Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a proud Trump supporter and avid Black Lives Matter basher, named PBA’s person of the year

He’s slammed gun control supporters as "freedom-loathing gun-haters." He’s labeled Attorney General Eric Holder an “a-----e.” He’s ripped the Black Lives Matter movement as “Black lies Matter.” But to the city’s largest police union, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is America’s finest lawman. The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association has named Clarke its person of the year — drawing fire from civil rights groups and other critics. “I think of Mr. Clarke the same way I regard Bull Connor, the same kind of law enforcement officer who would sick fire hoses and dogs on elderly women,” said Kirsten John Foy, northeast regional director for the National Action Network. “I think he has a disregard for people of color. He has allowed the power that comes with the badge or the gun to cloud his true mission or perspective. “ Marquez Claxton, a retired NYPD detective and former member of the 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement group, called the PBA’s decision to honor Clarke “surprising and disturbing.” “This is a guy who is beyond polarizing, who has zero empathy at even understanding about police community relations, who has even less respect for communities of color,” Claxton said. “He really is often times nothing less than a hate-monger.” PBA President Pat Lynch offered a vastly different take on Clarke, an unabashed Donald Trump supporter who has become a hero to the right for taking on black activists. “During this challenging and dangerous period for police officers across the country, Sheriff Clarke has stepped into the national spotlight as a passionate defender of our profession, appearing frequently on TV programs and at high-profile events such as the Republican National Convention to push back against the rising tide of anti-police sentiment,” Lynch wrote in a Continue Reading

From Hitler to ‘You’: Time Magazine’s 10 most controversial People of the Year

The Person of the Year doesn't have to be well-liked. Every year, Time magazine picks the person — or sometimes the people or the thing — that shaped the world the most, and names them its Person of the Year. But the award isn't just about positive social impact: evildoers, scandalous figures and ideas at the center or raging debates have all been granted the year's top honor. Here are the top 10 most controversial people and things named Person of the Year. WALLIS SIMPSON Simpson, an American socialite, claimed the title in 1936 when the honor was still called Man of the Year. That year, her relationship with the UK's King Edward VIII led him to give up his crown: he wanted to marry Wallis, but the public considered a twice divorcée unfit for British royalty. Ultimately, the king gave up his power to be with Wallis. She remains a highly debated figure in British history and culture. ADOLF HITLER & JOSEPH STALIN Time has a thing for dictators. Hitler was named Man of the Year in 1938, on the eve of World War II. Stalin claimed the title twice: 1939 and 1942. Hitler was the dictator of Nazi Germany when he won. In November 1938, Nazi's destroyed Jewish-owned buildings on Kristallnacht and sent at least 30,000 Jewish Germans to concentration camps, foreshadowing the horrors of the Holocaust to come. Stalin dictated the Soviet Union on the opposite side of the war. Under his rule, Soviet soldiers executed Polish prisoners of war, reportedly raped women in occupied towns and set up their own concentration camps. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. King claimed the title in 1963, the year of his “I Have a Dream” speech. Naming the civil rights leader the most influential person of the year was a bold move in a time when racial tensions ruled America. The year saw the March on Washington, the integration of the University of Alabama and a flood of debate about civil rights in America. King Continue Reading

Time’s Person of the Year is ‘The  Protester,’ beating out Kate Middleton, Steve Jobs

It's official: 2011 was the year of “The Protester.” Time Magazine announced Wednesday that its famed Person of the Year is "The Protester." From the Arab Spring, to Occupy Wall Street, to rallies in Spain, Greece and Russia, demonstrators took to the streets en masse around the globe this year calling for Democracy and social change. The magazine cited dissent across the Middle East that spread to Europe and the U.S., insisting there was consensus that these protesters have helped reshaped global politics. “These are the men and women around the world, particularly in the Middle East who toppled governments, who brought democracy and dignity," Time managing editor Rick Stengel told NBC's "Today," where he announced the decision. "These are folks who are changing history." "The Protester" beat out several other contenders, including William McCraven, the four-star Navy admiral who headed the special ops raid that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden. Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei and House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan were also among the runners-up. Last year, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg received the top honor. For 84 years, the magazine has picked the person — or sometimes group or object — that editors believe had the greatest impact during the past year, whether good or bad. Past Persons of the Year include Adolf Hitler (1938), Joseph Stalin (1943), You (2006), Vladimir Putin (2007) and Barack Obama (2008). Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

