FROM Paul Weber
LAPD Gang Officers Won't Disclose Their Finances Here in the gang capital of the nation, the Los Angeles Police Department has been making progress, with an 11.1 percent drop in gang-related crime last year alone. But advances like that could be at risk because so many highly trained officers have dropped out of specialized gang units. They have refused to comply with financial disclosure rules required by a federal consent decree after the so-called "Rampart Division scandal" ten years ago.
Making Sense of a Senseless Murder "If there is anything that people can take away from this horrible tragedy, it's that life is fragile and they should live every minute of it fully." That's from Greg Burk and Deborah Drooz, the parents of Lily Burk , the 17-year old high school senior brutally murdered last Friday. Others are drawing conclusions of a different kind. The suspect, 50-year old Charles Samuel , was arrested for drinking in public and possessing a crack pipe. He was on parole and under a court order to complete a drug program. He's now charged with robbery, kidnap and murder and he could face a death sentence.
Looming Budget Troubles in Los Angeles The City of Los Angeles faces a record shortfall of $530 million. Mayor Villaraigosa won't produce his new budget for two weeks, but he's telling city workers that, if they don't make some concessions, it'll cost them 2800 jobs. He's prepared a videotaped message to members of municipal unions that proposes three cost-saving options.
Sara Jane Olson Paroled to Minnesota Sara Jane Olson was a fugitive from justice for 25 years. In 2001, she was arrested in Minnesota and returned to California to serve sentences for two crimes. In 1975, she was a member of the so-called Symbionese Liberation Army , the SLA, which kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst and committed numerous other crimes. Olson, also known as Kathleen Soliah, ultimately pled guilty to placing pipe bombs under Los Angeles police cars and participating in a Sacramento bank robbery during which a woman was killed. Today, after serving half of her 14-year sentence, she was paroled back to Minnesota , despite the objection of that state’s governor, Tom Pawlenty. Governor Schwarzenegger said he lets the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation take care of such issues.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.