up in Smoke,” lighting up in a vehicle. Fears over food laced with marijuana being more accessible to children were sparked by tales of a rise in youth being taken to the emergency room after consuming snacks with the drug. As Washington state moved to join Colorado in legalizing recreational marijuana, the Times wrote on the manyhurdles that medical marijuana providers would encounter. In June, the Times hosted an op-ed column where the writer said “Marijuana is more dangerous than many of us once thought,” pointing to a link between marijuana use and schizophrenia. And of course, there was New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s “bad trip,” where she detailed being “curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours,” after trying a marijuana candy bar while on assignment.

Given the Times influence, it could be that the endorsement of federal legalization of marijuana could spur politicians, organizations and publications to do in kind. The Times’ endorsement is strengthened by the paper’s history on issues concerning marijuana and strong language, likening the ban on marijuana to the prohibition of alcohol. Set beside an interactive American flag where stars transform to marijuana leaves as readers scroll, the editorial opens:

It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.



The Times editors close with certainty, “It is long past time to repeal this version of Prohibition.”

President Barack Obama said in 2012 that prosecuting pot users in states that have legalized it would not be a top priority for his administration, telling ABC News’ Barbara Walters, “We’ve got bigger fish to fry.” The New York Times editorial board endorsement of legalizing marijuana counts as another key voice sounding for a change in how the U.S. approaches marijuana.

CORRECTION: 10:30 p.m. ET — This article previously stated that marijuana had been banned in the United States for 40 years. As Frontline notes, the Marijuana Tax Act effectively criminalized marijuana in the U.S. in 1937.