Friday, September 28, 2012

Democratic political ineptitude surfaces again in Missouri.

A few weeks ago, Republican Todd Akin stunned just about everyone with his remarks concerning "legitimate rape" and how a woman's body "automatically shuts down", according to Akin when being raped, which, according to him, naturally prevents pregnancy as a result of rape. He was, needless to say, trying to defend the Republican position on outlawing abortion even in the case of rape.

The remarks were so outrageous and ignorant, that the biggest outcry came from Republicans themselves all but begging Akin to drop out of the race. the Republican senate re-election committee said they would no longer contribute money to Akin's campaign and urged him to drop out.

 What was the Democratic response? Pathetic. Again. Seemingly without candidates nor strategists who have a clue on how to wage a fight politically, form a powerful message and get it across, and seemingly without the backbone to do it even if they could, Democratic response across the board was tepid, weak and ineffective which has become more the norm.

Not only was Obama's response weak ( which was criticized here) as well as other Democrats, but the response by McCaskill herself and her political advisors was equally tepid as she seemed reluctant to go after Akin hammer and tong and hang him out to dry for his comments.

 If this was a calculated political decision, hoping to let the Republicans do the dirty work for them, or because they wanted to keep Akin in the race as an easy target, the Democratic calculation has blown up in their face.

In recent days and weeks Republicans have gleefully not only seen that McCaskill has not used Akin's remarks as a weapon against him, they have seen the lunatic far right, the hypocrites who want to keep government out of people's lives but firmly entrenched in women's vaginas, rally to Akin's cause. Republicans who called for Akin to withdraw are now having second thoughts.

 Where the Republicans senate committee had said they were withdrawing monetary support for Akin's campaign a few weeks ago, they are now reconsidering, revitalized by McCaskill's political weakness and the ineptitude of her advisors.

 A race that should have been firmly in the pockets of the Democrats when Akin first made his remarks, is now up for grabs and Democrats are sending out urgent emails begging for money for McCaskill's campaign because a recent poll now shows Akin with a 1 point lead, 48-47.

 That Akin, who was left for dead by his own party now has a 1 point lead in the polls shows that what McCaskill needs is not money but some lessons on how to spend what she has, and someone to give her campaign a backbone and to go on the attack and use Akin's words against him pointing out that his obvious ignorance, stupidity and insensitivity when it comes to women and biology would be no different when it came to the economy.

 Is that so hard?

 The emails from Democratic candidates and interest groups like MoveOn asking for money is becoming a deluge. Aside from the ones coming in for McCaskill, there was one for Sherrod Brown in Ohio. Now, I like Sherrod Brown but his sales pitch for needing more money is that he is being outspent in Ohio by Republican SuperPacs. This is not the problem. People are not that stupid. Just because you run a failed message over and over doesn't mean people are going to buy it.

 The problem isn't that Democrats don't have enough money, the problem is Democrats don't know what to do with the money they have. They have no one who knows how to craft an effective strategy. No one who knows how to formulate that strategy into an effective message and communicate it. No one who knows how to do an effective TV commercial that presents a memorable message in a memorable way and gives voters a reason to vote for them or against the Republican.

 Its not more money that the Democrats need, its more and better political thinking and knowing how to communicate.

 Luckily for them people aren't that stupid and the Republicans have nothing of real value to sell no matter how many commercials they buy. But candidates like McCaskill and her advisors and Sherrod Brown make it harder than it has to be by not knowing what to do with what they have.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Democrats and Senate candidate Tim Kaine, continues pathetically weak response to Romney.

 While Democrats generally are right in almost ( not all) every case when it comes to policies that prove to be the best thing for the country AND the constitution, ( though they failed miserably when they allowed Obama to sell out real healthcare reform and the public option to health insurance lobbyists and paid the price in the 2010 elections) when it comes to politics Democrats and their strategists are the biggest collection of empty headed, lame incompetents in the history of world politics. They are easily as incompetent at politics, formulating a strategy, a message, targeting it, and communicating it as Republicans are at governing.

