Government Spending · Military Industrial Complex

New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019

A lax and grossly corrupt military industrial complex has to answer for this unimaginable fiasco, and that definitely includes those in the House and Senate who personally benefit greatly from this industry.

The Daily Beast

America’s $400 billion Joint Strike Fighter, or F-35, is slated to join fighter squadrons next year—but missing software will render its 25mm cannon useless.

The Pentagon’s newest stealth jet, the nearly $400 billion Joint Strike Fighter, won’t be able to fire its gun during operational missions until 2019, three to four years after it becomes operational.

Even though the Joint Strike Fighter, or F-35, is supposed to join frontline U.S. Marine Corps fighter squadrons next year and Air Force units in 2016, the jet’s software does not yet have the ability to shoot its 25mm cannon. But even when the jet will be able to shoot its gun, the F-35 barely carries enough ammunition to make the weapon useful.

The JSF won’t be completely unarmed. It will still carry a pair of Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM long-range air-to-air missiles and a pair of bombs. Initially, it will be able to carry 1,000-pound satellite-guided bombs or 500-pound laser-guided weapons. But those weapons are of limited utility, especially during close-in fights.

“There will be no gun until [the Joint Strike Fighter’s Block] 3F [software], there is no software to support it now or for the next four-ish years,” said one Air Force official affiliated with the F-35 program. “Block 3F is slated for release in 2019, but who knows how much that will slip?”

The tri-service F-35 is crucial to the Pentagon’s plans to modernize America’s tactical fighter fleet. The Defense Department hopes to buy 2,443 of the new stealth jets in three versions—one for the Air Force, one for the Navy, and one for the Marines. Versions of the jet will replace everything from the air arm’s A-10 Warthog ground attack plane and Lockheed F-16 multirole fighter, to the Navy’s Boeing F/A-18 Hornet carrier-based fighter, to the Marines’ Boeing AV-8B Harrier II jump-jet. But the F-35 has been plagued with massive delays and cost overruns—mostly due to design defects and software issues. There have also been problems with the jet’s engine. An F-35 was destroyed on takeoff earlier in the year when a design flaw in its Pratt & Whitney F135 engine sparked a fire.

Another Air Force official familiar with the F-35 confirmed that the jet won’t have the software to fire its gun until the Block 3F software is released to frontline squadrons sometime in 2019. Neither Lockheed nor the F-35 Joint Program Office responded to inquiries about the status of the jet’s gun.

Right now, the F-35’s software doesn’t support the use of the aircraft’s GAU-22/A four-barreled rotary cannon. The weapon was developed from the U.S. Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harrier II jump-jet’s GAU-12/U cannon, but it has one fewer barrel and weighs less.

It’s also supposed to be more accurate—when it can be fired, that is. The gun can shoot 3,300 rounds per minute, though the Air Force’s F-35A version can carry just 180 rounds for the gun.

The Navy and Marine Corps versions of the F-35 have differing configurations and rely on an external gun pod. The software won’t be ready for those jets for years, either. And while that gun-pod version for the Navy and Marines carries slightly more ammo, with 220 rounds, some in the military are complaining that it’s not enough. “So, about good for one tactical burst,” the first Air Force official said. “Hope you don’t miss.”

The lack of a cannon is a particular problem, as the F-35 is being counted on to help out infantrymen under fire. (This is known as close air support, or CAS, in military jargon.) The F-35 will lack the ability to mark a target or attack enemy forces in “danger close” situations, said one highly experienced Air Force fighter pilot.

“Lack of forward firing ordnance in a CAS supporting aircraft is a major handicap,” he added. “CAS fights are more fluid than air interdiction, friendlies and targets move… Oftentimes quickly. The ability to mark the target with rockets and attack the same target 10 seconds later is crucial.”

Typically, aircraft will work in pairs where the flight lead will make an initial pass to mark a target with rockets. A second aircraft will then attack with its guns. Incidentally, the F-35 won’t be armed with rockets, either, sources told The Daily Beast.

The reason pilots would choose to use guns over a bomb or a missile is simple. Basically, a pilot might not want to drop a bomb near ground troops in situations where the enemy has gotten in very close to those friendly forces. Even a relatively small 250-pound bomb could kill or injure friendly troops who are within 650 feet of the explosion.

