The Twisted Propaganda Machine of the Conservative WSJ, ALEC and Stephen Moore

Tuscan Spring wallpaper

Tuscan Spring wallpaper

If readers tick to the main news articles the Wall Street Journal is not completely submerged in Murdoch’s patented conservative yellow journalism. Though like many newspaper outlets they shape the news by what they report and how they report it. A main news article may be true, but lacks details important to tell the whole story. By covering certain aspects of, say, legislative news, repeatedly, they can project a picture of something as slightly radical – like equal pay for women working the same or similar jobs as men. That’s not radical, that is a mainstream American value concerning fairness and decency. Where Murdoch and the conservative movement really make their mark is on the editorial pages. In Conservoworld  all news is just opinion, but even actual opinions must have some basis in fairness and reality. If it is my opinion the world is flat, I don’t get off the hook for being a crank. Whatever my opinion on the earth’s shape, it is not flat. If someone feels that the HPV vaccine is bad idea, they still need to justify the death and suffering they might cause by perpetuating voodoo medical opinions from a big soapbox. The WSJ and  WSJ conservative Editorial Board Member Stephen Moore feels they can disseminate all the voodoo they like and do so without regard for basic journalistic ethics, The Wall Street Journal’s latest defense of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), penned by WSJ Editorial Board Member Stephen Moore, fails to disclose Moore’s deep ties to ALEC.

Moore’s op-ed attacks U.S. Senator Richard Durbin for scrutinizing ALEC’s role in peddling the Florida “Stand Your Ground” legislation as a model for the nation for more than six years. That law was initially cited to prevent the arrest of George Zimmerman for shooting Florida teenager Trayvon Martin to death, and that law proved to be instrumental in the failure to convict after the jury was instructed that in accordance with that law Zimmerman had a “right to stand his ground” and had “no duty to retreat.”

However, Moore failed to disclose anywhere in that op-ed that he has a long-standing working relationship with ALEC. These close ties include the facts that:Wall Street Journal Ed Board Member Stephen Moore

since at least 2007, Moore has been on ALEC’s “Board of Scholars,” one of five people with that designation; since 2007, Moore has been the co-author of one of ALEC’s main publications, “Rich States, Poor States,” which claims to rank the performance of states in accordance with their adherence to ALEC’s ideal economic policies, reports that have been strongly criticized; since joining WSJ’s editorial board in 2005, Moore has presented on issues such as reducing corporate tax rates at ALEC’s closed door task force meetings, where corporate lobbyists vote as equals with state legislators on “model bills” to be introduced into law in state capitols; and in 2009, ALEC said Moore “represents what we should expect of all journalists,” and gave him its “Warren Brookes Award” for “journalistic excellence”

[  ]…Byline of ALEC’s Rich States, Poor States Similarly, in the WSJ op-ed when he quoted newly-elected Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Moore failed to note that Cruz is one of the featured “plugs” for the 6th edition of this piece of work Moore co-writes that is published by ALEC. Likewise, in the op-ed when Moore quoted an unnamed board member of ALEC, he failed to mention his own long-time post on ALEC’s Board of Scholars.

Ted Cruz (R-TX) is remarkable for his ability to be a particular large freak in a conservative tent brimming over with freaks. ALEC is nothing more than the organized crime wing of the conservative movement. I forget his name, But I’ll never forget the Democratic congressional representative that said he was not so much surprised at the illegal things conservatives do, but the things they get away with that are supposedly legal. It is clever to have so much cash and powerful connections that they can twist arms to get anything they want, but ethical it is not. What remains of the old Pajamas Media – a network of conservative bloggers, gleefully and as often as possible bleep about how this administration has not delivered on all the transparency they promised. They is quite the shameless hypocrisy from people who voted for Bush-Cheney Inc. and support ALEC. ALEC is all about closed doors, deals made and legislation passed in the middle of the night. They’re the real deal, the Darth Vaders you see in political thrillers. No wonder Moore and the WSJ does not want the public to know that when they speak, they’re puppets for their ALEC puppet masters.

Extolling the virtues of stupidity is not an American value, Texas GOP rejects ‘critical thinking’ skills. Really.

Conservative Confederacy Lite,  Modern Vote Suppression Better Than Jim Crow, Still Pretty Bad

Conservative Republican Playbook, page one chapter one: When we can’t win by telling the truth, lie, lie some more and lie to cover up the lies, Bogus Study Tries to Scare “Young Invincibles” Away from Obamacare

Reeds in the Wind wallpaper

Reeds in the Wind wallpaper

Reeds in the Wind wallpaper

Neo-Confederate Rand Paul Aide A Daily Caller Contributor, Fox Regular

Jack Hunter, a congressional aide to Sen. Rand Paul with a history of “neo-Confederate” and “pro-secessionist” views, has produced dozens of articles and video commentaries for The Daily Caller and appeared as what one Fox Business host termed a “regular” guest on that network. He also helped then-Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), currently the president of The Heritage Foundation, write his most recent book.

The conservative Washington Free Beacon reported today that Hunter, a “close” Rand Paul aide who also co-wrote the Kentucky Republican’s 2011 book, “spent years working as a pro-secessionist radio pundit and neo-Confederate activist … Hunter was a chairman in the League of the South, which ‘advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern States from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.'”

And Jamelle Bouie also notes, I’m Shocked—Shocked!—That Rand Paul Has Ties to Neo-Confederates. MM and Bouie note the revelations started in the Washington Free Beacon, they do not speculate on the Beacon’s motivations. The Beacon is well known far Right rag that echoes much of the same trash that is part of the conservative echo chamber that includes Drudge, the Breitbart sites and Fox News. This story about Rand Paul might well be the only story with a political angles where they got their facts straight. Now why would an uber-conservative newspaper that sees it’s primary job as propelling the radical conservative agenda down as many throats as possible, go after Rand Paul. This is just my speculation. Matthew Continetti is the editor-in-chief of the Beacon. In the past he has worked for The National Review and Bill Kristol’s The Weekly Standard. In other words in his deep in connections to the conservative establishment. The conservative establishment usually gets it’s way. Those that kept up with Fox News reporting during the Republican primaries may remember that there was some, though not universal doubts and criticism about Romney. Once The national Review and Bill Kristol decided that Romney was THE conservative candidate, all criticism disappeared. It appears they are doing the opposite with Rand. It is an open secret that rand plans to run for president in 2016. Maybe they do not like Rand because of his murky opposition to the exploits of the NSA – there are too many conservative defense contractors making millions off the surveillance state for such opposition to become part of the Republican party platform. Radical religious conservatives like Rick Santorum do not like Paul because he is not enough of a dogmatist. Rand has said that conservatives need to become hipper. That kind of talk does not sit well with people who are literally still fighting the culture wars of the 60s and 70s. While like many i wish the r2016 had not begun, but it has. Right now Paul Ryan and Chris Christie seem to be leading in straw polls. So this move by the Beacon could be part of an early effort to knock out at least one of the fringe candidates before they can get any traction.