 Romney's latest insult to half the country, the people he says who don't pay taxes and are consequently Obama voters who see themselves as victims who don't care about their lives, has given the Democrats another in a long line of grand opportunities to rout the Republicans on election day. In almost every instance since 2000, the Democrats have blown every one of those opportunities and only won in 2008 because Republican job performance during the Bush years brought such catastrophe on the country from 911 to massive economic failure that the country was not about to give Republicans more time or more rope to screw the country. So it was more a matter of Republicans losing than Democrats winning. Naturally even given that great opportunity Democratic politicians,like Pelosi and Donna Brazille, found a way to lose and blow that too by slanting, even rigging the 2008 primary process and Democratic convention to give the nomination to Obama who promptly went out and squandered the biggest congressional majority any president had in 60 years.

 So far, the response to the Romney video which, in a world where Democratic strategists, if they had any who knew what they were doing, could put an end right now to Romney's chances of winning the election, has been, as always, lame, empty and incompetent, starting with the usual lame, empty vacuous statements coming from the White House.

 We know what Romney said about the 47% of voters who pay no income tax who, for that reason, are supposedly Obama and Democratic voters, (statistics show about 4 out of 10 of those voters have voted Republican)  but so far not a word from Democrats about corporations who pay no taxes something Romney and Republicans have always supported.
Not a word comparing Romney's comment that corporations, including those who pay no taxes are "people" while, according to Romney, people who pay no taxes ( and vote Democratic) see themselves as victims who are on the dole.  And as if they needed more help, a senate committee today released information that Microsoft and HP, to name two corporate people in Mitt Romney's world, avoiding paying more than $4 billion in income taxes by moving accounts off shore and taking advantage of other corporate loopholes.
 Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO was one of the few voices on the side of the Democrats who got tough and said Romney's statements "spit in the faces of half the country". Trumka gave the Democrats more genuine soaring rhetoric in 30 seconds than they've had in four years of Obama in the White House.  What was Obama's response. He said of Romney " obviously he hasnt been around". Scathing isnt it?

There is no rational reason why Romney's comments shouldn't put an end to his candidacy on a number of different levels and win the Democrats control of congress as well as the White House ( as sad as that is given the choices).  Except when you have a president whose response is, " It suggests that he ( Romney) hasnt gotten around". Compare that to the harsh criticism Romney's comments has elicited from Republicans. Which is one  more example of the embarrassment that is Obama and why during his first four years in office little to nothing of any real merit ever got done

The problem is when you have no convictions or principles its hard to get mad at something that offends them. So its understandable why Obama has so little to say.   It remains to be seen if other Democrats who do have principles and convictions are willing to stand up and fight back. And just as importantly, to  show that they know how.

ADDENDUM - Sept 20.

Tim Kaine Democratic candidate for Senate in Virgina highlighted the criticism here of Democratic political stupidity in response to Romney's self-destructing comments on the 47% who pay no income taxes as deadbeat Obama voters by saying he would be "open" to a plan that would force all Americans to pay some level of income taxes.

 Kaine, in response to a question asking him to comment on Romney's remarks and the controversy surrounding them said:

 "I would be open to a proposal that would have some minimum tax level for everyone".

 This comes on the heels of a senate hearing that showed Microsoft and HP avoided paying over $4 billion in income taxes by taking advantage of tax loopholes and moving a substantial number of accounts off shore.

 Reuters called Kaine's comments " a gift" for his Republican challenger, George Allen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Watching Mitt self-destruct

It had to happen sooner or later. The far right is so far out, so self-deluded, and so at their very core, un-American and anti-American in what they think and believe,  it was only a matter of time until Romney, after embracing Paul Ryan, the darling of the ignorantly named Tea Party,self-destructed.

His comments that 47% of the country, those who are the voters that Obama can count on pay no taxes and are on the government dole permanetly insulted so many people that even Democratic voters disgusted and fed up with Obama's duplicity, dishonesty and constant capitulation, will vote for him to keep the far right lunatics out of the White House.

If Democrats actually had Democratic strategists who knew what they were doing, this would surely be the end of Romney even before the first debate. And if they had a candidate or other congressional Democrats who actually did have a way with words, Romney will never live down his.

At least Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO responded to Romney's remarks by saying they were "spitting in the face of every day people who know what it means to work incredibly hard and still sometimes fail to get by". Trumka showed that at least someone affiliated with Democrats really does have soaring rhetoric and possess the part of the male anatomy James Carville said was missing from Obama.

