Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A $10,000 challenge to the media to put their money where their mouth is on the Freeh Report.

Journalists are paid to gather and report the news and do it as accurately as possible. Once upon a time in journalism a reporter had to get a peice of information corroborated by at least one and sometimes two or three indpendent sources before a news orgranization would go with the story.
No more.

This was clearly evidenced with the media and their Joe Paterno and Penn State/Sandusky stories most of which got just about every "fact" wrong, were based on assumptions and what they thought would get the biggest audience, not what was true, and then made it worse when they rolled over and played dead for the Freeh Report, writing stories about the report as if it actually had presented facts that substantiated it's conclusions when it didn't even come close and in many cases fabricated "facts" that the media and those who believe them, swallowed as true.

It's not the first time the media has caused untold damage because of shoddy reporting ( we went to war helped by the false reporting by Judith Miller and the New York Times over Sadaam's non-existant WMD), and this is no exception since the very accreditation of a great university is in danger of being lost, along with a lot of other things as a result of a report that is in every way, dishonest and factually corrpupt but which the news media gave credence. As a result, lazy grandstanding bureaucrats like Mark Emmert of the NCAA and Rodney Erickson, the new president of Penn State, acted on the report but more because of the credence and publicity given to it by the media.

Now a Freeh Report skeptic has issued these same journalists a challenge:  He has offered to pay $10,000 to any news organization or to any charity they designate if Tim Curley and Gary Schultz are convicted of the charges against them, charges of which they have already been convicted by the media.. If after hearing all the evidence they are acquitted by a jury,  then those journalists or their news organizations who were so quick to treat the Freeh Report as fact, would in turn pay $10,000.

Given that it was the conclusions drawn by the Freeh Report on the actions of Curley, Schultz  and Spanier ( and Paterno) that was  the basis for the NCAA sanctions,  there is no reason why journalists who want to stand by his or her story wouldn't want to make $10,000 for charity and put their money, and integrity where their mouth is. Unless they have no confidence in either.

But one would think that any journalist, like those at Deadspin.com who were one of the most vocal, and certain of their position regarding the guilt of Paterno and others, ( without facts, naturally)  as well as journalists for ESPN, Sean Gregory at Time magazine, Roland Martin at CNN and more,  would take up the challenge for the sake of charity and  to stand up for their own integrity and journalistic competence.

If any do, it will be reported here. And, if  as expected, none do that will be reported here too.

More information on the challenge and the PR release related to it, can be found by clicking this link.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Is Hurricane Isaac divine intervention at the Republican convention?

 Where is Jerry Fallwell when the Democrats need him? There is always Pat Robertson but don't expect to hear much from him about hurricane Isaac bearing down on Tampa causing the cancellation of the first day of the Republican convention.

 Wasn't it Fallwell and Robertson who said the 911 terrorist attacks were divine retribution against America for the acceptance of gays? Didn't Robertson say the earthquake in Haiti a few years ago was divine retribution for Haiti's evil religious ways?

 So what would either of them call the biblically named Hurricane Isaac forcing cancellation of the Republican convention's first day?

 What do the Christian Right and Tea Party lunatics think Isaac is? Isn't this Old Testament retribution for the evil ways of Republican conservatives? Isn't it a true sign? Is it just a coincidence that the hurricane is named after the Old Testament patriarch Isaac? Is it a coincidence that it has built up force and become more powerful the closer it gets to the Republican convention?

 If conservatives, the ignorantly named Tea Party ( the original Boston Tea Party from which they take their name had NOTHING to do with taxes and less government), and the Christian Right were at least honest and consistant, they might see Hurricane Isaac disrupting the opening of their convention as a sign. You can bet a year's salary that if it was the Democratic convention Isaac was disrupting,every conservative lunatic from Rush Limbaugh to Michelle Bachman would be claiming it was divine intervention and a sign. Maybe they will put their so called beliefs where their mouths are and consider that maybe it is. But then that would be asking them to be honest.

The fact that Republicans, conservatives and the Christian Right have not as yet seen it as a sign,or if they are, they're not saying so, is a pretty good  sign in and of itself. Of what the Republican convention and those attending will really be all about. The usual hypocrisy.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The woman who laid down for Louis Freeh.