Another study and the Great Recession is still not the fault of liberals, Barney Frank or Fanny May, Two Sentences that Explain the Crisis and How Easy it Was to Avoid

The lenders were overwhelmingly the source of mortgage fraud.
The lenders were not only fraudulent, but following the “recipe” for ”accounting control fraud.”  They were deliberately making enormous numbers of bad loans.
This had to be done with the knowledge of the bank CEOs.  One of the wonderful things about being a CEO is the ability to communicate to employees and agents without leaving an incriminating paper trail.  Sophisticated CEOs running large accounting control frauds can use compensation and business and personnel decisions to send three key messages:  (a) you will make a lot of money if you report exceptional results, (b) I don’t care whether the reports are true or the results of fraud, and (c) if you do not report exceptional results or if you block loans from being approved by insisting on effective underwriting and honest appraisals you will suffer and your efforts will be overruled.  The appraisers’ petition was done over the course of seven years.  Even if we assumed, contrary to fact, that the CEO did not originate the plan to inflate the appraisals the CEOs knew that they were making enormous numbers of fraudulent “liar’s” loans with fraudulent appraisals.  It is easy for a CEO to stop pervasive fraudulent lending and appraisals.  Where appraisal fraud was common it was done with the CEO’s support.

Racism and Conservative Tyranny

Nashville Skyline wallpaper

Nashville Skyline wallpaper

I was going to take a pass on the Paula Deen fiasco. her business relies so much on a good public perception of her that she will more or less reap what she sowed. Now Fox news has decided to jump in and defend her, using lies to do so, Fox News Correspondent Starnes: “The Liberal, Anti-South Media Is Trying To Crucify Paula Deen”

A Fox News correspondent is attacking “the liberal, anti-South media” for unfairly “trying to crucify Paula Deen” over her admission in a court deposition that she’s used racial epithets.

Todd Starnes, who also hosts a Fox News Radio segment, wrote on his Facebook page that the “liberal, anti-South media is trying to crucify Paula Deen. They accuse her of using a derogatory word to describe a black person. Paula admitted she used the word — back in the 1980s – when a black guy walked into the bank, stuck a gun in her face and ordered her to hand over the cash. The national media failed to mention that part of the story. I’ll give credit to the Associated Press for telling the full story.”

Starnes also defended Deen via Twitter, writing: “The mainstream media hates Paula Deen […] I think it’s because most of them don’t eat meat.”

Starnes’ defense of Deen doesn’t square with reports about Deen’s deposition. The Huffington Post reported it “obtained a transcript of the deposition in question” and Deen is quoted as stating she “probably” used the word “in telling my husband” about the incident, and she is “sure” she’s used it since then, “but it’s been a very long time.” She went on to say “my children and my brother object to that word being used in any cruel or mean behavior. As well as I do.”

Deen also discussed planning a “really southern plantation wedding” and was asked if she used the n-word then:

Lawyer: Is there any possibility, in your mind, that you slipped and used the word “n–r”?

Deen: No, because that’s not what these men were. They were professional black men doing a fabulous job.

She apologized today in an online video “to everybody for the wrong that I’ve done … Inappropriate and hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable.”

In 2011, Starnes tweeted “Blacks riot at Burger King” and linked to a local news story about a cell phone camera capturing a brawl at a Panama City Beach Burger King. The story did not mention or discuss the race of the participants. The tweet was later deleted.

Anti-American Fox News Reporter Todd Starnes

I don’t know where Starnes was born or where he lives. I suspect he is not a southern. Most of us are not crazy about having the kind of lingering racism that Deen is guilty of and that Starnes defends. When the media points out what someone said, under oath mind you, and that language is clearly racist, the media is not being anti-South, it is being anti-racist. I do not take offense at someone pointing out racism, so why is Starnes. Why does he think it necessary to defend racism to the point where he is willing to act like a clown without honor. It that how desperate conservatism has become. Every time someone does or says something deeply crude and offensive, Fox news runs to the rescue. Nope, we must not let millionaires who say things that are immoral take their lumps, they must be guarded from the reasonable reactions to unreasonable behavior. In driving the clown car of conservative racism Starnes for got to think that maybe he was, in addition to his own record of racism, displayed an amazing amount of pretension and contempt for the South.

We might be wrong about the conservatives how the SCOTUS thinking tat corporations are human. They actually seem to think that corporations are special units of being. Beings that require special rights and privileges exceeding those of human beings, Worst Supreme Court Arbitration Decision Ever

So, today, in American Express v. Italian Colors, the U.S. Supreme Court said that a take-it-or-leave-it arbitration clause could be used to prevent small businesses from actually pursuing their claims for abuse of monopoly power under the antitrust laws. Essentially, the Court said today that their favorite statute in the entire code is the Federal Arbitration Act, and it can be used to wipe away nearly any other statute.

As Justice Kagan said in a bang-on, accurate and clear-sighted dissent, this is a “BETRAYAL” (strong word, eh?) of the Court’s prior arbitration decisions. You see, until now, the Supreme Court has said that courts should only enforce arbitration clauses where a party could “effectively vindicate its statutory rights.” Today, in a sleight of hand, the five conservative justices said that this means that arbitration clauses should be enforced even when they make it impossible for parties to actually vindicate their statutory rights, so long as they have a theoretical “right” to pursue that remedy.

The plaintiffs in this case, restaurants and other small merchants, claim that American Express uses its monopoly power over its charge card to force them to accept American Express’s credit cards and pay higher rates than they would for other credit cards. This is called a “tying arrangement” under the antitrust laws — American Express is alleged to be using its monopoly power over one product to jack up the price of another product to higher rates than it could charge in a competitive market.

For plaintiffs to prove this kind of case, they have to come up with hard evidence — economic proof — that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. And each individual merchant has only lost, and thus can only hope to recover, a small fraction of that amount. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recognized that if American Express’s arbitration clause (and particularly its ban on class actions) was enforced, that would mean that none of the small business plaintiffs could enforce their rights under the antitrust laws. And under a long line of Supreme Court cases, arbitration clauses are only enforceable when they permit the parties to effectively vindicate their statutory rights.