By contrast, a gun will allow a pilot to attack hostile forces that are less than 300 feet from friendly ground forces.

Proponents of the F-35 within the Air Force leadership argue that the jet’s sensorsand ability to display information intuitively will allow the stealthy new fighter to do the close air-support mission from high altitudes using satellite-guided weapons. But there are situations where that won’t work.

“GPS-guided munitions with long times of fall are useless when the ground commander doesn’t know exactly where the fire is coming from, or is withdrawing and the enemy is pursuing,” said another Air Force fighter pilot. “GPS munitions are equally useless when dropped from an aircraft when the pilot has near zero ability to track the battle with his own eyes.”

The lack of a gun is not likely to be a major problem for close-in air-to-air dogfights against other jets. Part of the problem is that the F-35—which is less maneuverable than contemporary enemy fighters like the Russian Sukhoi Su-30 Flanker—is not likely to survive such a close-in skirmish. “The jet can’t really turn anyway, so that is a bit of a moot point,” said one Air Force fighter pilot.

“The JSF is so heavy, it won’t accelerate fast enough to get back up to fighting speed,” said another Air Force fighter pilot. “Bottom line is that it will only be a BVR [beyond visual range] airplane.”

That means the F-35 will be almost entirely reliant on long-range air-to-air missiles. It doesn’t carry any short-range, dogfighting missiles like the Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder when it’s in a stealthy configuration. One pilot familiar with the F-35 added that “they will not have a large enough air-to-air [missile] load to be on the leading edge” of an air battle in any case.

Another senior Air Force official with stealth fighter experience agreed. “From an air-to-air standpoint, an argument could be made that the F-35A not having a functional gun—or any gun, for that matter—will have little to no impact. Heck, it only has 180 rounds anyway,” he said. “I would be lying if I said there exists any plausible tactical air-to-air scenario where the F-35 will need to employ the gun. Personally, I just don’t see it ever happening and think they should have saved the weight [by getting rid of the gun altogether].”

However, the Air Force official said that very fact the F-35 will not have a functional gun when it becomes operational is symptomatic of a deeply troubled program. “To me, the more disturbing aspect of this delay is that it represents yet another clear indication that the program is in serious trouble,” the official said. F-35 maker “Lockheed Martin is clearly in a situation where they are scrambling to keep their collective noses above the waterline, and they are looking to push non-critical systems to the right in a moment of desperation.”

Obama's 2014

Bunnies, Tiaras & Putin: Obama’s 2014 In Photos

All captions are from the White House (which also has many more photos).

February 11, 2014 “Ever the gentleman, the President helps the First Lady off the stage after she thanked the White House chefs during the State Dinner for President François Hollande of France on the South Lawn of the White House.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

March 27, 2014 “The President talks with Pope Francis following a private audience at the Vatican.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

March 24, 2014 “POTUS meets Rembrandt. The President looks at Rembrandt’s ‘Self-portrait as the Apostle Paul’ during a tour of the Gallery of Honor at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

May 6, 2014 “Aides laugh as the President swats a fly that was invading his space in the Oval Office.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

May 24, 2014 “This photograph was from the annual White House Science Fair. It shows the President posing with Girl Scout Troop 2612 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I think the eight-year-old girls–Avery Dodson, Natalie Hurley, Miriam Schaffer, Claire Winton and Lucy Claire Sharp–are called ‘Brownies’. They had just shown the President their exhibit: a Lego flood proof bridge project. The fair celebrated the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

June 6, 2014 “The President talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin after a lunch with other foreign leaders to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France. I’m sure they were talking about a subject matter other than D-Day.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

June 9, 2014 “The President sits for a 3D portrait being produced by the Smithsonian Institution. There were so many cameras and strobe lights flashing but the end result was kind of cool. See the video at this link: http://1.usa.gov/1zhPtAf.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

June 23, 2014 “This was a photograph that went viral when we posted in on Flickr. Lawrence Jackson captured a young boy face-planting himself onto the sofa in the Oval Office as the President greeting his parents–a departing United States Secret Service agent and his wife.” (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