With the Freeh Report being more publicly discredited every day most recently by Tim Lewis, a former federal judge and prosecutor representing former Penn State president Graham Spanier, who characterized the report the same way its been characterized here for weeks, as a dishonest, biased, incompetent factless document with biased preconcieved conclusions drawn solely by its author, with no evidence to substantiate them, its a good time to remember that a few weeks ago, at the outset of the release of the Freeh Report, another in a long line of incompetent, dishonest and unprincipled journalists, this one, Ann O'Neill writing on CNN's web site, wrote a piece called "The Woman Who Stood Up to Joe Paterno".

The woman Ann O'Neill was talking about was Dr. Vicky Tripony who was head of Student Affairs at Penn State for a short time and, as her interview with Freeh made clear, deeply resented that she was not able to administer what many considered her outrageous, Draconian, sledgehammer ideas of discipline that she leveled at other students, onto Paterno's players as well.

 O'Neill, showing the same lack of journalistic competence or integrity that permeates the news media as a whole,  nevere  bothered to even try to interview anyone else in a position to know before writing her factless "me too" article, if for no other reason,  to see just how much truth, if any, was contained in the Freeh Report's presentment of Tripony's view of things.

But like the others in the torch carrying mob known as the media who were intent on using the Paterno name for their own ends, whether it was to call attention to themselves or to ring the cash register, the truth mattered little.

Reading O'Neil's article its clear she never considered the fact that Paterno had been at Penn State for 60 years and that there were heads of Student Affairs before Tripony and after and none of them had the problems Tripony whines about. We know this because Freeh didn't include anyone in Tripony's position other than Tripony herself in his report, substantiating the charge that Freeh had an agenda and Tripony was able to advance it and others wouldn't. We know this for a fact because it was corroborated by Tim Lewis who reported that many of those he interviewed to who were in turn interviewed by Freeh, told him that Freeh was not interested in any facts or information that didn't support his preconceived ideas of how he wanted the report to read and any attempts to present facts contradictory to what he wanted was met with hostility.

 So O'Neill's entire piece was based, not on any facts, not on anything she actually knew, not anything she found out as a purported journalist, not on any information she learned first hand, but on a set of factless assumptions she made based on the Freeh Report which she seems to have read with the critical eye of a Druid reading the Book of Kell.

When the Freeh report came out and Tripony's interview was highlighted by news organizations, I received a lot of email from former Penn State students who had experience with Tripony, students who are now Ph.D.'s or practicing lawyers or in other professions. They painted a picture of Tripony as something of a cross between Nurse Ratched the sadistic nurse in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and Annie Wilkes, the Cathy Bates character in Stephen King's "Misery". She never took a sledgehammer to anyone's knees as Wilkes did but a lot of students seemed to think she would have liked to.

Though obviously not definitive in and of itself, no one who sent any emails had anything good to say about Tripony who according to reports, tried to rule Student Affairs like a burgomeister in an occupied European town in WWII. She closed down long standing protocols that had existed for Student Affairs, like the ability of students to appeal her decisions to a board made up of faculty and students. She also threatened to close down the university student radio station unless it was placed under her complete control where she and only she would decide what it could say and what it couldn't. She gave students two choices -- relinquish all control to Tripony or shut the radio station down. Under Tripony, Radio Free Penn State came to an end.

 In short Tripony had issues. And in reading her interview in the Freeh Report one could tell she was clearly livid that Joe Paterno, who did in fact have much more prestige and power than Tripony, refused to allow his players to be subjected to Tripony's tyrannical and Draconian ideas of discipline, and insisted that he would discipline players who violated rules himself.

 By all accounts Paterno was not lenient with his players when they were guilty of infractions or violations. But Tripony seems to be infuriated that she couldn't pull her Annie Wilkes act on Paterno's players as she did on other students. The sense one gets from her interview with Freeh is that her frustrations were based more on her feeling thwarted in her desire to punish Paterno's football players and having her authority to do so diminished than anything else.

 Tripony didn't last long at Penn State and based on other articles written about her as far back as 2002, never did have a great reputation among students in her previous job at UConn either. Eventually she was told by Penn State that she would be better off finding employment elsewhere and was shown the door.

 This is who Ann O'Neill decided to portray as a hero based solely on her reading of the Freeh Report and like any factually deficient journalist, too lazy to find things out for herself . Instead she did what most journalists have done whether its about Paterno and Penn State or Washington DC and politics and policy -- lay down for an authority figure. O'Neill bought everything Freeh had to say without bothering to check facts, and simply joined the mob so she could pile on too and pretend that made her a good person. It didn't.

 Ann O'Neill, who decided it wasn't necessary to talk to any Penn State students, never talked to any heads of Student Affairs who were at Penn State before Tripony or after about their experiences with Paterno, never did a moment's research on her own, simply decided her assumptions which were based on a report concocted by a man with a 15 year documented history of dishonesty and investigative corruption, mattered more than finding out facts for herself.