Today’s decision turns that rule on its head. According to Justice Scalia’s majority opinion, even if an arbitration clause would mean that no individual would ever actually be able to pursue an antitrust claim on an individual basis, the arbitration clause still has to be enforced. The law has changed dramatically — parties no longer have a right to “effectively” vindicate their statutory rights; they are left with the meaningless but formal right to pursue economically irrational claims if they choose to do so.

This would be one of those pro-business arrangements that conservatives like so much. One that makes small business and consumers helpless victims, but which makes sure the feudal overlords of business can raid and blunder as much as they like. If conservatives politicians and legal wizards were ever hooked up to a device that made them loose a tooth every time they used their nonsensical doublespeak, they’d be toothless in a week. The average conservative blog and their comment section is filled with invectives about how tyrannical Obama or some Democrat is, yet they’re celebrating a SCOTUS decision that took away some, not just basic legal rights, but economic and human rights. This decision, along with Citizens United , are poster issues for the kind of tyranny that the conservative movement passes off as freedom.,

Conservatives Cannot Back-Up Their Benghazi Conspiracy Theories

Space Eclipse wallpaper

Space Eclipse wallpaper

Remember when Bush ignored that Presidential Daily brief that Bin Laden might be planning an attack on the U.S. Remember how well then national Security Adviser and Vice President Cheney were so proactive about stopping that attack. No, we don’t remember that happening because they were all criminally negligent. None of their supporters, the same people pumping up the Benghazi conspiracy theories, called for resignations. On the contrary, they accused any critics of being pro terrorists. Judging from this trash talk from the anti-American web site Powerline and Paul Mirengoff, one can assume they’re afraid, very afraid of a Hillary Clinton run for the presidency,  Hillary Clinton — culpable for Benghazi from beginning to end. Anyone has has the time could use the bullet points from this trash to draw a chart on how to create a conservative smear without one shred of evidence:

“Under these circumstances, it would not do to attribute the Benghazi killings to the terrorism about which top State Department officials had been warned. Much better to lump what happened in Libya together with the protests that occurred in Egypt, and thereby characterize it as a demonstration that went too far, rather than premeditated terrorism.”

Yea, well the problem with that framing is that the Benghazi attacks did happen within the larger context of the video created by a U.S. based conservative. That is not to say there was a direct cause and effect, but certainly a tie between the two,  What’s Behind the US Embassy Protests in Egypt 

The distasteful and amateurish fourteen-minute video clip that ignited the unrest was first posted on YouTube in July, but it received scant attention until earlier this month, when Maurice Sadek, a Coptic Christian living in Washington DC, whose incendiary anti-Muslim campaigning led to the revocation of his Egyptian citizenship earlier this year, linked to a translated version of the film on an Arabic-language blog and highlighted it in an e-mail newsletter.

The independent daily Al Youm al Sabaa picked up the story and published a three-paragraph article on September 6 calling the film “shocking” and warning it could fuel sectarian tensions between Coptic Christians and Muslims in Egypt. An Islamic web forum soon carried the story, as did other newspapers, yet it remained off the front pages.

It wasn’t until September 9 that the story began to gain traction, when TV host Khaled Abdullah—known for his inflammatory rants against Christians, liberals and secularists—played a clip of the video on his show on El-Nas, a private religious satellite channel. Abdullah and his co-host railed against the film and accused expatriate Copts of wanting to “inflame Egypt.” The Coptic Church issued a statement disavowing the video, as did a number of expatriate Coptic groups.

The film quickly caught the attention of other ultraconservative Islamists in what became an echo chamber of calls to protest. Wesam Abdel Warith, the head of the Salafi television station al-Hekma and one of the principal protest organizers within the Salafi coalition, called for a demonstration to be held outside the US embassy on Tuesday, September 11, after hearing that extremist Florida pastor Terry Jones had planned to put the Prophet Muhammed on mock trial that day and sentence him to death.

In an interview with Al Jazeera English, Warith defended choosing to hold the protest outside the US embassy. “We are fully aware that the US administration is not responsible for the actions of individuals, but this was a message because we know as individuals we have no power to stop this absurdity,” he said.

The chorus of calls to protest continued to grow. Nader Bakkar, the spokesman for the Nour Party, the largest of Egypt’s three licensed Salafi parties, said the protest was necessary as a religious duty to defend the prophet.

“Islamists tried to capitalize on this event for their own political gains,” says Khalil al-Anani, a scholar in Middle East politics at Durham University. “But it started getting out of control. It’s a very risky game.”

By mid-afternoon on Tuesday, protesters started gathering in front of the embassy, chanting slogans for the prophet and against the United States. A few thousand eventually turned up and were joined by a small group of Copts as well as Ultras, the soccer fans who have long been at the forefront of protests against security forces in Egypt. Police did nothing to prevent a number of protesters from scaling the 12-foot outer wall of the compound and bringing down the American flag, which had been flying at half mast to mark the anniversary of 9/11, eventually burning it and replacing it with an Islamic one.

“Essentially, security didn’t do anything,” says Michael Wahid Hanna, a fellow at the Century Foundation. “When they want to enforce security around an embassy they do it,” he says, pointing to the police crackdown on demonstrators outside the Syrian embassy a week earlier.

So for the terrorists the video was a kind of trigger and the protests made for a good opportunity. If security at U.S. embassies is all awful and was then Secretary of State Clinton’s fault, than why didn’t terror cells around the world use the weakness that Powerline insists was pure negligence, to launch a series of attacks. Could it be that the facts are as we know them. This was the one embassy where there were protests to provide the best cover for such an attack. If it sounds like I’m tossing up my own wild theories, Powerline and the radical right propaganda outlet The Weekly Standard need to get their stories straight because the Standard actually printed what I just wrote, Weekly Standard Accidentally Disproves Central Right-Wing Benghazi Claim

In the Weekly Standard article, Stephen F. Hayes highlighted how specifics about the involvement of members of an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group that were included in an initial September 14 draft of talking points by the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis were later removed by administration officials. Included in Hayes’ report are images of the various versions of those talking points, which serve to drastically undermine the right-wing media’s critique. Here’s the first bullet point from what The Weekly Standard terms “Version 1”:

We believe based on currently available information that the attacks in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. Consulate and subsequently its annex.