As if to prove Carville right again, Jay Carney, Obama's press secretary responded to Romney's comments by saying:

" President Obama certainly doesnt think that men and women on Social Security are irresponsible or victims, that students are irresponsible or victims. He certainly doesn't think middle class families are paying too little in taxes".

That's tellin' em isnt it?

While Romney's remarks are pathetic, Obama's response, as usual, is only slightly less pathetic. Of course President Obama doesn't think any of those things because President Obama doessnt think at all as his first four years in office proved.

And where Obama and Carney think that Romney's 47% were all people on social security or students makes Obama's response only slightly less obnoxious than Romney's original remarks.

Romney said Obama voters are people " who pay no taxes" not people paying too little, so even when criticizing one of the most obnoxious comments ever made by a presidential candidate since, well, Barrack Obama, he cant even get his repsonse right. Which is why Obama tried to steal and then botched Elizabeth Warren's original comments about " you didn't build that alone" and said, "you didn't build that".

In spite of Obama's ineptitude and lack of character, Romney and the far right should be virtually finished. Assuming Democrats know how to make him pay dearly.

Romney's self destruction started with choosing Paul Ryan as his vice presidential candidate. These videos of Romney's comments should just about finished the job.

As distasteful as it might be for most Democrats fed up with Obama's lies, duplicity and incompetence to give Obama another four years, its not as distasteful as having Romney and Ryan and their distasteful ideas in the White House and if there is even one Democratic political strategist in the country who has a clue as to what they are doing, Romney should be history.

The best hope for the country now is a Democratically controlled congress which, again, if there are Democratic political strategists with any idea what they are doing, should be relatively easy to accomplish ( of course if they really knew what they were doing they wouldn't have been routed in 2010 but that's another story). And an easy Obama victory if Democratic strategists and candidates don't insult the intelligence of Democratic voters and focus their campaigns on keeping the Republicans out more than trying to convince people that they should want Obama in. The only real reason to vote for Obama now is for him to fill up the chair in the Oval Office to keep Romney and Ryan and far right conservatives from sitting in it . If they use that strategy they can't lose.

Because with both candidates being pretty distasteful it was Romney after all,  as Trumka pointed out, who spit in the face of half the country. And in spite of Obama's constant failures as a leader, it is a certainty that more than half the country are going to spit back. And hold their nose while doing it and vote for Obama, who. if Democrats play their cards right,  should regain control of congress with Obama riding their coattails. And if that is the case, hopefully the Democrats in Congress won't let Obama forget it and do what they should have done during Obama's first two years and run the country.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

How the media's failures with 911 changed presidential history.

As the November elections approach and with the anniversary of the 911 attacks having just passed, its worth considering how different the world, the United States, and the upcoming elections would have been had the press in this country not run from its responsibilities and obligations regarding the facts surrounding 911 and, instead of going into hiding and being their usual spineless selves had reported the facts exposed during the 911 Commission hearings and held George W. Bush accountable for his failures in not preventing the worst attack on American soil by a foreign enemy in American history when it was easily preventable.

 As the 911 Commission hearings exposed, the real intelligence failures were not at the CIA or other intelligence agencies but at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where Bush and Condoleeza Rice were given more than enough information to have prevented the attacks but didn't because they dismissed terrorism as a real threat and ignored the warnings until it was too late.

 The Commission hearings revealed so many failures on the part of George W. Bush regarding terrorism that, had the press held him as accountable for 911 as much as they did Anthony Weiner for pictures of him in his underwear, the course of history would have changed both in terms of policies, results and presidential politics.

 It was learned, for example, that the first thing Bush did upon taking office in his first decision related to terrorism was to demote the head of White House anti-terrorism, Richard Clarke, from the cabinet level position he held in the Clinton administration to a sub cabinet level position cutting off his direct access to the president. Bush also did away with the Principals Meeting, a meeting chaired by Clark on a weekly basis attended by the heads of all the intelligence agencies where the latest information garnerd by these agencies on Al-Qaeda was shared

The 911 Commission hearings also revealed that in the summer of 2001, the intelligence relating to an Al-Qaeda attack against the United States was so alarming, George Tenant, CIA Director requested an emergency meeting with Rice in July to communicate the urgency of the threat. Rice was so dismissive of Tenent's concerns she didn't even remember the meeting though White House logs proved it took place.