 Ann O'Neill became one more in a long line of journalists, lacking in journalistic integrity or journalistic competence who, like others before her, laid down for Louis Freeh. And as the saying goes, when you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas. And no doubt Ann O'Neill is still scratching.

NOTE: The  new animation satirizing the Freeh Report can be seen clicking on this link.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Spanier's lawyers destroy Freeh and his report.

 Finally someone with legal gravitas as well as legal standing has put the Freeh Report in it's place. Freeh himself had been put in his place numerous times in his career from the Sept 2000 Businessweek article entitled "The Case Against Louis Freeh" in which they documented cases of Freeh while at the FBI, " misleading probers and federal judges" in criminal cases, and also accusing Freeh of "trampling on the civil liberties of American citizens". And the 911 Commission ran Freeh out of the FBI after the commission, and specifically Commission chairman and former New Jersey governor Tom Kane tore Freeh to pieces when Freeh testified at the commission hearings, for his bungling and mishandling and repeated failures in dealing with pre-911 intelligence.

This is the person who the Penn State board of trustees hired to do an "independent, honest investigation".

Now finally people with some real legal gravitas have had a chance to weigh in and have defined the Freeh Report as the garbage that it always was, garbage that was blindly accepted by a lazy and dysfunctional news media and a lazy and dysfunctional NCAA. And those too lazy or too stupid to see through it themselves.

Skeptics and die hards, scared to death of being exposed as village idiots for believing and accepting the report in the first place will try and dismiss what Spanier's lawyers had to say, and try and pretend that its only lawyers spinning on behalf of their client.

The problem with that is that one of Spanier's lawyers is himself a former Federal judge and after he eviscerated Freeh and his report on a number of points including its lack of integrity as well as saying what has been pointed out here repeatedly -- that nothing, not one sentence, not one iota of anything in the Freeh Report could ever stand up in a court room -- Tim Lewis, Spanier's lawyer was asked about how unusual it was that Lewis, himself a former federal judge, would break from traditional decorum and criticize a former fellow federal judge in Louis Freeh so harshly and with such a brutal attack on Freeh's integrity and honesty.

Lewis admitted it was highly unusual and said he regretted that it had to be done, for one Federal judge to so harshly criticize another, but that it did in fact have to be done -- that the Freeh Report was a biased, dishonest, manipulative factually empty investigation filled with conclusions concocted by its author, Louis Freeh, to fit a preconceived agenda, and that none of the conclusions were substantiated by any facts.

Lewis called Freeh's report "blundering" and "a flat out distortion of facts so infused with bias and inuendo that it is unworthy of any confidence placed in it".

Lewis said that during his own investigation ( an investigation that the factually inept Jonnette Howard at ESPN claimed, before it was even finished, was unnecessary) he was told by many of those who were interviewed for the investigation, that Freeh had manipulated and misrepresented their actual interview in the report, that much of the interview was hostile, that anything that didn't support Freeh's conclusions was greeted with hostility, and that only information that could somehow be twisted into supporting Freeh's preordained conclusions were desired and included in the report while any information given by those interviewed that was completely exculpatory or ran contrary to what Freeh wanted was left out of the report.

This is exactly what Freeh did at the FBI, this is what Freeh did when he framed Richard Jewel as the Olympic bomber in 1996 even though he knew he had no evidence to support it, this is what Freeh did in many other cases while he was with the FBI which has necessitated the FBI to go back and review thousands of cases because of specific accusations made by another FBI agent, Fred C. Whitehurst,  that Freeh tampered with or tainted evidence in order to get convictions, a process that is still going on behind closed doors at the FBI.

There is little doubt that the Freeh Report will eventually be exposed in a legal as well as non-legal setting for the grotesquely, blatantly dishonest document it is. It may result in massive law suits against Freeh. There will certainly be suits against the NCAA, and probably Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees at Penn State for accepting both the report and the sanctions that came as a result. And it will also mean exposing everyone , including the dysfunctional news media, who believed it and/or acted based on it, as being the utter fools they were.

NOTE: A humorous animation spoofing the conclusions of the Freeh Report and it's assertions of a cover up has been posted on YouTube. It can be viewed by clicking the link here.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Akins remarks on rape grotesque but so was Obama's response.