July 9, 2014 “The President salutes an Air Force member as he disembarks Air Force One to greet Texas Gov. Rick Perry upon arrival at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The President and Gov. Perry later discussed immigration aboard Marine One en route to a meeting with other officials.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Sept. 5, 2014 “We were at the NATO Summit in Wales when someone mentioned to the President that Stonehenge wasn’t that far away. ‘Let’s go,’ he said. So when the Summit ended, we took a slight detour on the way back to Air Force One.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Oct. 13, 2014 “During a meeting on Ebola, the President and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell listen via speaker phone to Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The President was dressed somewhat casually because it was Columbus Day, a federal holiday.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Nov. 7, 2014 “While walking with incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from the Oval Office to a lunch with other Congressional leaders, the President stopped on the White House colonnade to discuss the upcoming Congressional session.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: December 31, 2014

Protesters crowd Manezhnaya Square in Moscow on December 30.
Protesters crowd Manezhnaya Square in Moscow on December 30 | REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

The Week

The U.N. rejects a Palestinian statehood proposal, Russians protest on behalf of a Putin foe, and more

1. Security Council rejects Palestinian statehood resolution
The United Nations Security Council rejected a Palestinian resolution calling for establishing a Palestinian state by the end of 2017. Eight countries, including France, Russia, and China, voted for the proposal. The U.S. and Australia voted against the measure, and five nations abstained. The proposal needed nine votes to pass, and the U.S. was prepared to veto it. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said the resolution included “unconstructive deadlines that take no account of Israel’s legitimate security concerns.” [Reuters]

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2. Russians protest anti-corruption leader’s conviction
Several thousand Russians protested the conviction of leading Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and his brother on Tuesday. The unsanctioned rally amounted to one of the most visible opposition demonstrations in years. Police briefly detained Navalny and rounded up some of the other protesters, who could be charged for demonstrating without official authorization. Hours earlier, Navalny received a 3-and-a-half-year suspended sentence for fraud and his brother went to prison in a case widely considered political payback for Navalny’s opposition to President Vladimir Putin. [NBC News]

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3. Indonesia resumes search as bad weather hampers recovery of AirAsia crash victims
The first two bodies of AirAsia flight 8501 were returned to the Indonesian city of Surabaya as recovery teams launched a “massive search” for more victims in the Java Sea on Wednesday. Crewsfound debris and dozens of bodies on Tuesday, but bad weather hindered recovery efforts. The aircraft had 162 people on board when it disappeared on Sunday on the way from Surabaya to Singapore. Investigators have not yet found the plane’s data recorders, which are crucial to determining why the plane crashed. [BBC News]

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4. Police gun deaths spike in 2014
The number of police officers killed by firearms jumped by 56 percent in 2014, according to a report released by the nonprofit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund on Tuesday. Fifty of the 126 police who died in the line of duty this year were killed with guns, compared to 32 officers in 2013. The report came 10 days after the execution-style killing of two New York City police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. [MSNBC]

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5. Boehner expresses confidence in No. 3 House Republican despite racial controversy
House Speaker John A. Boehner on Tuesday said he had “full confidence” in Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the No. 3 Republican leader in the House, after Scalise confirmed he addressed a white supremacist group in 2002. Critics from both parties have called for Boehner to push Scalise out of his job as majority whip, but Boehner praised Scalise for his integrity and character. “More than a decade ago, Rep. Scalise made and error in judgment,” Boehner said, “and he was right to acknowledge it was wrong and inappropriate.” [The New York Times]

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6. Italy intercepts ship of immigrants after crew vanishes
Italian authorities took over a cargo ship carrying hundreds of would-be immigrants on Tuesday after the crew aimed the vessel at the coast and left. Italy sent a naval frigate and a helicopter to investigate after a passenger on the Moldovan-flagged Blue Sky M sent a distress call as the ship passed Greece, although the captain had said the ship needed no assistance. The Italian sailors took control when they found no crew on board, and found that the ship had been programmed to crash into shore. [The Associated Press]

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7. New York arrests plummet following officers’ murders
Several New York City police officers told the New York Post that they had stopped arresting people for minor crimes out of fear for their own safety after the Dec. 20 murders of two fellow officers. “I’m not writing any summonses,” one officer said. “Do you think I’m going to stand there so someone can shoot me or hit me in the head with an ax?” The newspaper reported in a separate story thatarrests in the city had dropped by 66 percent over the last week. [New York Post, The Huffington Post]