 But perhaps the most damning evidence of Bush's failures was that on August 6, 2001, in the president's classified daily intelligence briefing, Bush was told that Al-Qaeda going to strike in the United States, that there were 50 identified Al-Qaeda cells already in the United States and that part of the Al-Qaeda plot to strike within the United States involved the hijacking of US airliners. Bush was also told that Al-Qaeda had office and federal office buildings in New York City under surveillance, indicating those could be targets. Bush dismissed the intelligence reports and took no action.

 Richard Clarke was so disgusted with the Bush Administration's lack of response to terrorist warnings and intelligence he wanted to resign but the resignation was not accepted. Testimony from both Clarke and George Tenent was that in August of 2001, intercepts of Al-Qaeda chatter had risen to the highest levels Clarke had seen in twenty years, and further evidence showed that the translation by the CIA of one of the Al-Qaeda messages in August of 2001 was that the United States was about to be hit with a major terrorist attack, that the attack was "imminent", and in the words of the CIA memo the attack was going to be "spectacular". This information was relayed to both Bush and Rice. They did nothing.

Clarke testified that the intercepts of Al-Qaeda traffic were so convincing that the United States was about to be hit with a major terrorist attack that he said both he and George Tenant were "running around the White House like men with their hair on fire" trying to get Bush and Rice's attention and to convince them a major attack was imminent. Bush,still on vacation in Crawford refused their requests to meet with them and both he and Rice ignored the warnings and did nothing.

 After the attacks both the press and the Democrats went into a shell. The Democrats as usual, were afraid of attacking Bush and the Republicans for possibly the worst national security failure in history and all because of Bush's gross negligence in ignoring the information he was given . It was the same for press wh showed their usual lack of backbone when it counted the most and in terms of accountablility by the news media, did not hold Bush as accountable for 911 as they did did Anthony Weiner for his pictures of him in his underwear.

The same, ironically was true for the Democrats. When it came to Weiner and his underwear, Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid had no problem sayng he should resign. When it came to Bush's failures and negligence in the 911 attacks Democrats said nothing.

Along with Bush the 911 Commission raked FBI Director Louis Freeh over the coals as well for also bungling and mishandling anti-terrorist intelligence given to him by the CIA. When two of what would be Al-Qaeda hijackers who were being tracked by the CIA landed in Los Angeles, the CIA could no longer follow them since they cannot by law operate within the United States. They gave the names and whereabouts of the two terrorists to Freeh at the FBI along with the warning that they believed the two had entered the country to commit a terrorist act. Freeh labeled the CIA request for surveillance of the men "routine" and because of that it was ten days before the FBI sent agents to try and find them. The date that Freeh first began to act on the information given by the CIA was Sept 10, 2001. Because of this and other failures Freeh was forced out as FBI director, but like Bush, was not held appropriately accountable by the press even though he was publicly humiliated by Commission Chairman Tom Kane who eviscerated Freeh for his multitude of failures when he appeared before the commission as a witness.

Had the failures of George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice and others in the Bush administration, not just failures actually but gross negligence, been reported by the news media, had they been held accountable for the failures and their negligence which failed to stop the 911 attacks when it could have easily been prevented, the course of history and presidential elections would have changed.

With those failures exposed by the press and Bush held accountable, Bush never would have won re-election in 2004 and Kerry, who lost a close election, would have surely been elected. History would have been very different.

Yes, Kerry and his political strategists deserve a lot of blame for not holding Bush accountable for 911, as well as for the disaster that was unfolding in Iraq at the time, two of the most legitimate campaign issues in history. But it was the press who had the primary responsibility to report the truth. Ironically it was the New York Post ,a newspaper owned by conservative Rupert Murdoch, who ran the most explosive and damaging headline about Bush's intelligence failure. In huge white type on a black background, the Post ran the headline "Bush Knew!" talking about the revelations contained in the August 6, 2001 intelligence report that told Bush that the Al-Qaeda plot to attack the United States from within would involve the hijacking of US airliners and that buildings in New York City were under surveillance.