Todd Akin surely did Obama and the Democrats a favor with his insidious, ignorant remarks on rape that were not just grotesque but medieval. But if anyone was looking for President Obama to stand up and not just put Aiken and those who think as he does in their place but to use them to help define the election, women's rights, and something called basic decency, they were left with rhetoric that couldn't soar to the heights of a paper plane. The best it seems Obama could muster is "rape is rape".

First, one would think that Obama would have eviscerated Akin for his concept of "legitimate rape", whatever he thinks that is.

What did Akin mean by "legitimate rape"? Why didn't Obama ask? Does Akin make a distinction between "legitimate rape" and" illegitimate rape" ? Does he think there is a difference?

There is no such thing as "legitimate rape". All rape is illegitimate. Did he mean by "legitimate" "authentic"? Was he making a distinction between different kinds of rape, making some legitimate and real, crimes of violence, but others not?

Add to that Akin's comment that a woman's uterus somehow puts up a "gone fishin'" sign when they are raped and that sperm cells go home is the kind of medieval cartoon minds typical of the extreme right,and the absurdities of Republican conservatism led by the collection of the most ignorant people in the country with respect to the values and principles and history on which the country was founded, the Tea Party.

And where was Obama? Where was his outrage? Where was his defense of human rights? Where was his moral indignation? Okay he doesn't have any of that but you would think he would have tried to fake it. Instead his response to all of this was "rape is rape". Okay. Well that clears that up. That soars doesn't it?

Yet many Democratic organizations have taken up Obama's "rape is rape" as if it was a bold statement, a rallying cry when instead it was as weak and tepid a statement as one could make. But this has been the problem with Democrats and so called "progressive" groups, like MoveOn for the last four years. They blindly follow Obama's tepid, even pathetic lead on most issues still afraid to honestly criticize him for the weak leader without real principles or convictions that he is. Obama actually made matters worse by saying a day later, that "Akin obviously missed science class", thereby trivializing the entire issue even more and trying to funny about something over which there is nothing to be funny about.  If his own wife or daughters had been victims its not likely Obama would be making jokes about  Akin's comments about rape by talking about Akin " missing science class". But again, that's who and what Obama is and always has been -- an empty political suit with no real principles or convictions or the ability to see understand things beyond his own self-interest. Which he tries to cover up by using the word "calibrate" at least twice a week.

Yes, given the choice between the worst president the Democrats ever had and the kind of right wing medieval minds like Aiken that Romney has embraced with his choice of Paul Ryan, its going to be hold your nose time on election day and  a vote for Obama just to keep the right wing out of the White House. But it doesnt mean Democrats and progressive groups have to be stupid and play Polly Wanna Cracker for Obama and his tepid, almost mindless responses.

With Republicans running for the hills over Akin, trying desperately to get him to drop out of a senate race that Republicans desperately want to win, you would think Obama would use Akin and what he represents, not just to political advantage ( which is all Obama ever seems to know how to do anyway) but to make some real moral points and use it as a clear dividing line between liberal thought and decency and conservative thought when it comes to morality since it is always in the name of morality that Republicans and conservatives commit the most immoral acts and propose the most immoral solutions.

Akin represents the kind of medieval thinking that permeates the far right wing, the wing Romney for no apparent reason decided to embrace thereby snatching defeat from what might have been a very large victory. His only support is coming from the Christian right which once again shows the genius of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the founders of creating the establishment clause of the first amendment to insure that the church would never and could never have an official voice in running the government.

The conservative reaction to Akin's remarks,were, typically, neanderthal and shows again that, as is always the case with conservatives, their lust for political power trumps even a small sense of decency and common sense. Typical was the reaction of a woman conservative in Akin's district in St. Louis as reported by the Chicago Tribune:

At first I felt (Akin's comments) were offensive to women
and insulting to my intelligence," said Lisa Payne-Naeger, a
member of the conservative Missouri Grassroots Coalition, who
has an online political radio show. "What changed it for me was
the Republican establishment's effort to chop him off at the
knees and install one of their own in the race."

This idiocy permeates conservative thinking where its politics that matter and not substance. But in all liklihood Akin will lose, dealing another blow to the Tea Party and proving they are a non-entity on the national stage as they did in New York not long ago when a Tea Party candidate defeated a moderate Republican in a primary and then lost a House seat that had been Republican since 1859 to a Democrat.

Akin's comments that when a woman is the victim of "legitimate rape" her systems shut down preventing pregnancy is something Romney and the Republicans are going to have to deal with for as long as Aiken is a candidate. But when it came to standing up for something that mattered,  when there was the opportunity to go on the offensive, something Democrats do not know how to do, when it came to using those comments to draw a bright line between what the two parties stand for,  once again, it was Obama who shut down.