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8. 1930s Hollywood star Luise Rainer dies
Luise Rainer, the first actress to win back-to-back Oscars, has died at age 104. Rainer won her Academy Awards in the 1930s for The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth, then left Hollywood at the peak of her career after a series of clashes with MGM boss Louis B. Mayer. The only other actress to win consecutive best-actress Oscars was Katherine Hepburn, for 1967’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and 1968’s The Lion in Winter. Spencer Tracy and Tom Hanks achieved the feat in the best actor category, and Jason Robards won two straight supporting actor Oscars. [CNN]

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9. U.S. sends five Guantanamo prisoners to Kazakhstan
The U.S. has transferred five Guantanamo detainees to Kazakhstan, the Defense Department announced Tuesday. The transfers brought the number of prisoners moved out of Guantanamo this year to 28, the largest number since President Obama took office after making a campaign promise to close the controversial U.S.-run detention facility. With the departure of the latest detainees — three Yemenis and two Tunisians — there are 127 prisoners left at Guantanamo. [The New York Times]

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10. George H.W. Bush released from Houston hospital
Former president George H.W. Bush has checked out of a Houston hospital and returned home, his spokesman Jim McGrath said via Twitter on Tuesday. Bush, 90, entered the hospital last week after experiencing shortness of breath. Bush, who served as president from 1989 to 1993, spent seven weeks in the same hospital in late 2012 with bronchitis and related ailments, and was gravely ill, but his health bounced back. [NPR]

U.S. Politics

Protesters Planning Massive Rally In Front Of Fox News Headquarters After Non-Stop Racist Coverage

This is a re-blog from 12/27/14. The video did not work in the original post and in my opinion the article is worth reading/seeing in its entirety.

The Fifth Column

Good…

Addicting Info

If Fox News thought it could sit on the sidelines and take cheap shots at the anti-police brutality protests around the country without getting called out, they are about to learn a hard lesson.

On January 2, protesters are meeting in front of the News Corporation headquarters (home of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire) right outside of Fox News’ studios to hold a “die-in” shutdown. While Fox tries to record their usual garbage inside, outside hundreds will be letting the company and the world know that what Fox is doing is not okay.

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As if it weren’t obvious, the behind-the-scenes operations of the Post are equally rife with racism. In 2009, the Post published an insanely racist cartoon which featured police officers shooting a chimpanzee to death and casually implying that it was meant to represent Obama (you can view it here). After an editor at the…

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President Barack Obama

“Barack H. Obama is the Greatest President of Modern Times”

obama accomplishments and legacy

PoliticusUSA ~ By Hrafnkell Haraldsson

“It is impossible not to compare Bush and Obama: the man who got us into war and the man who got us out of it; the man who destroyed the economy and the man who restored it; the man who alienated the world and the man who makes friends of enemies, including Cuba.”

It is difficult to compare presidents outside of a narrow context of time. It is like trying to compare baseball players, like Ruth and Aaron, or football players, like Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning. For athletes, the games they play were different then; and for presidents, not only the country, but the world is different.

There is no way of knowing how a president today would have fared when faced with the prospect of the First or Second World War, or how they would have handled the advent of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. These are answers we can never have answered, and speculation is pointless. Despite any internal similarities, the external contexts cannot be ignored: Korea is not Vietnam and Vietnam is not Iraq.

What we can do is judge them by their accomplishments, by how they faced the challenges of their time. Coming off arguably one of the most disastrous presidencies in our history, that of George W. Bush, who cut taxes yet involved us in two un-paid for wars, and crashed our economy and that of the rest of the world as a result, we found ourselves with our nation’ first black president.

Not only did Barack H. Obama face the deeply entrenched racism of the nation that elected him, but a Republican Party determined to obstruct his every move, to make him a one term president and that term an utter failure. All the while, he had to face his real work, that for which he was elected: digging our nation out of the hole into which his predecessor had dragged us.

And it was a deep hole. Hated by the world, our economy in shambles, two wars continuing and with no real end in sight, let alone any idea of what, exactly, would constitute victory, Barack Obama stepped up to the plate, and like Babe Ruth calling his shot, made his play. Like Ruth, he hit it out of the park. This is not hyperbole. The facts prove it.