VA whistleblowers: Arizonans of the Year

The aftermath of Veterans Affairs whistle-blower revelations truly frames the patient-treatment scandal in its most crystalline form.It wasn't just the faked appointments and the delayed treatment that distinguish this bleak story. Just as shocking has been the blowback — the retaliation whistle-blowers endured from a vindictive, angry VA administration. VA SCANDAL: How to fix a broken systemThe instinct to retaliate and resist reform at all costs now frames this still-percolating scandal of health care within the VA.Drs. Sam Foote and Katherine Mitchell exposed the shocking secrets of patients left untreated by the VA hospital in Phoenix. Thousands of them, dozens of whom died while awaiting their first examination at the VA.For their determination and grit in taking on an enormous, powerful federal bureaucracy on behalf of sick and dying service veterans, Foote and Mitchell are The Arizona Republic's choices for Arizonans of the Year for 2014.Foote told his story to us and Congress. It was a conspiracy of silence and subterfuge, he said. And it was "perpetrated by senior Phoenix leaders." All of what Foote said would be verified by investigators. FOOTE: The doctor who launched the VA scandalHe had been troubled by what he saw as a pattern of deceit since at least 2012. Foote documented what he saw: double sets of appointment schedules for vets — one that depicted the reality of an overstressed system bleeding overworked doctors and nurses, and another that reflected a fantasy world that, magically, earned bonus cash for administrators.Foote provided the information to internal VA investigators that as many as 40 vets had died while languishing on the VA hospital's secret wait-list. He burst the façade of a system that laid claim to huge improvements in quality of care — bogus improvements that, as we discovered in the wake of Foote's revelations, existed on the backs of untreated vets.Once he retired at the end of 2013, the internal Continue Reading

Meghan McCain and Wyclef Jean among panel for Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’

It wasn't quite the "Panel of the Year." Time magazine's "Person of the Year" has never been immune to weird choices: Recall the mirrored cover that honored "You" as the 2006 selection. Still, we were perplexed to see that the luminaries the magazine wrangled to discuss candidates for the 2010 issue on Wednesday included Meghan McCain and Wyclef Jean - two boldface names not exactly known for their gravitas. The discussion was held on the eighth floor of the Time-Life Building, where McCain and Jean sat alongside political strategist Joe Trippi, Google queen Marissa Mayer and American Society for Muslim Advancement executive director Daisy Khan. Would-be First Daughter McCain got a less than impressive introduction from Time managing editor Richard Stengel, who called her book "fantastic" but seemed not to remember its name. "Sexy, Dirty ..." he sputtered, before asking McCain to confirm that it was titled "Dirty Sexy Politics." "If anyone can make the GOP sexy but not dirty, it's Meghan McCain!" he added with an awkward laugh.   Stengel also raised a few eyebrows when he introduced Jean as the "Haitian Mandela." The former Fugee took the opportunity to lament his foiled bid to be president of Haiti. "I was bamboozled, man!" he said of the brief campaign. Still, we give him points for his apparent rush to reach the panel: He didn't have time to take the price tags off the soles of his shoes. McCain, who wore 4-inch heels, was in as much of a rush to leave. As she hustled off to a black Suburban with her entourage, a publicist informed us that the busy Daily Beast blogger "absolutely" didn't have time for a short interview. "What, are you going to be mean to me?" McCain asked us. Meghan, how harshly you judge us! Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Super Bowl-winning Saints quarterback Drew Brees honored as the AP’s Male Athlete of the Year

NEW ORLEANS - Drew Brees has New Orleans swinging, singing and trumpeting their Saints like never before. When the Rebirth Brass Band tears it up during one of their late night shows at a funky old neighborhood bar, the tin-walled place bounces to a drum beat and a tuba's bass line. Their song goes like this: "We used to say 'Who dat' since way back when / Now we're saying 'We dat' every time we win / You can write it down, take a picture, tell a friend / We already done it. We're gonna do it again." Brees is a big reason New Orleanians can smile and boast. Not only did the reigning Super Bowl MVP turn around the Saints' football fortunes and bring the city its first NFL championship in February, he's become a civic leader as his adoptive hometown recovers from a time of turmoil and suffering. That record of accomplishment is why the down-to-earth quarterback was voted the 2010 Male Athlete of the Year, chosen by members of The Associated Press. There were 176 ballots submitted from U.S. news organizations that make up the AP's membership. Brees received 48 votes, while the 2009 AP Male Athlete of the Year, NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, finished second with 31. Boxer Manny Pacquiao was third with 21 votes, followed by Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay with 17. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, a comeback story himself, rounded out the top five vote-getters with 10. The award was announced Friday. "I've always tried to visualize myself in that position of being considered one of the best and winning championships," said Brees, who won his first title in his ninth NFL season. "Certainly the way you're perceived, the way people talk about you, the kind of category they put you in - that stuff changes and it's flattering, certainly humbling." Brees is only the fourth quarterback to receive the honor in the past four decades, along with the Patriots' Tom Brady in 2007, the 49ers' Joe Montana in 1989 and 1990, and the Raiders' Continue Reading

Four-time LPGA Tour player of the year Lorena Ochoa retires to reportedly concentrate on family