Had Kerry won in 2004, this would be the end of his second term and it's hard to know who the election this November would have been between. But the disaster and the selling out of Democratic policies that would have had huge benefits for the country, the relentless caving in to special interests and overall lack of accomplishment over the last four years by Barrack Obama would not have happened and the country might not now be facing possibly the two worst presidential candidates in history. But it all did. Thanks to the press.

NOTE: There is an irony now in Democrats accusing Romney of politicizing the events in Libya by his criticism of Obama and his foreign policy. The Democrats, foolishly, refrained from criticizing Bush over 911, perhaps afraid that Republicans would accuse them of politicizing the event. Though there is no comparison in terms of enormity of the event, Democrats are now furious that Republicans are not doing the same.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Bombshell: MBNA bank while Freeh was co-chair and general counsel was major corporate sponsor of Jerry Sandusky and Second Mile.

A copy of a document sent to me by a source and dated February 28,2000 ( a link is provided at the bottom)  and further corroborated by other documentation has revealed that MBNA bank (now Bank of America)  beginning in 2000 and throughout the entire tenure of Louis Freeh as the bank's vice chairman and general counsel,  was a major corporate sponsor of Jerry Sandusky and Second Mile and continued to be throughout Freeh's tenure at the bank from 2001 to 2006 when MBNA bank was bought by Bank of America for $35 billion.  Freeh at the time cashed in $20 million in stock options.

As the document shows, in April of 2000, less than two years after the 1998 Sandusky investigation, MBNA bank sponsored a testimonial dinner at Penn State to honor Jerry Sandusky. This relationship and sponsorship of Sandusky and Second Mile by MBNA bank continued while Freeh became the bank's vice chairman and general counsel.

 In addition, evidence shows that Ric Struthers, vice president  and head of the credit card division at MBNA bank and a close friend and colleague of Freeh sat on Jerry Sandusky's Second Mile board of directors at least until 2006.

 Given MBNA bank's important financial relationship to Penn State and their relationship to Jerry Sandusky and Second Mile as one of Sandusky's biggest biggest corporate sponsors and Freeh's position as vice chairman and general counsel,and given Freeh's friendship with Ric Struthers,  an MBNA vice president  who sat on Sandusky's Second Mile Board of Directors from 2000 to at least 2006,  the conflicts of interest involving Freeh,  MBNA bank, it's executives and Jerry Sandusky and Second Mile are so great, so irreconcilable, and so substantive it raises many legitimate questions on ethical grounds alone, as to why Freeh was even chosen to conduct the investigation and completely invalidates the Freeh Report as an honest, objective independent investigation, untainted by bias or self interest.

And that Freeh did not disclose this conflict of interest and ethcially disqualify himself from conducting it, further erodes Freeh's credibility, the credibility of the report, and calls into question Freeh's real  motives.It also begs the question, did the Penn State Board of Trustees know about this conflict of interest before assigning Freeh to do the investigation? If so then their motives for hiring Freeh, perhaps to insure that they are taken off the hook, must be questioned since the conflicts of interest are so great that Freeh never should have been allowed to do the investigation in the first place.
Aside from the clear lack of ethics the conflicts of interest  indicate,and how they invalidate the Freeh Report,  they also raise other serious questions. Specifically what did Freeh and other MBNA bank executives know of the 1998 Sandusky investigation and when did they know it? Or McQueary's 2001 allegations? What did Ric Struthers know and when did he know it? And was the Freeh Report and its unsubstantiated conclusions and accusations against Joe Paterno and others actually  Freeh trying to shield MBNA bank executives,personal friends like  Ric Struthers and even himself from bad or damaging publicity and not as Freeh alleged, Joe Paterno trying to shield Penn State?

 The evidence shows that a major and mutually lucrative financial agreement had been completed between MBNA bank and Penn State, negotiated in part by MBNA bank vice president  Ric Struthers less than two years after the 1998 Sandusky investigation on possible allegations of child abuse. The agreement called for MBNA bank to pay Penn State $30 million just for its mailing list. MBNA bank used that list to solicit and  provide credit cards to Penn State students and faculty.  Ric Struthers, as already noted, sat on the Board of Directors of Jerry Sandusky's Second Mile.