The wars are over, the economy is booming. Unemployment, like gas prices, are dropping and we have seen record levels of job growth. By any measure of success, including that of Republican candidates in 2012, his presidency has been a success. Evenbusinesses and Wall Street agree that Republicans are killing the economy, and the evidence proves that the economy grows more under Democratic than Republican presidents.

And not only did he end the wars (and without getting us into any of the new ones proposed by Republicans) and restored the economy, but he helped speed along social change by embracing marriage equality, kicking DOMA to the curb and ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; he has supported women’s rights, including equal pay and the right to manage their own reproductive rights; He has fought for workers and for a living wage; battled on behalf of the environment; and fought for the rights of immigrants. And with the Affordable Care Act, known fittingly as Obamacare, he has given all Americans access to healthcare for the first time in our nation’s history.

His list of accomplishments, even minus any opposition, would be staggering. Considering the odds against him, they are truly monumental. In all these areas, he has made life better for Americans. Not just for the rich, but for all Americans.

Right off the bat, President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. This was a measure of the world’s relief at being rid of President Bush as much as anything else. The world heaved a sigh of relief. And that alone spurred the much-needed cycle of healing. But it is what President Obama did as himself, rather than as not-Bush, that has really sealed his legacy.

We have just seen that he has been named by Americans as the most admired man in the world for the seventh straight year. There is good reason for that. And it is not because he is FDR or JFK or even Abraham Lincoln. It is because he is Barack H. Obama, and that is no small thing in itself. He was, like so many other great men in our nation’s history, the right man in the right place at the right time. And he answered the call.

He may not have been as liberal as some of us would have liked, but neither was he as far left as Republicans imagined. That he seemed to them to be a Marxist shows not how far left Obama was but how far Right they had moved. In many respects, Obama is a Republican out of the past, embracing many policies once embraced by the GOP. These make him much more of a centrist than someone to the far left of the political spectrum. But that might have been exactly what we needed in 2008.

Some have complained and continue to complain that Obama did not bring the change he promised, but he did bring change, and a great deal of it. Republicans have asked if we miss Bush yet. No, resoundingly, we do not. We can quibble, but it would be wrong to judge him according to what he did or did not do from our own personal lists of things we wanted done. What matters, and what alone matters, are the results.

And the results, as I pointed to above, are spectacular. Despite a steadfast refusal to do their jobs, despite every roadblock Republicans could put in his path, President Obama has persevered, with class and with style, holding his head up proudly like the American he is, sharing credit for his successes and accepting responsibility for his failures.

It is impossible not to compare Bush and Obama: the man who got us into war and the man who got us out of it; the man who destroyed the economy and the man who restored it; the man who alienated the world and the man who makes friends of enemies, including Cuba.

But ultimately Obama must be judged for who he is and not for who he is not, and according to those standards, he is a great man indeed. He is, I will assert here and without any hesitation, if not the greatest American president ever, the greatest president of modern times.

NYPD · The New York Times

The New York Times Skewers Childish NYPD For Turning Backs On Mayor Bill de Blasio

File:Nytimes hq.jpg
Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Addicting Info

In an article written by the New York Times’ Editorial Board, the paper blasted the NYPD for being disrespectful of Mayor Bill de Blasio and for embarrassing themselves through childish acts that trash the department’s reputation.

In an opinion piece published on Monday, The New York Times roundly criticized the childish actions of NYPD officers who shamefully turned their backs on the mayor during the funeral of one of their fallen colleagues, Rafael Ramos. The disrespect continued only days later when de Blasio was booed and heckled as he spoke at a police graduation ceremony. The Times declared that these acts only make things worse and cause people to lose even more respect for the boys in blue.

Mr. de Blasio isn’t going to say it, but somebody has to: With these acts of passive-aggressive contempt and self-pity, many New York police officers, led by their union, are squandering the department’s credibility, defacing its reputation, shredding its hard-earned respect. They have taken the most grave and solemn of civic moments — a funeral of a fallen colleague — and hijacked it for their own petty look-at-us gesture. In doing so, they also turned their backs on Mr. Ramos’s widow and her two young sons, and others in that grief-struck family.

These are disgraceful acts, which will be compounded if anyone repeats the stunt at Officer Liu’s funeral on Sunday.