In the final version of the document, that bullet reads:

The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault against the U.S. diplomatic post and subsequently its annex. There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.

The “protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo” were part of a series of global riots and protests in Muslim countries that came in response to increasing awareness of the anti-Islam video.

These talking points were used by Ambassador Rice for a series of September 16 television interviews. The right-wing media subsequently engaged in a witch hunt to portray her as untruthful and misleading for connecting the attack to the video. But as the Weekly Standard has now shown, it was the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis and not political appointees that introduced that link into the talking points.

Moreover, the involvement of al Qaeda-linked terrorists in the attack does not preclude the video’s possible role as the proximate cause of the attack.

 

Maybe the entire intelligence community switches roles depending on who is in the White House. During the Bush years they conspired to cover-up conservative incompetence and violation of the law. One can make up all kinds of stories and claim that the story is indisputable, but what about those little nasty things called facts. The radical right claims that people did and said things out of certain motivations. Unless they have super powers that violate physical law, they cannot see into the mind of Clinton, Susan Rice or President Obama. And about that whistle blower who supposedly has the White House in his sights. Just so much smack talk, Benghazi (II): A military analysis of the Fox mystery man’s fantasy rescue plan

On April 30, 2013, Fox News aired an interview with a supposed member of U.S. Special Operations Command who said that members of “C-110,” who were training in Croatia on September 11, 2012, could have both arrived at the Benghazi consulate in 4-6 hours and arrived before the second attack on the annex during which Tyronne Woods and Glen Doherty were killed. The mystery man critiques the Obama administration’s decision-making, yet offers no information as to how C-110 would have influenced the battle in such a way that the outcome would have been different. Perhaps because it was actually impossible for C-110 to arrive before the attack, and if they did, they would not have been able to do anything that would have prevented our heroes, Woods and Doherty, from being killed.

[  ]…Obama gave the launch order at 0239. The mystery operator said 4-6 hours. That’s 0639-0839. Woods and Doherty died at 0515. An Air Force C-17 was evacuating personnel from the Benghazi airport at 0740. Mystery man and Fox News can’t add. Strike one.

 

Gregory Hicks, the former deputy of slain U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens has some lawyers running defense for him. How remarkable that his lawyers are members of the conservative black opts crew that tried to get serial liar and traitor Scooter Libby off,

Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing run a law firm together. They are also married. They are also soldiers in the dirty wars we have between the two major parties. When Scooter Libby was indicted, diGenova and Toensing demanded a pardon. In fact, they had been brawling on Libby’s side for years. Toensing even authored an amici curiae brief with the US Court of Appeals in Washington, seeking to overturn the ruling that forced Matthew Cooper and Judy Miller to testify in the Libby case.

Poor little Scooter, a conservative black opts veteran himself had to bite the bullet, lie, get caught and then take the fall, all to protect Darth Cheney. he is probably living off wing-nut welfare, but he never did have to serve jail time for his crimes and neither did Dick. The Benghazi conspiracy game follows a trend in the conservative movement. Conservatives commit real provable crimes. Are proven to be up to their eyeballs in an actual conspiracy. As soon as the opportunity arises they invent a conspiracy as revenge against those who attacked them for their real crimes and negligence. Conservatives have created this swirling cesspool of moral corruption. rather than step back, stop, apologize and become just decent citizens, they dig themselves deeper into the muck of their own making. Even Fox News or one guy on their morning show anyway sees where the conspiracy entangles a lot of people the Right has praised in the past, including Admiral Mullen, General Petraus and Leon Panetta. Many of the people who were running some aspect of national security under Bush, and could do no wrong, are still working at some post at the CIA, National Security Administration or the Pentagon, for the Obama administration. This is almost as absurd as the birthers who by definition are claiming that fifty states, the CIA, the SCOTUS, the State Department, the Secret Service and a dozen other entities are involved in the greatest cover-up in history.

Horse Engraving wallpaper – Jennifer Rubin, The Department of Justice and Ethical Journalism

Horse Engraving wallpaper

Horse Engraving wallpaper

In 2011 the Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin came in at the number two spot on Salon’s worse media hacks list,  The Washington Post blogger is hateful and repetitive

Here’s a brief list of greatest hits: Her legendarily dumb column “wondering” why American Jews were largely repulsed by Sarah Palin, which concluded that it was because, as we all know, American Jews are rootless cosmopolitan elites who spend their time sneering at real Americans like hardscrabble blue-collar working mom Sarah Palin. Repeatedly accusing President Obama — the one with all the targeted assassinations and expanded use of secret executive surveillance and counterterrorism powers — of being soft on terrorism because he doesn’t intentionally antagonize the Arab world with inflammatory language. Endorsing the absurd New Black Panthers Party conspiracy theory. Frequently endorsing and retweeting the blatantly racist and occasionally eliminationist anti-Arab writings of her friend Rachel Abrams. Regularly getting things wrong and quoting things out of context and never apologizing. Being awful.

Also mentioned in that piece is Rubins most infamous hackery to date. Before anyone knew what the motivations of the Oslo mass killer were ( he was actually a  white ultra conservative anti-Islam zealot), Rubin jumped on the web and said that the murders were the workings of a Muslim radical. While that post was taken down – after 24 hours – to date Rubin has not apologized to the public for clearly shoving aside basic journalistic integrity to make a headline and get some attention. Being a hack at WaPo, or being such a bombastic hack takes some effort considering the company Rubin keeps. The WaPo is also home to Mr. Torture Marc  Thiessen, perhaps the most bitter pundit in America Charles Krauthammer, Science hater George Will and Charles Lane. No one reads Lane or ever quotes him, so he may not count. I’ve posted several times about the psychology of challenging these kinds of people. They are not just professional fact deniers, once challenged they dig in even harder on their beloved theories. It is not about advancing the truth regardless of political persuasion – a noble endeavor. These theories are almost always, could have been plagiarized from newspapers on the planet Bizarro. Rubin’s strange reportage of the DOJ’s handling of the New Black Panthers voting rights case was wrong in 2011. It is still wrong. The facts about that case have been out for a while. With the release of a new report by the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) entitled, A Review of the Operations of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division (pdf). Rubin writes in today’s drool, Justice Department’s civil rights division disaster: What will Holder do now?

Since August 2009, I have been writing about the politicization of the Justice Department. Less than a handful of conservative journalists pursued this, and mainstream media outlets almost entirely ignored all the aspects of this story, including the infamous New Black Panther case. It turns out that, at least in the Civil Rights Division, things were much worse than most imagined.