With MBNA bank one of Sandusky's biggest corporate sponsors and its vice president of the credit card division sitting on Sandusky's Board, along with the conflicts of interest that make Freeh's investigation worthless,  is it possible that Struthers, Freeh, or other MBNA bank executives knew nothing of the 1998 Sandusky investigation?Is it possible that they didnt?

It is believed that they did know and  protecting that information along with Freeh not wanting to lose a $6 million pay day were the motives behind Freeh not recusing himself from doing the investigation and his motives behind his unsubstantiated conclusions and manipulation and mischaracterization of evidence to pin the blame and focus attention on Paterno and others.

That MBNA bank executives, including Freeh, knew about the 1998 investigation of Sanduskyis re-enforced by their professional relationship with and unqiue position of Gary Schultz.

Schultz was head of Penn State police services, and as the emails in the Freeh Report show, was privy to all the details concerning the 1998 investigation of Sandusky. Thomas Harmon, Captain of Penn State police kept Schultz, as his superior, informed of the progress of the investigation, details and it's outcome. It was Schultz who Curley turned to for updates concerning the progress of the investigation.

 But Gary Schultz  was also Vice President of Business and Finance at Penn State and as such most certainly was directly involved in the financial negotiations between Penn State, Ric Struthers, and MBNA bank. And  as VP of Business and Finance  it was Schultz who most certainly had to approve the deal negotiated with Struthers and MBNA bank..

 Is it possible that with knowledge of the 1998 Sandusky investigation as head of Penn State police services,  and his position as Vice President of Business and Finance and after negotiating a large and financial deal with MBNA bank and Ric Struthers, (who also happened to be a former Penn State grad,  class of '77) that Schultz would not mention to Struthers, even in a general off the record way anything about the 1998 investigation of Sandusky or that there even was an investigation? Is it possible Schultz would allow MBNA bank with whom he had negotiated a large financial deal beneficial to Penn State,  to become a major corporate sponsor of Jerry Sandusky and Second Mile and allow Struthers to sit on Sandusky's Board of Directors without a word to anyone there about the 1998 Sandusky investigation?

It is believed that is not possible. It is highly unlikely Schultz would have kept that information from Struthers, especially since the investigation ended with no charges against Sandusky. And given the possible exposure for both Struthers and MBNA bank  and the possibility for embarrassing or damaging publicity,  they would have certainly held Schultz accountable had they not been informed and then later learned of Schultz' knowledge of the 1998 Sandusky investigation for child abuse if things went bad with Sandusky as they eventually did.

 Would Schultz have put such a lucrative business arrangement for Penn State at risk , would he have jeopardized it and allowed the exposure of MBNA bank as a major corporate sponsor of Sandusky and Second Mile and for Struthers to sit on Sandusky's board without saying a word? It is believed not. The evidence points to the fact that they knew.

 Consequently,  given the relationship between Struthers and Louis Freeh it is unlikely Struthers would not have passed on whatever information he had from Schultz about the 1998 investigation to Freeh.,in his position as vice chairman and general counsel of MBNA and as a former FBI director.And a personal friend as well as colleauge of Struthers.

 Freeh's relationship with Struthers was first reported, in March of 2012, when Jim DiStefano, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer who was aware of Freeh's position at MBNA bank and their financial connection to Penn State called Penn State and asked about the apparent conflict of interest. DiStefano was suspicious because the bio of Freeh that was released when it had been announced that he would do the investigation touted other aspects of Freeh's resume but didnt mention the relationship between MBNA bank where Freeh was vice chairman and Penn State.

 A Penn State spokeswoman referred DiStifano to the board's special committee for the investigation. They in turn referred DiStefano to Kekst & Co, the PR agency the board had hired. DiStefano reported that Jeremy Fielding of Kekst & Co. told him in 2012 " Judge Freeh has had no previous personal connection to Penn State university".

That, as it turns out was not true. In 2005 Penn State honored MBNA bank vice president  Ric Struthers, with a testimonial dinner at Penn State. The featured guest speaker at that Penn State dinner for Struthers was Louis Freeh.