The Times then notes that police officers have a stressful job and that they continually have to put up with bureaucracy and criticism as they put their lives at risk to serve a public that is increasingly hostile towards them. None of that, however, justifies the way many NYPD officers are acting.

But none of those grievances can justify the snarling sense of victimhood that seems to be motivating the anti-de Blasio campaign — the belief that the department is never wrong, that it never needs redirection or reform, only reverence. This is the view peddled by union officials like Patrick Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association — that cops are an ethically impeccable force with their own priorities and codes of behavior, accountable only to themselves, and whose reflexive defiance in the face of valid criticism is somehow normal.

The New York Times continued by calling for the NYPD to act like the professionals they claim to be and re-build the respect they have lost before the city becomes a more dangerous place.

It’s not normal. Not for a professional class of highly trained civil servants, which New York’s Finest profess to be. The police can rightly expect, even insist upon, the respect of the public. But respect is a finite resource. It cannot be wasted. Sometimes it has to be renewed.

The failures of some cops, the misguided policing tactics that feed a sense of oppression in parts of the city, the offensive provocations of some in the police-reform protest movement, and the horrific killings of two officers, have led the city to a dangerous point.

In conclusion, the Times pointed out that Mayor de Blasio “has been doing and saying the right things” in an effort to unite everyone, including “meeting Tuesday with leaders of the five police unions to lower the temperature and to move the city forward.”

Surely many officers understand and accept his conciliatory words and realize that the things Mr. de Blasio has done — like hiring Mr. Bratton, increasing financing for the department and modernizing its equipment — are motivated by an honest desire to do right by the Police Department.

The grieving rank-and-file need to recognize this and also see the damage that many of their colleagues, and their union representatives, are doing to trash their department’s reputation.

All in all, the Editorial Board did a fantastic job. But there is one point they make that most will reject.

The New York Times claimed that police officers are “held responsible for their mistakes in ways that the public is not,” which is complete bullshit. In fact, the very reason why people are protesting against the police in the streets and tensions are so high is precisely because police officers are NOT held responsible for their mistakes in the same way average citizens are.

Shooting and killing an unarmed teenager, combined with all the witness accounts, should have resulted in an indictment by the Ferguson Grand Jury. But because the killer was a cop, the prosecuting attorney didn’t do his job the way he would have if the killer had been just an average Joe. The same can be said of the Eric Garner case, which sparked the protests against the NYPD.

The Staten Island Grand Jury declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed the unarmed Garner in an illegal choke hold. Unable to breathe, Garner died because of Pantaleo’s reckless actions and the whole thing was caught on camera. The only person who the Grand Jury did indict was the person who filmed the encounter. Pantaleo killed a man and didn’t even receive a slap on the wrist.

So while The New York Times should be applauded for standing up to the NYPD and calling them out for their childishness, they deserve criticism for claiming that police are actually “held responsible for their mistakes in ways that the public is not.” Because unless they have been hiding under a rock, it’s pretty damn clear to the public that police are not treated like the rest of us. Whereas a normal citizen would have been indicted for murder and likely sent to prison, the officer who killed Eric Garner, and many other officers across the country, have been allowed to walk free as they have hidden behind their badges to escape punishment for their crimes. No average citizen gets that kind of treatment, and neither should police officers.

LAPD

Autopsy Of Mentally Ill Black Man Shows LAPD Shot Him In Back

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TPM LiveWire

The autopsy stated that the shot to Ezell Ford’s back and another to his abdomen were fatal, according to the TV station. The wound on his back revealed a muzzle imprint from the gun, suggesting the shot was fired at close range, the station reported.

Several witnesses said Ford was face down on the ground when he was shot, the station reported. But police said he was killed while resisting arrest and had “grabbed the officer’s handgun and attempted to remove the gun from its holster.”

“The officer yelled out to his partner that Mr. Ford had his gun. The officer’s partner then fired two rounds striking Mr. Ford,” the LAPD said in a statement, as quoted by KABC. “At about the same time, the officer on the ground while on his back grabbed his backup weapon, reached around Mr. Ford and fired one shot at close range striking Mr. Ford in the back.”

The Ford family’s lawyer called it an execution.

“I dare say that this is criminal, I think they executed this poor young man, mentally incompetent man,” said attorney Steven Lerman, according to the news station.