…John Fund cites some of the key findings of the IG report, as does former DOJ employee Christian Adams. The IG declined to find a racial or political motive for dismissing the New Black Panther case but found actions surrounding that action “risked undermining confidence in the non-ideological enforcement of the voting rights laws.” In other words, it sure looked partisan.

Rubin and i might agree that the New Black panthers are assclowns and at least two of the Panthers outside that polling place were master assclowns. That said let’s get to the report. The report that Rubin uses as her authoritative source,

On November 4, 2008 (Election Day), two African-American men stood outside of the entrance to a polling site on Fairmount Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The men were members of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) and wore matching paramilitary clothing, such as trousers tucked into their boots and berets adorned with the NBPP insignia. One of the men carried a nightstick. Witnesses videotaped the men standing outside the polling place and uploaded the videos to the Internet.
Shortly thereafter, the Voting Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (the Division or CRT) initiated an investigation into the matter. On January 7, 2009, days before the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the Division filed a civil action against the two NBPP members in the videos, the NBPP’s national chairman, and the organization itself. The complaint filed by the Division alleged violations of Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act, which in general terms prohibits intimidation or attempted intimidation of voters or other individuals assisting voters.

On May 15, 2009, the Division moved the court to dismiss the complaint against three of the four defendants – namely, the NBPP, its chairman, and one of the two members that were present at the polling station in Philadelphia on Election Day. The Division continued the action against the fourth defendant, the individual who stood outside the polling site holding a nightstick, and sought a default judgment and an injunction prohibiting him from bringing a weapon to a polling place in Philadelphia through 2013. The court granted the Division’s requested relief on May 18, 2009.

Nothing in the report validates Rubin’s claim that any inappropriate action or lack of action took place. basic journalism. This is where Rubin gets her quote from, “risked undermining confidence in the non-ideological enforcement of the voting rights laws.”

In the highly controversial NBPP matter, we found that the decisions that were reached by both administrations were ultimately supportable on nonracial and non-partisan grounds. However, we also found that the manner in which the outgoing administration filed the case without following usual practice and the new administration’s dismissal of Jackson as a defendant at the eleventh hour, particularly viewing the latter in the context of the contemporaneous discussions about removing Coates as Section Chief, both risked undermining confidence in the non-ideological enforcement of the voting rights laws. (Page 257)

Though for the sake of appearances, because some people could take these actions out of context, could see them as maybe not appearing as something they were not. Which is exactly what Rubin and other conservative analyst have done. Rubin, for some reason, puts up part of that section’s findings, with the bold I have above and still concludes that Attorney General Holder is running a wildly corrupt operation. The Bush administration started the NBPP investigations and decided not to file criminal charges. One of the biggest reason for that is that not one voter came forward to say they felt intimated from voting because of their presence. Rubin also writes,

What we do know is that the man currently presiding over the division allowed extreme and rampant misbehavior to occur or was simply clueless about what was happening in his own division.

Did she come to that after reading several findings scattered through a report that runs 251 pages, not including the index. Here are some more excerpts from a report where she finds that the DOJ’s civil rights division is a “disaster”.

P.4
On March 17, 2011, OPR issued a report concerning its investigation into the NBPP matter. A redacted version of the OPR report was subsequently released publicly on the House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic website. OPR concluded that Department officials did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment in connection with the NBPP matter, but rather acted appropriately in the exercise of their supervisory duties. OPR further found that the Department’s decision to dismiss three of the four defendants and to seek more narrowly tailored injunctive relief against the fourth defendant was based on a good-faith assessment of the law and facts of the case and had a reasonable basis. According to its report, OPR found no evidence that partisan politics was a motivating factor in reaching the Department’s decision or that the decision-makers were influenced by the race of the defendants or any considerations other than an assessment of the available evidence and the applicable law. OPR also stated that it had concluded that the decision to initiate the NBPP case was based upon a good-faith assessment of the facts and the law, that it found no evidence that partisan politics was a motivating factor in authorizing the suit against the four defendants.

This is relatively clear even in bureaucratic speak – no professional misconduct occurred, but they did fail to dot some i’s. Officials were not guilty of using race as a special consideration in favor of the defendants. This is the far Right’s major complaint. Holder is an African-American. The NBPP are African-Americans. They were not prosecuted because of what had to be racial favoritism. Did not happen according to the report Rubin is using as her authority. based on that fact alone, why isn’t WaPo management telling Rubin to pack her stuff right now based on grave journalistic misconduct. There is more,

P.141
Our earlier investigation of politicized hiring in CRT, which examined all Sections in CRT from 2001 to 2007, found that political and ideological considerations did not influence hiring and personnel decisions except in those sections that Schlozman supervised. Our report found that Schlozman relied upon political and ideological considerations when making hiring and other personnel decisions in the Voting Section and the four other sections he supervised.171 The evidence developed during our earlier investigation also showed that the AAGs and Principal DAAGs who supervised Schlozman failed to exercise sufficient oversight to ensure that Schlozman did not engage in inappropriate hiring and personnel practices.

Why didn’t Rubin mention Bradley Schlozman. He supervised the Voting Section in his capacity as Principal DAAG and Acting AAG. he is a conservative who based his hiring practices on ideology – a very strong anti-liberal ideology. Though it does seem that Bradley hated most people, not just liberals. The Perez Rubin referes to is the one that fixed the system to make it more diffuclt for people like Bradley to rig the system to either conservative or Democrat.

AAG Perez also issued guidance to the Division on December 10, 2009, and July 13, 2010, on the need to follow merit system principles in hiring and avoid “prohibited personnel practices.”176 We found that comparable guidance was issued by AAG Wan Kim in June 2007, by Acting AAG Grace Chung Becker in August 2008, and by Acting AAG Loretta King in early 2009.

In our interview of AAG Perez, he said that his main concern with hiring when he returned to the Department in October 2009 was to reestablish the role of career staff.177 In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2011, Perez said that he was “quite confident” that merit-based hiring had been restored in CRT, and that the Division hires attorneys with civil rights backgrounds because relevant experience is very helpful. P.192

Rubin also conveniently ignores,

P. 202
Other hiring committee members unanimously stated the same belief and that the resumes of Republicans or conservatives were treated fairly. The sole self-identified Republican on the hiring committee told the OIG that in this person’s view, the hiring committee functioned in an ideologically neutral way and that politics and ideology were not part of the hiring committee’s deliberations.