NOTE: ironically it was Akin himself who yesterday publicly apologized specifically for using the word "legitimate" when talking about rape.Which,as usual, doesn't say much for Obama.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New poll proves media malfeasance in Penn State scandal.

A new poll released late Tuesday reveals that news media disinformation,misinformation and biased and sloppy reporting has led to a gross misconception and perception by the public of Joe Paterno and his relationship to the Sandusky scandal.

The poll results reveal, perhaps not so surprisingly that as many as 43% of respondents when asked if Joe Paterno had molested children answered either "yes" or "unsure".When asked if Sandusky was still a coach at Penn State when the shower incident occurred 41% said he was and 34% said they weren't sure ( he wasn't).  When the poll asked if Joe Paterno had arranged for McQueary to report his allegations to Schultz as head of Penn State police services, only 25% said he did.

This is solely the result of the news media trying to capitalize and cash in on the Paterno name since November, painting him as a villian still to this day without a shred of actual proof of any allegation against him, and why Joe Paterno's picture made a full front page of the Philadelphia Daily News with the word "Shame" and Monsignor William Lynn who was convicted and sentenced to 6 years in prison for burning a list of 34 pedophile priests never got The Paterno Treatment. It wasnt' good business or good politics for William Lynn but Paterno was where the money was.Both in terms of actually dollars and their sanctimony.

I've written many times, and for some perhaps it made them feel that  the shoe fits a little too tight, that what the news media did with regards to Joe Paterno and Penn State as a whole in the Sandusky scandal and the nonsense people believed and accepted without proof, is reminiscent of how fascism got a foothold in Europe in the 1930's. Maybe I've been watching too many documentaries on the Military Channel. Or maybe its a good thing I am. But the influence of a dishonest media simply spouting what an authority figure tells them, who all stampede in the same direction like cattle, results in a public who doesn't have the truth and for some who won't or can't think for themselves, leads them to believe what is not true. And that leads to serious consequences.

We saw it in 2002 when the 911 Commission uncovered evidence that indeed George W. Bush had more than enough information to have prevented 911 and didn't, not because of some lunatic conspiracy theory, but because he  ignored it simply because he didn't take it seriously. Until it was too late. The press went into the tank over those revelations hiding under the nearest rock and the reason was sheer cowardice. You could almost hear them thinking that if they did hold Bush accountable they'd be attacked by Republicans for being "un-American" and "attacking a sitting president in time of war". 

We went to war in Iraq over the incompetence and unwillingness   of the media to tell the truth, being fed false information by Dick Cheney that Judith Miller and the New York Times splashed all over the front page helping to beat the drums for war.  This wasn't ideological or partisan. The New York Times did it. The Philadelphia Inquirer did it. Most in the media did it. And it was gross malefeasance on the part of the media, the same malefeasance that has been evident regarding Paterno and Penn State. Why let facts get in the way of a goldmine of a story? Without the Paterno name this would have been a one day minor story. And everyone knows it.

Bush never could have won re-election had the press did the job they are paid to do and treated his lapse in judgement regarding the "imminent" attack he was informed of by both Richard Clarke and George Tenant at CIA in August of 2001 ( he was even told the Al-Qaeda plot involved the hijacking of US airliners)  with the scrutiny it deserved. Like the way they scrutinized  Anthony Weiner for the picture of him in his underwear. Going after a politician over a picture of him in his underwear, yes. Going after a president's gross negligence resulting in the worst attack on US soil by a foreign enemy in history? No way.

They were AWOL when it came to 911 and Iraq but with sex they get brave.  And when it comes to a revolting subject like child abuse, they get even braver, thinking they can get away with anything by trying to hold themselves up as some kind of pillars of morality, all the while committing the worst kinds of journalistic abuse themselves.
The new poll shows just how much misinformation the news media has put out over what happened at Penn State and with Joe Paterno and the effect it has had on perceptions and beliefs which affects public opinion which in turn affects policy made by people more concerned with public opinion than the truth.

For me, who didn't go to Penn State and who has nothing at stake one way or the other in any of this, the issue was always simple justice and truth and how the lies and distorting of the truth pose a threat to our democracy. And how those distortions of truth has now affected Penn State, Joe Paterno, tens of thousands of students and graduates, all because a few spineless bureaucrats like Mark Emmert at the NCAA, Rodeny Erickson Penn State president and their Board of Trustees, acted on a baseless and empty Freeh Report that had no facts to substantiate its findings but instead made decisions more concerned about public opinion that was influenced by shoddy and dishonest reporting.