Ed. note: This post has been updated to clarify that there is a dispute about whether Ford had grabbed the officer’s gun.

White Supremacists

Racists Melt Down Over Steve Scalise

Rep. Steve Scalise (R) | Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The Daily Beast

White supremacists online whine that the Republican leader addressing one of their groups is no different than talking to the NAACP.

The scandal swirling around Steve Scalise’s address to white supremacists has white supremacists crying foul.

Steve Scalise, newly elected as Republican majority whip, admitted to addressing the European-American Unity and Rights Organization conference in 2002 when he was a Louisiana lawmaker. (EURO was founded by David Duke, the ex-Klansman who ran for Louisiana governor in 1991.) Scalise says he didn’t know they were a white supremacist group and equated addressing them with “liberal” groups like the League of Women voters.

Stormfront.org, the leading white-hate site on the Internet, agrees with Scalise’s defense. Stormfront founder and former KKK leader Don Black wrote he can’t stand the “absolute hypocrisy of the anti-White establishment.”

“Politicians grovel before African-American, Latino and Jewish groups, which openly promote their racial interests,” Black complained, “but they are conditioned to run like scared rabbits at the very idea European-Americans have rights.”

The Stormfront folks say the forum isn’t about white Christian supremacy, but rights for whites, despite posting how African Americans have “IQs in the range of 80-85” and claiming the “jewsmedia” actively “ignores black on white crime.”

“We are not white supremacist,” insists Popper 504. “We want to live with our own, farthest away from the blacks and jews.”

How dare the “Jewish Supremacist Antagonist” be outraged when no one would care if Scalise had spoken at “NAACP or Urban League or LaRaza,” said Ex-Detroiter. “All of those would be just fine.”

The Stormfront crowd offers its own helpful political advice, not only for Scalise but also for the entire GOP.

“If Republicans truly wanted to take this country back, they would make use of the majority of people in this country — Whites — and mobilize,” posts a user named Cyan Sky. “The Dems play identity politics with non-whites. The only way the Republicans will win is if they do the same with Whites.”

David Duke

David Duke Claims to Have Met With Other Pols, Threatens to Name Names

David Duke Claims to Have Met With Other Pols, Threatens to Name Names | [Photo credit: AP Images]

Gawker

David Duke—former KKK top dawg, ex-Republican legislator, and poster boy for the modern American white power movement—told Fusion in an interview yesterday that sure he knows that now-embattled GOP House whip, and hey, he rubs elbows with lots of pols, left and right, and he’ll name names.

Duke’s comments came as the GOP’s No. 3 man in Congress, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, admitted he’d spoken at a 2002 white supremacist conference organized by Duke, a fellow Louisianan and founder of the pro-white “European-American Unity and Rights Organization” (EURO).

But Duke told cable news network Fusion that “he has met with Scalise several times, along with other members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation,” according to the network’s account, and Duke added that he believed two of his aides had invited Scalise to the 2002 conference. Duke then proceeded to blame “zionists” and “tribalists” in the media for this tempest:

Duke said he wasn’t “disappointed” by the quick work Scalise did to distance himself from Duke and the group, EURO. He said he was only disappointed in some of the positions Scalise has taken with respect to his support for Israel and foreign policy in general.

But what he described as political sanctimony stirring against him was “all bullshit.” He rejected claims that he was a “racist” or “white supremacist,” saying he wouldn’t have won election in a Louisiana district that was 80 percent Catholic. Duke served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1989-92.

“I’ve grown up. And I understand who the real racists are,” Duke said in a phone interview on Monday, saying a “zionist” and “tribalist” mentality throughout the press and media was mostly to blame for the negative portrayal of him.

To drive home the point that he thought Scalise was being unfairly singled out for consorting with Duke’s pro-white groups, the former Klan grand dragon “delivered a warning to both Republicans and Democrats”:

Treat Scalise fairly, and don’t try to make political hay out of the situation. Or he said he would be inclined to release a list of names of all the politicians — both Republicans and Democrats — with whom he has ties.

“If Scalise is going to be crucified — if Republicans want to throw Steve Scalise to the woods, then a lot of them better be looking over their shoulders,” Duke said.

Which politicians could Duke mean? If you have any knowledge, share it in the comments or email tips@gawker.com.