The Civil Rights Division did go through a staffing phase where they hired more litigators. Since the DOJ did not want to hire unqualified lawyers and did not practice affirmative action for conservatives, few conservatives applied and the ones that did were not as qualified as Democratic attorneys,

P. 211
As Table 5.1 demonstrates, the new hires as a group had significantly more litigation experience than the candidates who were not hired. For example, 56 percent (5 of 9) of the new hires had 8 or more years of litigation experience. By comparison, only 23 percent (107 of 473) of the rejected applicants as a whole had this much experience. The differences are even greater with respect to voting litigation experience: 78 percent of the new hires (7 of 9) had 2 or more years of voting litigation experience, compared to 3 percent of all rejected candidates (15 of 473). In addition, 33 percent of the new hires (3 of 9) previously worked as trial attorneys in the Voting Section.

P. 214
In connection with our review of the hiring of career attorneys in the Voting Section since 2009, we did not identify any e-mails, documents, or testimony indicating that CRT staff purposely considered political or ideological affiliations when hiring experienced trial attorneys for the Voting Section. The overall applicant pool was evenly split between those with Democratic or liberal affiliations and those with unknown affiliations, but that there were only 10 applicants with identifiably Republican affiliations out of 482 total applicants. Our evaluation of CRT documents and witness statements and assessment of hiring statistics showed that CRT staff focused primarily on litigation experience related to voting rights when making hiring selection decisions, and that the subset of applicants with such experience was characterized by a high concentration of applicants with Democratic Party or liberal affiliations.
We determined that since publication of our earlier report on politicized hiring in CRT, the Division implemented numerous reforms to address the issues in the hiring process that our report described. CRT established new policies that limit the role of political appointees in the hiring process and that require mandatory training on merit system principles for members of CRT hiring committees.

If Rubin is trying to make Salons’ hack list for 2013, she is off to a very good start.  Rubin is an opinion columnist and we seem to live in a Rupert Murdoch world where there is no truth, only differences of opinion. Yet some old fashioned Americans remember ideals, like facts and integrity count in journalism, even when giving an opinion.

Sunrise Earth wallpaper – Dorner and The Michelle Malkin School of Journalism

Sunrise Earth wallpaper

 

Remember when one of the worse peace time mass murders in history broke in Norway by far Right conservative Anders Behring Breivik. As soon as the at news broke, ace conservative “journalist” Michelle Malkin was tweeting away about how it was the work of Isalmic jihadists. In addition to her shoot first get the facts later brand of reportage – and we’re not talking about facts unfloding and she just reported what a police or offical said as events unfolded – Malkin has a habit of being apologetically sleazy. Much like a middle-school smart ass who never out grew her worse impulses, Malkin has always been happy to make snide smears first, and forget the actual reportage. With the news of the serial murders by former police officer Christopher Dorner and the publication of his supposed manifesto, Malkin continues the conservative standard for fair and balanced, The Blame Righty mob falls silent By Michelle Malkin

Question: What will this rabid Blame Righty mob do now that an alleged triple-murderer has singled out prominent lefties in the media and Hollywood for fawning praise as part of his crazed manifesto advocating cop-killing?

Answer: Evade, deflect, ignore and whitewash.

This week, former Los Angeles Police Department Officer Christopher Dorner allegedly shot and killed three innocent people in cold blood. He was the subject of a massive manhunt as of Thursday afternoon. Dorner posted an 11,000-word manifesto on Facebook that outlined his chilling plans to target police officers.

CNN headlined its story on the rant: “Alleged cop-killer details threats to LAPD and why he was driven to violence.” MSNBC reported: “Manifesto: Alleged Revenge Shooter Named Targets.” KTLA-TV in Los Angeles went with: “Christopher Dorner’s Manifesto (Disturbing Content and Language).”

There was a curious, blaring omission in both the headlines and the stories from these supposedly objective outlets, though. Dorner expressed rather pointed, explicit views of news personalities and celebrities who have influenced, entertained and uplifted him.

Note the bold (mine) in that last paragraph. Malkin links to what Dorner wrote. It is available on-line in several places, which she lists. So if she found it, she linked to it, the manifesto is up for anyone to read , where is the “blaring omission”. Where is the media hiding stuff that Malkin says is a secret. Are they hiding it in plain sight. A modern case of the Purloined Letter? Does Malkin read her rants back to herself and check them for coherence. Let’s pause for a second and discuss that manifesto. BuzzFeed says that the version released has been highly edited.  Malkin has probably not jumped the shark as badly as with Brevik, but is basing her post on a document that may or may not be the complete original. I tend to think that even if only half the stuff in it is true Dorner has some evil impulse issues. If the the parts about police department racism and brutality are true, still not even close to being an excuse for murder. For the time being let’s say the snips she quotes remain in an unedited version, that means some other parts, that distract some Malkin’s spin of Dorner as a crazed “lefty”: Fox News/Hannity Uses Ex-LAPD Cop Killer To Dishonestly Smear Liberals

Oddly enough, Hannity left out Dorner’s support for Republican Chris Christie (“You’re America’s no s*** taking uncle. … Your leadership is greatly needed.”), how Dorner said that the only presidential candidate he supported in 2012 was Republican Jon Huntsman, and how George H.W. Bush was “always one of my favorite presidents.”

It turned into a trifecta of political opportunism for the “fair and balanced” network that allowed Hannity to a) play the media victim because b) the “liberal media” was showing its hypocrisy in c) not reporting the liberal/Democratic affiliations of Dorner the way you know it would have if he were a conservative.

Dorner hearts Bush 43 and Chris Christie, and Malkin thinks the guy is a liberal. Maybe, but he seems to belong to the cult of personalities. He sees and hears public officials, newscasters and celebrities and either falls in love or hate with them. Dorner was a police officer and is ex-military. Maybe he did have legitimate mainstream liberal leanings on some issues – racism as an issue obviously meant a lot to him, but antisemitism and police corruption as well. It is safe to say that he snapped. Liberals don’t stand for gunning down innocent people. That is certainly not something he got listening To Joe Biden, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. None of the newscasters or celebrities he admired have advocated murder. So how can one reasonably say that they are to blame. That is where Malkin and the conservative pile-on comes in. They do not have to put together a reasonable case for cause and effect, because they don’t care about the truth.

I cannot vouch for this site, but he claims to have the entire unedited-uncensored version. Here are what “glaring omission” Malkin missed,

Those lesbian officers in supervising positions who go to work, day in day out, with the sole intent of attempting to prove your misandrist authority (not feminism) to degrade male officers. You are a high value target.
Those Asian officers who stand by and observe everything I previously mentioned other officers participate in on a daily basis but you say nothing, stand for nothing and protect nothing. Why? Because of your usual saying, ” I……don’t like conflict”. You are a high value target as well.