The poll re-enforces how the media can alter perceptions of reality, either intentionally or through their incompetence and lack of principles, especially with people who have neither the time nor the inclination to find out the facts for themselves. These same journalists through their lack of principle and competence, can affect the lives of not just millions, but hundreds of millions when it comes to issues like war, the economy or the country's healthcare system.

The issues surrounding Paterno and Penn State and Sandusky is just the bigger problem in microcosm. And why more than 70% in a Pew Research Poll a few years ago said the media cant be trusted. This poll is one more proof of that and how the media's dishonesty, lack of principle and lack of anything that can be called journalism, simply behaving like trained seals and swallowing what's thrown to them, or stampeding cattle  more concerned with their own self interests than the truth, affects  the lives of many innocent people. And always as history has shown, for the worse.

NOTE: As if to prove the point, the well respected Pew Research Organization released a new study on August 16, revealing a further decline in the news media's credibility as a whole. Its no suprise.

The poll," Further Decline in Credibility Ratings For Most News Organizations" can be read by clicking on the link.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney picks Ryan as VP: Sarah Palin in a suit and tie.

For the last 12 years the United States has been saddled with the two worst most incompetent over their heads presidents in history. Both spectacularly incompetent, one, Obama, probably the biggest and most blatant liar since Richard Nixon, and Bush, who brought more catastrophe to the United States because of his and Republican incompetence and failed ideology, than any president in history.

 But if anyone hoped that Romney might bring a glimmer of hope or rationality to the election and the choices, he destroyed that by picking the most politically irrational, self-destructive, stupid running mate possible, his Sarah Palin in a suit and tie.

 Recently Dick Cheney publicly criticized John McCain's choice of Palin as a vice presidential running mate by pointing out the obvious: the only criteria for choosing a vice president is, are they ready to be president if they have to be? Cheney pointed out that Palin wasn't. And the same is true for Ryan.

 At this point all the Democrats have to do is run ads and commercials asking, do you want to elect the man who wants to get rid of Medicare? Then give the date for election day and everyone can go fishing.

 All the Democrats need to do now is just put Obama in a closet somewhere, tell him to keep his phony soaring rhetoric to himself so people don't have to deal with the unpleasantness of having to vote for him, and Obama should win easily and give us another four years of reneging on promises, lying through his teeth, waffling on everything, capitulating to Republicans ( so its a win -win for Republicans anyway) and displaying what he has displayed his entire political life -- no principles or convictions. But it will show the Republicans that even with an incompetent like Obama running against them, their ideology is a non starter and will be rejected by the majority of Americans.

 Romney must have the dumbest collection of political advisors this side of the Democrats. Forget the polls, the election was his to lose. And he seems that he and his advisors are intent on losing it and all to try and cater to the extreme right wing of his party, reactionaries inaccurately named Tea Partiers, ( proving as always their total ignorance of American history) who are not only the most un-American faction since the conservatives known as Torys opposed the Revolution, but so small in number they can have no impact in a national election no matter how many colonial costumes they rent.

 It wont be surprising if, in the next three days ( the time it takes to execute a national poll) Romney's numbers collapse. And with it his presidential hopes. The only consolation for those who hoped Romney would be more the person he was when he was governor of Massachussetts is,anyone who isn't smart enough to beat Obama when more than half the Democratic party is fed up and disgusted with him, doesnt deserve to be president anyway.

And just in case anyone doubts whether Romney really wants to be president, there is this:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Why Freeh didn't interview Paterno, McQueary, Schultz and Curley.

There is an old adage in trial law: never ask a question of a witness you don't know the answer to and never ask a question you do know the answer to that won't help your case. 

Further proof that Freeh and his report were a fraud and that Freeh had a preconcieved agenda to target and smear Paterno ( as he did Richard Jewell in 1996),  is that in doing what was supposed to be an unbiased, objective and honest investigation, supposedly to get the truth,  Freeh incredibly,  declined to interview the most crucial and important people related to the entire investigation, Joe Paterno, Mike McQueary, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.  Which should prove beyond any doubt to anyone who can think, that it wasn't an "investigation" at all but a preconcieved one sided prosecution with an agenda with a predetermined outcome that became more persecution than prosecution something Freeh did often as director of the FBI and there is evidence to prove it.