MEXICO CITY - Lorena Ochoa retired Tuesday, the second time in the last three years the biggest star on the LPGA Tour decided to step away.The 28-year-old Mexican announced her decision on her website and will discuss her plans Friday. Ochoa, who has been No. 1 in the world the last three years and won 27 times over the last six years, may well be the best-known athlete in her country who is not a soccer player."Lorena Ochoa confirms her retirement from the LPGA, as news reports in some media have said today," her statement said. "The reasons and more details on the matter will be given by Lorena personally in a press conference on Friday in Mexico City. Lorena will share this news of a new stage in her life with her sponsors, family members and friends."The LPGA told The Associated Press it would not comment until Friday's news conference.Ochoa is scheduled to play next week in the Tres Marias event in Morelia, west of Mexico City. It was not clear if she would "I'm just crushed," Judy Rankin, a Hall of Famer and television analyst, said upon hearing the news. "We won't get to see her play golf. Mostly, we won't get to see her."Annika Sorenstam was 37 when she announced her retirement in May 2008, saying she wanted to pursue other interests and start a family. She now has a daughter.The newspaper Reforma first reported Ochoa's retirement and said she wanted to concentrate on her family and charities. She was married in December to Andres Conesa, the chief executive of Aeromexico airline. He has three children from a previous marriage."I must admit that I was surprised, but not shocked, when I heard the news yesterday that Lorena is going to retire," Sorenstam said on her blog. "She has always said she would play for maybe 10 years and then leave the game to start a family. She just got married and obviously feels that she is ready for that next chapter in her life."Ochoa has also talked openly about wanting to have children of her own. Last year she began traveling Continue Reading

Inside the career of Time magazine’s Person of the Year, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who helped steer the U.S. economy through its darkest days since the Great Depression, was named Time magazine's 2009 Person of the Year on Wednesday.Here are some facts about Bernanke.* Bernanke, 56, was named by Republican President George W. Bush to succeed Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve -- the U.S. central bank -- in 2006. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, renominated him in August.* Bernanke, whose reconfirmation is due to be put to a vote by a Senate panel on Thursday, has been credited with taking extraordinary measures to prevent the U.S. credit crisis from turning into an economic depression but he concedes that the Fed, among others, failed to spot the crisis before it struck.* Bernanke has taken unusual high-profile steps for a Fed chief, appearing this year on a popular U.S. newsmagazine program, CBS's "60 Minutes", and at a town-hall meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.* Before his appointment as chairman of the Federal Reserve on February 1, 2006, he was chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, from June 2005 to January 2006.* Bernanke had been a Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University in New Jersey from 1985 to 2002. He taught also at Stanford University, New York University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an expert on the Great Depression and monetary policy.* Bernanke was born December 13, 1953, in Augusta, Georgia, and grew up in Dillon, South Carolina. He received a B.A. in economics in 1975 from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in economics in 1979 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.* Bernanke has said the Fed has the tools necessary to unwind the extraordinary stimulus applied to fight the financial crisis without sparking unwanted inflation.* Financial markets have given Bernanke high marks on the job but lawmakers in Congress have balked at giving the Fed new powers to oversee the U.S. financial system, mindful of Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke named Time magazine 2009 ‘Person of the Year’

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is Time magazine's person of the year. Time credits Bernanke with ensuring 2009 was a year of recovery rather than a second Great Depression. "The recession was the story of the year. Without Ben Bernanke ... it would have been a lot worse," Time managing editor Richard Stengel said in a statement. "We've rarely had such a perfect revision of the cliché that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it," Stengel said. "Bernanke didn't just learn from history; he wrote it himself and was damned if he was going to repeat it." Bernanke beat out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gen. Stanley McChyrstal, who is the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He also beat out President Barack Obama, who won the honor in 2008. Bernanke, an expert on the Great Depression, saw the country through the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. The 56-year-old was appointed by then-President George W. Bush to succeed Alan Greenspan in 2006. President Obama nominated him for a second term in August. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Brooklyn Sports Person of the Year: Ruth Lovelace

Boys & Girls coach Ruth Lovelace had just finished giving her postgame speech to the Kangaroos, who were fresh off an 82-41 home rout of Grady last Tuesday. Minutes after Lovelace was done talking and the team left the locker room, senior forward Garfield Hinds reappeared, with several of his teammates beside him. "(Garfield) told me, 'A reporter needs you right now and it's very important,' so I walk out, the whole team's there and there's this big cake in the middle of the court," Lovelace said. "They yelled, 'Surprise! Happy Birthday!'" The Kangaroos - who came into the week 4-0 and tied with Lincoln atop the Brooklyn 'AA' Division - were expressing their appreciation for the coach they admiringly call "Love." "I didn't expect that from them and they didn't have to do that," Lovelace added. "I just wanted them to go out and get a win. That shows me how much they respect me and they know how hard I'll go for them if they're doing the right thing." For her dedication to her players on and off the court in 2007, Brooklyn Sports is proud to name Lovelace the Daily News Brooklyn Sports Person of the Year. In an interview with the Daily News in March, Lovelace - who also coaches the girls handball team in the spring - drew a blank when asked to provide her own basketball coaching record; knowing that she helped change a young person's life, she said, was her personal measure of success. By that standard, Lovelace is more than successful. The Kangaroos' 14-year coach has always taken the extra step to help her players, particularly in time of need. There was the time she helped a point guard deal with his mother's suicide. She once bought enough groceries for another player to get by, and helped another to deal with his family's eviction notice. Her team went 33-3 overall, earned a national ranking and made it to the PSAL championship game last season; throughout the experience, Lovelace continued to be there for her players. While point Continue Reading