….I will utilize OSINT to discover your residences, spouses workplaces, and children’s schools. IMINT to coordinate and plan attacks on your fixed locations. Its amazing whats on NIPR. HUMINT will be utilized to collect personal schedules of targets. I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, I’m terminating yours. Quan, Anderson, Evans, and BOR members Look your wives/husbands and surviving children directly in the face and tell them the truth as to why your children are dead. ( one of the more disturbing parts)

…Wayne LaPierre, President of the NRA, you’re a vile and inhumane piece of shit. You never even showed 30 seconds of empathy for the children, teachers, and families of Sandy Hook. You deflected any type of blame/responsibility and directed it toward the influence of movies and the media. You are a failure of a human being. May all of your immediate and distant family die horrific deaths in front of you. ( if he would have left off the last sentence he would have nailed it).

…General Colin Powell, your book “My American Journey” solidified my decision to join the military after college. I had always intended to serve, but your book and journey motivated me. You are an inspiration to all Americans and influenced me greatly. ( Powell was and still is a conservative)

….Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” is the greatest piece of music ever, period. ( if everyone one that thinks this is a violent liberal, than some of the conservatives I know are leading double lives).

…Anthony Bourdain, you’re a modern renaissance man who epitomizes the saying “too cool for school”.
Larry David, Kevin Hart, the late Patrice Oneal, Lisa Lampanelli, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Louis CK, Dave Chapelle, Jon Stewart, Wanda Sykes, Dennis Miller, and Jeff Ross are pure geniuses. ( after 9-11 Dennis Miller turned into a humorless conservative smart-ass, an Ann Coulter with a bad beard).

 

 

Kick That Can

John Boehner, the speaker of the House, claims to be exasperated. “At some point, Washington has to deal with its spending problem,” he said Wednesday. “I’ve watched them kick this can down the road for 22 years since I’ve been here. I’ve had enough of it. It’s time to act.”

Actually, Mr. Boehner needs to refresh his memory. During the first decade of his time in Congress, the U.S. government was doing just fine on the fiscal front. In particular, the ratio of federal debt to G.D.P. was a third lower when Bill Clinton left office than it was when he came in. It was only when George W. Bush arrived and squandered the Clinton surplus on tax cuts and unfunded wars that the budget outlook began deteriorating again.

As bad as their economic lies are, the conservative dedication to being ingenious is even worse.

Black and White Chess wallpaper- Journalism, OWS, The Police and Unequal Justice

 

Black and White Chess wallpaper

 

Black and White Train Station

“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.” -Voltaire

Is there a name for days when several news stories all come together to highlight come glaring inconsistencies about how events are reported, different groups are treated differently and how deeply ingrained a kind of conventional wisdom is in American culture and institutions.

To start is the news producer who was fired for holding up a sign at a OWS protest – How Occupy Wall Street Cost Me My Job

My boyfriend, Will, and I decided to take Friedersdorf’s words and use them, perhaps more literally than he intended. We printed them out, taped them to poster board, and headed to the Occupy Wall Street march in Times Square, on October 15. The plan was for Will to hold the sign, and for me to observe what happened and post reports to my personal Twitter account. (Video of Will attracting attention with the sign before I did is on your right, or click here to watch it.) But, inevitably, Will developed sign-holding fatigue, and I took over momentarily. I was standing beneath a news ticker near West 43rd Street and Broadway, and people began cheering as a headline about the movement scrolled across the ticker. I looked up, and at that moment a photographer took a photo of me holding the sign, and posted it to Twitter shortly thereafter.

What Caitlin E. Curran did is certainly participatory journalism. What she thought would be a good segment for a morning program – the sign and how people reacted. Note there was no intention on her part to claim she was doing a completely detached objective piece of reporting. It was not her intention of passing off her actions as unbiased. How could she. It was quite obvious that what anyone would have seen or listened to was what she did, why, what the crowd’s reaction was.

The next day, The Takeaway’s general manager fired me over the phone, effective immediately. He was inconsolably angry, and said that I had violated every ethic of journalism, and that this should be a “teaching moment” for me in my career as a journalist. The segment I had pitched, of course, would not happen. Ironically, the following day Marketplace did pretty much the exact segment I thought would have been great on The Takeaway, with Kai Ryssdal discussing the sign and the Goldman Sachs deal it alluded to in terms that were far from neutral.

So her boss uses her story, but fires her for creating the story. We live in an age where Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Jonah Goldberg, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh all call themselves journalists who are “fair and balanced”. Sure the hypocrisy of those examples is clear enough, but in a hilarious post TBogg – If It Weren’t For Double Standards, We’d Have No Standards At All – reminded me of Glenn Greenwald’s profile of “news” reporter  Erin Burnett – Erin Burnett: Voice of the People

On her new CNN show on Monday night, host Erin Burnett was joined by Rudy Giuliani’s former speechwriter John Avlon and together they heaped condescending scorn on the Wall Street protests while defending the banking industry, offering — as FAIR documented — several misleading statements along the way.  Burnett “reported” that while she “saw dancing, bongo drums, even a clown” at the protest, the participants “did not know what they want,” except that “it seems like people want a messiah leader, just like they did when they anointed Barack Obama.”  She featured a video clip of herself explaining to one of the protesters that the U.S. Government made money from TARP, and then demanded to know if that changed his negative views of Wall Street.

This is far from the first time Burnett has served as spokesperson for Wall Street; it’s basically what her “journalistic” career is.   She angered Bill Maher a couple years ago when arguing that the rich have suffered along with the poor and middle class as part of the financial crisis, and that it would be wrong to “soak the rich” because they’re already paying so much taxes.  She caused Rush Limbaugh to gush over her when she argued on TV in 2007 that all Americans benefit when the rich get richer: “the majority of Americans directly benefit from what happens on Wall Street,” she proclaimed, just over a year before the financial collapse.

Curran did not tell the world or give her audience the impression she was going to do an objective study of OWS and file a report accordingly without reviling her point of view. Burnett on the other hand presents herself, as do her employers, as a straight up news reporter.  As of Glenn’s writing Burnett was engaged to a big bank executive. She started her business career as a financial analyst for worldwide investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs. Burnett later became Vice President of Citigroup/CitiMedia.