That Freeh neglected to interview the primary principals at the heart of his  investigation, those who would be the central figures in his conclusions is clearly because he knew well the adage of not asking questions you don't know the answer to, or questions the answers to which you don't want. And he simply didn't want the answers he knew he would or might get from any of them which could destroy his agenda.

Joe Paterno requested that he be interviewed by Freeh before his death. He wanted to be on the record. But obviously that was the last thing Freeh wanted. Freeh knew Paterno had cancer and only a short time to live. An honest investigator which Freeh has never been in his life ( furthering the black eye of the trustees for hiring him) would have rushed an investigator to Paterno to get his statement and to answer questions on the record before that would be impossible.That it was Paterno who requested the interview and that it was Freeh declining should be enough for any intelligent person to dismiss the report as another fraud in Freeh's long and well chronicled history of fraudulent investigations. And for most intelligent people it was. But intelligence has never been part of anything related to the Freeh Report or those who blindly swallowed it and stayed in line.

Think of how different things would have been had an investigator asked Paterno point blank about the vague and specious emails Freeh tried to use to smear him. Paterno could have been asked about them specifically -- did you receive updates from Schultz or Curley? Who is this email referring to?  Did you influence Curley to reverse course and not report what McQueary said contrary to your grand jury testimony?

Freeh didn't ask because Freeh didn't want to know.He didn't want those answers on the record. And that should be clear and obvious to anyone. Even spineless college presidents like Penn State president Rodney Erickson and NCAA president Mark Emmert who were both too busy grandstanding and goose stepping to deal with anything resembling the truth.

The fact that Freeh declined to interview Paterno and every other principal involved should have made his report worthless and reveal Freeh as worthless as an investigator.  Instead it was the press, Eriksson, Emmert and those who believed the report who have proven themselves to be worthless as responsible citizens of a democracy.

Freeh, who has a history a mile long of bungled, incompetent and dishonest investigations going back to 1996, a reputation of being the most crooked FBI director since Patrick Gray dumped documents into the Potomac to help Nixon's Watergate cover up, ( look it up yourself )also declined to interview Mike McQueary. This would seem incredible only if you didn't understand that again, Freeh wanted nothing on the record to contradict or interfere with his preconceived agenda of targeting Paterno as the biggest name associated with these events, and issuing the kind of report that he knew the news media expected and would support, which is exactly what he did without a shred of actual proof to back things up. He did exactly the same thing as director of the FBI which is why thousands of cases during his tenure are still being reviewed for tainted evidence, deception and dishonesty, one more black eye for the trustees in hiring him.

Think of what else McQueary could have told him in terms of what he witnessed in the shower ( with time to refresh his recollection as they say in court) and what he could have told him with regards to exactly what he told Paterno. And Curley and Schultz for that matter. Except if he told Freeh what Curley and Schultz claims he told them , then their prosecution goes out the window.

 There can be no rational reason for not interviewing both Paterno and McQueary given what they could have said. Except if you simply didn't want what they could have told you. Which by itself should render the report as an investigative document, worthless. Except to the most docile, conformist and non-thinking among us, the kind of mentality that accepts anything if told to them by an authority figure.

Even without Curley and Schultz cooperating, the most any honest investigator could have said about those emails is that the issue is unresolved and will have to wait until Curley and Schultz are free to speak. But not Freeh.   And in the case of the 1998 email which said "Coach is anxious to know" and that Freeh, in as dishonest as statement as any investigator used to conclude" it is believed 'Coach' is Paterno", all, and I mean all of the facts  and evidence surrounding that email points to '"Coach" being Sandusky and not Paterno.  But that didn't fit with his agenda. Instead he stated conclusions without any proof or facts without waiting for answers that Curley and Schultz could provide and instead tars Paterno, the way he did with Richard Jewell, and countless others as FBI director,  with unsubstantiated conclusions and yet there are people supposedly with IQ's in 3 digits who are unable to think for themselves and buy it.

That a college president like Rodney Erickson bought this nonsense which shredded every constitutional  protection and provided no proof and no facts to support the conclusions,  and that the president of the NCAA did the same, is probably why the United States is 27th in the world in education. And that some people think that because these men without principle and without real character, just bureaucrats,  accepted the findings of an investigator with one of the worst and most sordid reputations in America, and that the press swallowed it also, is why the  country lurches from one crisis to another in terms of policy and nothing of substance ever gets done. And credit the sad excuse this country has for mainstream journalists  with that also.

