Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
The baby bandit
Signs of the decline of Western civilization: A seven year old at Pines Lakes Elementary school here in Pembroke Pines robbed another kid of $1 at knifepoint this morning. And you thought $1 wasn't worth anything anymore.

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posted by JReid @ 10:42 AM  
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Barack Obama has an op-ed piece appearing in today's Miami Herald, in which he calls for unrestricted travel and remittances to Cuba for Cuban-Americans and Cuban nationals living in the United States. Reports the Herald's Beth Reinhard:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is calling for ''unrestricted rights'' for Cuban Americans to visit and send money to family in Cuba, just days before his first pilgrimage to Little Havana as a presidential candidate.
President Bush clamped down on family travel and remittances to Cuba in an effort to squeeze Fidel Castro. The policy has become a flash point in the Cuban-American community, which traditionally leans toward the GOP.

''Cuban-American connections to family in Cuba are not only a basic right in humanitarian terms, but also our best tool for helping to foster the beginnings of grass-roots democracy on the island,'' Obama wrote in an opinion column published in today's Miami Herald. ``Accordingly, I will grant Cuban Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send remittances to the island.''

Obama is expected to repeat his message Saturday at Miami-Dade County Auditorium, a site laden with nostalgia for Cuban exiles. It was there that President Ronald Reagan declared ``Cuba sí, Castro no'' during a landmark, anti-communist speech in 1983 that emboldened a Cuban-American community then on the political fringes.

About 1,100 tickets have been sold so far to Obama's speech, with the proceeds going to the Miami-Dade Democratic Party. The $30 entry fee is a fraction of the $2,300 donation typical of presidential fundraisers.

''This speech has so much symbolism and value, coming in the heart of the Cuban-American community,'' said the local party's chairman, Joe Garcia. ``Sen. Obama has come to the conclusion that the majority of Cuban Americans have come to, which is that more travel is good for freedom and good for democracy.''

A Florida International University poll in March of 1,000 Cuban-Americans in Miami-Dade found that 55 percent support free travel to Cuba. But some exile groups argue that easing the restrictions would be a mistake.

''We regret that Sen. Obama has been so ill-advised as to assume that lifting sanctions against Cuba's dictatorial regime will bring about change,'' read a statement issued by the non-partisan Cuban Liberty Council. ``It is sad that he does not apply the same principles used to bring about change in South Africa where blacks were victims of the same apartheid as Cubans on the island.''

Obama's stance puts him at odds with Republican presidential field and could open the door for his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, to continue a foreign policy spat that began during a televised debate last month. ...
Or could Barack be looking to peel off Cuban-American voters who were outraged by the increased restrictions imposed by President Bush in an election-year ploy in 2004? That clamp-down caused some Cuban-Americans to revolt, and even to quit the GOP. Yet, at the end of the day, Bush still carried Florida's Hispanic vote.

Obama could have in mind the 30 percent of the Cuban-American vote won by Bill Clinton, along with the state, in 1996. But Clinton accomplished that, not by liberalizing toward Cuba, but by cracking down.

Time will tell if Barack's strategy will help or hurt him in the Sunshine State.


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posted by JReid @ 6:49 AM  
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Another Dunbar Village
The Palm Beach Post has an excellent story about Dunbar Village -- the housing project that has become infamous as the site of a horrifying case of gang rape and child exploitation. But though the housing project has always been intended as a place to stowe lower income Black people, Dunbar, named for the famed poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar, hasn't always been a hell-hole. Here's the story.


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posted by JReid @ 8:36 AM  
Friday, July 13, 2007
Third teen arrested in Dunbar gang rape case
...he's 15. And he was seen smirking when a reporter asked him whether he was, in fact, guilty of this heinous crime.

One of the other two baby-thugs has reportedly confessed (the 14-year-old).


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posted by JReid @ 9:56 AM  
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Facing the future
We talked on the show yesterday about the case of the teen thugs in West Palm Beach who gang raped a woman inside her apartment in a notorious housing project, beat and cut her and her son and then forced the son, who is 12, to participate in the rape of his own mother, at gunpoint. The case was so horrifying, it was almost too awful to talk about, but indeed we did. We also talked with two lawyers who called in, about the prospects for the two teens out of about 10 who are already under arrest -- 16-year-old Nathan Walker and 14-year-old Avion Lawson. They could be looking at life in prison ...

Walker and Avion Lawson, 14, will be held in jail cells with other teenagers for up to 21 days until the state attorney's office formally files paperwork charging them as adults. State Attorney Barry Krischer directed prosecutors to send them to adult court, an automatic decision anytime someone 14 or older is charged with a violent felony, spokesman Mike Edmondson said.

When that paperwork is filed, Walker and Lawson will be in the Palm Beach County Jail on charges that include armed sexual battery while wearing a mask, home invasion and aggravated battery.

If convicted, the maximum sentence for both is life in prison.

What's really stunning in this case is the almost surreal response to the situation of Walker's father, Nathan Senior:

"I love my son," the father said. "I'm going to stick by him. I don't teach violence to my son, so it really puzzles me. Maybe he's just hanging out with the wrong crowd. I don't know."

He acknowledged that he hadn't spent as much time with his son as he should have after parting ways with the boy's mother. But he said his son is shy and timid, and they went to places like the Fun Depot arcade together.

"It's been awhile since I really spent a lot of time with him," the father said. In the meantime, his son has been getting into trouble with the law.

I understand the love part, but how is it that a man can be so thoroughly unacquainted with the character and personality of his own son? That's just one of the things that's scary about this case.


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posted by JReid @ 8:01 AM  
ReidBlog: The Obama Interview
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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