Well, well, well. It seems that the nonverbal communication tool of radio silence is not enough for a police officer to determine if a suspect wants to remain silent. The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that suspects must explicitly tell police they want to be silent to invoke Miranda protections during criminal interrogations, a decision one dissenting justice said turns defendants' rights "upside down." Way to play with Miranda rights. First, legalized racial profiling, and now this. We’re not sure what’s coming next, but we do know that black and brown people will not fare well.
Black Caucus Wants to Rein In Ethics Investigators
We also know the Congressional Black Caucus has been catching a lot of heat this year. First there was the New York Times investigation of its foundation, which apparently spent more money on parties than on scholarships. Then founding member Charles Rangel lost his powerful chairmanship over ethics issues. So, what is the Caucus doing to clean things up? They want to curb the power of the independent ethics office by preventing it from releasing the results of its investigations. The office would also no longer be able to initiate its own investigations. That bright idea came from Rep. Martha Fudge (D-Ohio) and is supported by 19 other members. Seems like our folk on the Hill could use a refresher course on public relations.
Score One for S.A.: South African rail strike ends 10 days before World Cup
One of the issues plaguing the World Cup has come to an end. A two-week rail strike ended in South Africa on Tuesday, ten days before the start of the football World Cup. Train service will return to normal on Tuesday evening after rail workers accepted a deal for a wage increase. It is hopeful that normal train schedules will resume but some experts are stating that it will take at least a month for the transit system to recover from the strike. This is truly the first win for the World Cup.
Butt of the Joke: The high cost of smoking
In case you haven’t gotten the memo that smoking will kill you, perhaps the economics behind it will get you to stop. According to a recent report, a 40-year-old who quits and puts the savings into a 401(k) could save almost $250,000 by age 70. Smokers pay more for insurance. They lose money on the resale value of their cars and homes. They spend extra on dry cleaning and teeth cleaning. Long term, they earn less and receive less in pension and Social Security benefits. In addition, being a smoker can not only mean you don't get hired — you can get fired, too. After announcing it would no longer employ smokers, Weyco, a medical-benefits administrator in Michigan, fired four employees who refused to submit to a breath test. It began testing the spouses of its employees, too, levying an $80-per-month surcharge on those who don't test clean. We’re not making this up. With all that black and brown folks have to deal with at work, do we really need to give employers another reason to “fire” us?
Duel in the Sun: No Black Governor For Alabama, But New Mexico Will Elect A Woman
Well, Alabama will still have a white governor the next time elections come around. Surprise, surprise. Much of the buzz before Tuesday's primary was focused on Rep. Artur Davis, who unsuccessfully tried to convince Democrats to put him on the fall ballot and try to become the first black governor elected in that state. Don’t lose all hope because New Mexico will elect its first female governor. Yes, you read right. Dona Ana Country District Attorney Susana Martinez won the Republican nomination, setting up a fall race against Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, the Democratic nominee. This has the makings of a historic showdown. May the best lady win.
Spilling his guts: President Obama says nation must avoid oil spill repeat
From our “is he still talking?" file, President Obama is promising “justice” for victims of the Gulf Coast disaster. The president is moving forward with an investigative panel to get down to what really happened with this oil spill that has dwarfed even the Exxon Valdez debacle. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. recently visited the region, underscoring the possibility of criminal charges in this mess. We’re glad that Holder made an appearance, because right about now, we’re not believing anything that President Obama a.k.a. Johnny come lately, is saying about this spill, which still hasn’t been stopped. Unlike the Miranda rights case(below), this is one instance where we think the more silence, the better.
Careless Whisper: Supreme Court says suspects must say they want to be silent