There is now more credible questions raised about whether MBNA bank executives, Ric Struthers and possibly Freeh himself knew about the 1998 Sandusky investigation than there is that Joe Paterno knew. And even if Paterno did know ( for which there is  still not a single shred of actual proof) what Paterno would have  known would have been no different from anything Ric Struthers,other MBNA bank executives or even Freeh himself would have known . Yet Freeh  used that same knowledge as "evidence"  that Paterno was involved in a cover up to shield Penn State from bad publicity. But there is now more credible evidence that suggests it was Louis Freeh who used  unsubstantiated conclusions, fabrications and manipulated evidence and intimidated witnessess, who was the one trying to shield MBNA bank executives from bad publicity, not Joe Paterno, 

This became especially important since MBNA bank had been bought by Bank of America in 2006 and still employs many of MBNA bank's executives including Struthers. Any connection to Sandusky or Second Mile or evidence that their executives knew of the investigation in 1998 would have damaging consequences.
Even the most ardent of Freeh's supporters (assuming there still are any) could not argue that the conflict of interest between Freeh, his position at MBNA bank as vice chairman and general counsel  the bank's major sponsorship of Sandusky and Second Mile and  Freeh's relationship with Ric Struthers who sat on Sandusky's Board of Directors, would not, if ethics prevailed,  have disqualified Freeh from conducting the investigation. And no one can argue that this conflict of interest, aside from the questions it raises about Freeh's own knowledge and that of other MBNA bank executives,doesn't invalidate the Freeh Report as an honest, objective, independent investigation.

 Based on these conflicts of interest and the substantial questions they raise and in the interests of fairness and justice the NCAA should  immediately suspend its sanctions against Penn State which are based entirely on the Freeh Report, at the very least  pending their own investigation as one of Freeh's investigators already suggested, and any and all actions taken based on the  Freeh Report should be put on hold until a true investigation can take place. Or it is concluded that one isnt neccessary and simply let the justice system given the upcoming trials of Curley and Schultz, run their course before any other action is taken.

The revelation of these conflicts of interest also once again proves the ineptitude, incompetence, journalistic dishonesty, and the injustice caused by the mainstream news media,  as well as simply flat out stupidity from journalists at Time Magazine, CNN, ESPN,  the Philadelphia Daily News,  and countless radio talk show hosts and others who were only too glad to jump on their self-serving bandwagon , accept the Freeh Report at face value, and in so doing made a mockery of justice and what journalism is supposed to be.

Until we get some answers from Tim Curley and Gary Schultz there are other questions still to be answered. This time of Louis Freeh. But if his history of allegations of unethical conduct is any indication, don't expect to get any answers. At least not from him. But in the meantime, there is only one action to be taken based on the Freeh Report and based  on the irreconcillable conflicts of interest that exists. Discard it. And reverse every action taken upon which it was based, until something more honest, objective, untainted and reliable can take it's place.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New York Times front page on Democratic convention shows journalistic and political brain death continues.

Adam Nagourney is the lead political writer for the New York Times. He is supposed to be pretty good. Emphasis on the words "supposed to be".

In writing about the Democratic convention and the upcoming fall campaign, Nagourney wrote on the front of page of the Times:

 "The party ( Democrats) is not as united as they were four years ago but Democrats are finding common purpose in denying Republicans control of the White House and congress next year".

The latter part of his statement is true. In spite of disgust with Obama and the weak-kneed spineless political approach of congressional Democrats and their consultants that many are now talking about,  rank and file Democratic voters are willing to hold their nose and vote for Obama to keep a different set of destructive liars from replacing the more benign liar presently in the White House whose catastrophic four years in office has more to do with what he could have accomplished and didn't rather than anything he did to the country as was the case with the administration of George W. Bush.

But it is Nagourney's opening sentence, " the party is not as united as they were four years ago..." which indicates that four years ago Nagourney was either on drugs, in a coma, is simply lying, has severe memory loss or just decided to make stuff up because as someone who was integrally involved in the Democratic primary campaign as Executive Director of the Denver Group, I can tell you that Barrack Obama was easily the most divisive Democratic candidate for president in the history of the Democratic party.

 There was no unity among Democrats four years ago. It is safe to say that Hillary Clinton supporters, which made up more than half of all Democratic primary voters, despised Obama and his supporters and what they saw was his and their underhanded political tactics. This contempt for another Democratic opponent was never seen before in a Democratic primary.