Would it ever occur to CNN that perhaps a former Wall Street banker at Goldman Sachs, currently engaged to a Citigroup executive, might not be the best person to cover those protests?  Of course not: that’s exactly the bias that makes her such an appropriate choice in the eyes of her Time Warner bosses.

I don’t think Burnett can claim dumb or naive when she states to Vanity Fair, CNBC’s Erin Burnett Doesn’t Think All Rich People Are Evil

We’ve heard a lot about how some banks and companies are “too big to fail.” I’m not sure I understand that reasoning. Weren’t the dinosaurs too big to fail? The Titanic was too big to fail. The Galactic Empire in the Star Wars trilogy was definitely too big to fail. Isn’t everything bloated and evil and stupid too big to fail before it inevitably fails?

(Burnett) Whoa. (Long pause.) The irony of this whole crisis is that all of the banks that were too big to fail got a lot bigger. J.P. Morgan bought Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual. Bank of America got Merrill. Bank of America and J.P. Morgan have really gotten a lot bigger. I’m not sure what you can do to prevent that. No matter what the legislation does, if something is incredibly big, it’s very hard to put in assurances and preventative measures in advance that would prevent it from actually causing massive damage when it fails.

What a convenient case of suddenly does not have a clue. What could you do so that the US would not have too big to fail banks. Gee, how about bringing back the Glass-Steagall Act. You know the Act that is actually pro healthy competition , pro capitalism and protects consumers, investors and the average American household. I guess knowing that is too much to expect from a financial expert and completely unbiased financial reporter. One that has not lost her job for  blatant bias in reporting.

More strange inconsistency –  Boehner Demands $2 Billion for Ohio Plant After Solyndra

House Speaker John Boehner attacked the Obama administration for financing failed solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC, saying government shouldn’t pick winners and losers. That hasn’t stopped him from demanding that the U.S. make a winner of a nuclear-fuel plant in Ohio, his home state.

Boehner is backing a $2 billion Energy Department loan guarantee sought by USEC Inc. (USU) for its American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio, aimed at enriching uranium for commercial nuclear reactors.

“When it comes to emerging energy technologies, the Republicans don’t want to pick winners and losers — unless it’s nuclear power,” Ellen Vancko, nuclear energy and climate-change project manager in the Washington office of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an interview.

If John Boehner(R-OH) likes it, the project deserves government money and guarantees. What he likes also happens to be nuclear, non-alternative energy, a business in his state and to an industry that gives most of its contributions to conservatives. American Centrifuge will likely get its money. Obama has previously promised the money, has pushed nuclear energy, it is in Ohio and it is election time.

USEC’s political action committee has given $10,000 to committees supporting Boehner since 2010, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.
11,500 Centrifuges

In an interview with Fox Business Network on Sept. 19, Boehner said that “for the federal government to be out there picking one company over another, one type of energy source over another. I think is wrong.”

Remember that conservatives keep telling us that government does not create jobs. Furthermore, depending on what day it is or what state or where Boehner is getting his checks from – “for the federal government to be out there picking one company over another, one type of energy source over another. I think is wrong.” I know and have become accustomed to the fact the conservative movement has values that are as pliable as play-dough and as consistent as the wind direction. Standards for conservatives are whatever they think they should be depending on the situation. They have the same kind of situational ethics that  Erin Burnett and CNN have.

They say what goes around comes around – Officers Jeer at Arraignment of 16 Colleagues in Ticket-Fixing Investigation

As 16 police officers were arraigned at State Supreme Court in the Bronx, incensed colleagues organized by their union cursed and taunted prosecutors and investigators, chanting “Down with the D.A.” and “Ray Kelly, hypocrite.”

As the defendants emerged from their morning court appearance, a swarm of officers formed a cordon in the hallway and clapped as they picked their way to the elevators. Members of the news media were prevented by court officers from walking down the hallway where more than 100 off-duty police officers had gathered outside the courtroom.

The assembled police officers blocked cameras from filming their colleagues, in one instance grabbing lenses and shoving television camera operators backward.

The unsealed indictments contained more than 1,600 criminal counts…

It’s OK for the police to shove, block and yell – engage in rowdy protests. It is OK for them to block the media from filming and reporting on police corruption. They also get to engage in this behavior without being maced, kicked, suffer fractured skulls, knocked to the ground, jailed or be kept from exercising what they see as their right to protest. The protests are not about economic justice, but about 1,600 criminal counts that range from drug trafficking to corruption to grand larceny to ticket fixing. As the NYT notes this all comes as Federal agents “arrested eight current and former officers on accusations that they had brought illegal firearms, slot machines and black-market cigarettes into New York City.” While other officers have been charged in federal court with making false arrests. And in Brooklyn a criminal trial proceeded in which narcotics detectives were accused of planting drugs on innocent civilians. Of course all these people are innocent until proven guilty. Yet how quickly the worm turns. The police who were having their little riot at the court-house were doing so because of what feel is unfair and unjust treatment – with that many indictments there probably were a few innocent cops swept up with everyone else. The OWS protesters the police have been mistreating also feel they have legitimate complaints. No doubt a few of the protesters have behaved badly – as I write this there is a running story about some protesters assaulting other protesters, a few protesters in one city engaged in lewd behavior and a woman who apparently tried to recruit a teen protester for prostitution.

Mr. Kelly said that those who tried to rationalize ticket-fixing as part of the culture “are kidding themselves, especially if they think the public finds it acceptable.”

The everyone is doing it defense. I used that one myself at least once when I was a young teen. My parents weren’t buying it and I doubt the public will either when it comes to ticket fixing. This is also a big part of the problem with America’s financial sector. They have engaged in outrageously immoral behavior for so long it has become the norm – hey everyone is doing it.

On Friday morning, on the street outside the courthouse, some 350 officers massed behind barricades and brandished signs expressing sentiments like “It’s a Courtesy Not a Crime.”

When the defendants emerged, many in the crowd burst into raucous cheers. Once they had gone and the tide of officers had dispersed, the street was littered with refuse.

The police who think this whole episode is unfair and the city prosecutor should just call it a day, forgive and forget, might again think about what the best participants in the OWS are saying. Some of the police appeared to have done wrong. They’re going to trial or face some kind of departmental disciplinary action. Wall Street screwed the nation and millions of families, they cost us trillions in lost wealth and jobs. No one seems to be headed for trial much less jail. Different standards for different parts of a society which has a Supreme Court building engraved with the phrase “Equal justice under law”.

update: Just changed out the wallpaper.