It cant be overstated that this report and the reaction of the press, other officials who accepted it and acted on it and the sheep that follow them is what lets politicians get away with lies, places our democracy in jeopardy, and why what happened to Joe Paterno and Penn State is bigger than both. Freeh knew what he could get away with and counted on the usual gutlessness and gullibility of the press to buy it wholesale and they did not disappoint. Freeh got away with it. For now. And unless something is done to change it, both in terms of discrediting Freeh, the Freeh Report, the press and everyone who accepted it, then things in the country as a whole will get worse. Because once you throw away the constitution and the principles behind it and what it demands of citizens as envisioned by the founders, once the truth doesn't matter anymore then you have nothing.

NOTE: this and other peices can also be found on the new Framing Paterno web site that was recently created as a clearing house for articles and a forum bringing together information and opinons from a diverse group of people over these events,the irresponsibility and incompetence of the news media and the Freeh Report itself.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Harry Reid finally gets tough -- with nobody that matters.

Harry Reid made a little bit of news the other day when he called a fellow Democrat a "treacherous,miserable liar" and "first class rat".

 If one didn't know better one might think he was talking about Barrack Obama. After all wasn't Obama the one who sold out the public option after promising it since 2007 in his campaign speeches, holding one town hall meeting after another promoting it, had the votes in congress to pass it and instead caved in and sold out to the health insurance lobby, dropped it and then lied to everyone when he said " I never campaigned for a public option"? Wasn't it Obama's reneging on that promise the reason the Democrats suffered their worst congressional defeat in 80 years in the 2010 elections?( if you don't think so then you don't know people or politics).

 And wasn't it Obama who lied and reneged four times on his promise to get rid of the Bush tax cuts for the upper 2% income earners, a burden that adds $800 billion a year to the deficit? Or getting rid of Gitmo?

 Didn't Obama get caught lying about NAFTA in Ohio as the cause of high unemployment there and promised to get rid of it if he were elected then sent Autan Goolsbee to the Canadian embassy in Chicago to tell them he was lying about it and not to worry?

 Harry Reid's tough talk could have been about Obama who has lied more than Richard Nixon -- unlike Nixon, lies that didn't break any laws, but did break promises to the people whose votes he wanted. And while Obama's lies arent about covering up criminal wrong doing as was Nixon's, Obama's crime is not what he did to the country but what he could have accomplished and didn't.

 So it wouldn't be out of line to think that when Harry Reid called someone a " treacherous, miserable liar" and " first class rat" he was talking about Obama. Or, heaven forbid, maybe even the Republicans. After all didn't Republicans out and out lie about health care reform repeatedly, lies that were well documented by independent sources like CBS and the Associated Press? And didn't Republicans threaten to violate the constitution by invalidating the full faith and credit of the United States over the debt ceiling by threatening to vote for default?

 All of Harry Reid's epithets and righteous anger could have been directed at both Barrack Obama and the Republicans ( funny isn't it? saying " Barrack Obama and the Republicans"?)

 But that's not who Harry Reid was talking about. He was talking about a Democrat at the NRC named Bill Magwood who he felt double crossed him over the Yucca Mountain project, a proposed nuclear waste dump in Reid's home state of Nevada that Reid says Magwood promised he would oppose then didn't.

 The proposed dump is something that could certainly be used against Reid next time he was up for re-election.And that got Reid really angry. Not Obama's constant sell outs and reneging on promises. Not the Republicans holding the full faith and credit of the United States hostage, or lying about health care reform,or the Republicans having gutted the economy during their 8 years in power. It was a nuclear waste dump in his home state of Nevada over which Reid feels betrayed by a Democratic member of the NRC that got Reid to blow his top.

 "I never had anyone lie to me like that", Reid said of Magwood. Obviously forgetting about all of his face to face meetings with Barrack Obama and his Republican counterparts. Which is why many Democrats feel like for the last four years they have had no leadership, in the White House, the senate or the House. So maybe it would be better for the Democrats and the country if Reid started blowing his top over the waste dump he sees every day in his own backyard. Not in Nevada but in Washington.

NOTE: Maybe Reid was just getting warmed up. He accused Mitt Romney today of not paying taxes for ten years citing a "very credible source" who told him so. The problem is John McCain has come out in response and said that he personally reviewed Romney's tax returns in 2008 when he was considering Romney as a running mate and has said that Reid's assertions arent true. The other can of worms Reid may have opened is that tax returns are confidential so he may be in a position of  having to prove that no one in government committed  a felony by passing along the content of Romney's tax returns and naming his confidential source. Maybe he should have stuck with a nuclear waste dump.It's safer.