The dislike for Clinton and her supporters by Obama supporters was mutual. Obama supporters were calling Clinton supporters racist, and Clinton supporters were calling Obama and his supporters underhanded,  misogynists and a fraud.  I was told stories by grassroots Democratic actvisits on the ground going door to door that they never encountered such anger at a Democratic candidate,  especially in industrial states like Pennsylvania and Ohio,  as they did the anger many Democrats had towards Obama. And what made Clinton supporters resent Obama and his supporters even more was how the issue of race was used as a weapon against anyone not supporting Obama. If you didn't support Obama, the line went, you were a racist. This increased the tension and hostility that existed between the two camps to a fever pitch.

  Clinton supporters also despised the biased  news coverage Obama received whenever the media  turned a blind eye to Obama being caught in a lie ( which was often), and resented how the media he fawned over him and ignored his history of lying, reneging on promises and having accomplished nothing in 11 years of political office.  Instead of objectivity and doing their best to inform the electorate,the media  had a clear agenda, which included getting caught up in the emotional and symbolic aspect of electing the first black looking president ( most of Obama's supporters using race as their agenda insisted on ignoring the fact that Obama's mother was white). The problem was, this was no Colin Powell.

 Neither Obama nor Clinton ended the primary season with the necessary 2/3 delegate majority with Obama finishing with a 65 delegate lead, mostly gained through the caucuses, and Clinton with a slim majority in the popular vote. This in spite of writer Jonathan Alter and Keith Olbermann using their platforms in the media to  try and force Clinton out of the race months earlier,  with Alter  writing that Clinton should get out ( after she had landslided Obama in the Ohio primary) because according to Alter, she had no chance even though she had landslided Obama in 13 of the 15 largest and most populace  states in the country and won 14 of 15. "Do the math" Alter wrote, showing he was as lousy at math as he was political observation. But pretty good as a political hatchet man.

 Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean and Donna Brazille, not exactly people you want to ask for political advice given their track records, were so afraid of an open convention, the kind that finally gave the nomination to FDR after 5 ballots in his first run for the presidency, that they tried to force Hillary Clinton off the ballot, which is what inspired the formation of the Denver Group and the ads and TV commercials I created designed to thwart that attempt which succeeded to a large degree.

 There was such little unity in the Democratic party,and at the Democratic convention, it was so contentious, there was so much mutual hatred between Obama supporters and Clinton supporters that the number one concern on the minds of the Pelosi ,Dean and Brazille and others in the DNC was to do everything they could to try and project at least the appearance of  party unity,  mistakenly fearing that a contentious convention would cost them votes in November. But Clinton supporters resented this as well and polls showed that a large segment of Clinton supporters were telling pollsters they wouldn't vote for Obama. Obama was also having a terrible time getting big money Clinton donors to donate to his presidential campaign.

 There are more war stories to be told around the 2008 Democratic primaries, the most contentious and divisive in the history of the party, but if there was one thing the primary season and the Democratic convention did not have was unity.

 The main point is that Adam Nagourney, the chief political writer for the New York Times is either still under the self -delusions the press fostered during the 2008 primary season and Democratic convention or is simply making stuff up.

 It also should be remembered that Nagourney has people who have this little function called "editors" at the NY Times, which presumably include Jill Abrams the executive editor or at least someone she hired who read this nonsense by Nagourney about Democratic unity four years ago and let it go. On the other hand since Times writers and editorialists like Gail Collins were a big part of the problem in 2008, distorting and corrupting the news in support of Obama, its possible they are not about to admit their shortcomings now, especially since Obama has proved to be such a disaster as far as the Democratic agenda was concerned. So Nagourney's fantasy about Democratic unity in 2008 was allowed to stand.

 It is, unfortunately, another example of why journalism has fallen into such disrepute, how useless they have all become, primarily because of their lack of standards, ethics, and ability,( which was why what the press did to Joe Paterno and the damage they caused with their journalistic dishonesty became an issue worth taking up), and in the end, the worst of it all is that the Times, like most other journalistic outlets simply can't be trusted. And that, as the founders knew, can be a threat to democracy.