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The case has no substance. It'€™s using the courts in a politically motivated way. Are we talking about the Rick Perry indictment, or Halbig?
@DemFromCT
Every time @GovernorPerry cries politics, we should report, as
@WayneSlater did, the fact that spc pros. & judge who appt'd him are Repubs
@PaulBegala
Here is @WayneSlater's story & @GovernorPerry mugshot: http://t.co/...
@PaulBegala
Well, either the Gov. Rick Perry indictment is criminalization of politics—>
Rick Hasen:
This seems to be the season for investigations of governors. New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie has his “bridgegate.” The U.S. attorney is investigating New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s potential interference with the Moreland Commission—a commission he created himself to investigate corruption. State prosecutors in Wisconsin have been investigating Gov. Scott Walker’s involvement in potentially illegal coordination of campaign finances between his political campaign and outside groups. And then, of course, there are McDonnell, Perry, and Blagojevich, as well as Connecticut Gov. John Rowland, who went to jail for graft, and Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, who went to jail for bribery and fought his conviction (unsuccessfully) all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. At least the endless prosecutions appear to target both Democrats and Republicans.

But the problem facing prosecutors, in the Perry case and the others noted above, is this: State officials have tremendous power, and many of them abuse that power for personal benefit. But many state officials also engage in unseemly conduct and hardball politics that do not clearly cross the line of illegality.

or folks are just missing the point—>
Forrest Wilder:
Among elite commentators, this seems to be the emerging consensus—that the pursuit of Perry somehow was a fundamental departure from legal norms and represents an attack on the very practice of politics. Incidentally, this is precisely the line that Rick Perry is taking. On Saturday, he called  the prosecution a “farce” and lamented that “some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state’s constitution.”

Since uninformed speculation is apparently the coin of the realm, allow me to opine on what I think is going on. In the last few months, political reporters have begun writing the Rick Perry 2.0 Comeback story. National Journal had a particularly credulous piece—titled “The New Rick Perry”—that spent more than a thousand words allowing Perry to explain his decision to adopt those MSNBC glasses. More significantly, the piece basically chucked out almost everything we’ve learned about Rick Perry over his decades in politics to posit that he’s suddenly, mutatis mutandis, some sort of serious “bipartisan uniter” who’s shucked off the focus groups and polling and is finally just being his charming, fun-loving awesome self. It’s at best meta-level campaign bullshit, but this is how political journalism is practiced. The indictment—and the possibility that Perry could be knocked out of the running and even facing prison time because he’s a corrupt bully—blows a giant hole in the script.

There’s also a tendency on the part of political journalists to criticize anything that sanitizes the bloodsport of partisan politics. Like those football fans who belly-ache about new safety-conscious rules that “sissify” the game, political junkies are wedded to the idea that all’s fair in politics. That’s one reason, I think, why the press outside of Texas has been so incapable of seeing this through anything other than a partisan lens. The zealousness with which that line has been pursued—and reinforced by Perry’s allies—has led to some serious factual blunders and misconceptions. In the interest of trying to bring this episode back to reality, here are a few things to keep in mind.

More politics and policy below the fold.

See also Christopher Hooks:

But what did Perry do, exactly?

He threatened, publicly, to use his line item-veto power to zero out the Public Integrity Unit’s budget. Since that part of the Travis DA’s office played a statewide role, it was funded by the state. This kind of threat isn’t unusual. Executives use veto threats all the time to get what they want. The difference this time was that Perry had the audacity to do it all publicly. It’s unusual for an elected official to bully another elected official into resigning. And when threats didn’t work, he followed through on it. At the end of last year’s legislative session, Perry eliminated the entirety of the Public Integrity Unit’s funding–some $8 million over two years. Money that was going to investigate, in small part, his own party’s mismanagement of state government agencies, including alleged corruption in CPRIT.

Can Rick Perry use twin felony indictments to springboard into the White House? http://t.co/... #txlege
@cd_hooks
Dallas Morning News:
Perry’s prosecutor isn’t prone to partisanship, say those who know him
Alec McGillis:
These sorts of dealings—so at odds with the conservative movement’s avowed scorn for “crony capitalism”—would have gotten far more scrutiny had Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign not disintegrated so quickly. But now they are back in the public eye, because they are at the heart of the showdown between Perry and the Travis County district attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg. At the time of her drunk-driving arrest, the Public Integrity Unit under her command had been investigating Perry’s appointees at the state’s Cancer Prevention Research Institute, another favored dollar-disburser of Perry's, for making an improper $11 million grant to a Dallas firm. In making his righteous demand for Lehmberg’s resignation and then revoking the funding for the Public Integrity Unit when she refused to quit, Perry was undermining one of the few entities in the state with the ability to expose the taxpayer-funded web of influence and favor-peddling that he has constructed. He may well avoid conviction on the charges that have now been brought against him a result of that maneuver, and who knows, may still resume his post-2012 comeback and mount a second run for president. But if he does so, we will as a result of this case have a clearer sense of who Rick Perry is than we did last time around, and what questions need to be asked about him.
Erica Greider:
Worth considering is an alternative account of Perry’s political motivation. In June 2013, when he vetoed the PIU funding, he was signing the overall budget for the 2014-2015 biennium—a budget that restored billions of dollars of funding to public schools and expanded funding to worthy priorities such as higher education and mental health care. It was a budget that had been passed by the legislature with widespread bipartisan support and that was opposed only by a handful of tea partiers, who accused the Legislature and the governor of taking the state on a California-style spending spree. They were wrong, but they were clamorous, and Perry’s defense of the budget risked costing him some standing with the Republican base. My impression, at the time, was that the governor was aware of those risks. On a Monday, he said that his critics needed remedial math lessons; he then turned around and added abortion to the call for the special session that was already in progress. And on the day he signed the budget, to widespread applause, he made a point of using his line-item veto to remove state funding from a unit overseen by a Democratic district-attorney who had just spent several weeks in prison.

If my thinking is correct—if his goal was to cover his right flank rather than to gut the PIU—it’s not hard to believe that months later, Perry (or his people) would let Democrats know that he was open to replacing Lehmberg with a Democrat, that he would help find another job for Lehmberg, and even that he would restore funding to the PIU if they proceeded with such a deal. In such negotiations, though, the governor may have extended his constitutional authority, and so if Perry did have such discussions, I suspect that the prosecutor’s evidence will have more to do with those backroom agreements than with a public warning about his intention to exercise his constitutional powers. If so, the legal case against Perry might be more serious. The ethical case against him would potentially less so, though.

Walter Pincus:
Read the [Jeffrey Goldberg-Hillary] transcript and make up your own mind about Clinton’s views.

I fear the interview’s treatment so far illustrates a concern about journalism that former Washington Post editorial page editor Meg Greenfield noted more than a dozen years ago.

In her book “Washington,” she wrote that journalists “in so many cases [have] ceased thinking of the people they write about as people at all, thinking of them instead as opportune props and raw material for use in their stories and in opinion pieces.”

Max Fisher:
There will be many efforts in the coming days to derive meaning from [journalist James Foley's] death. Some will say ISIS had him killed to punish the US for its recent air strikes against them in Iraq, some will say it was to egg the Americans on, and others will attribute it to simple madness.

I would rather derive meaning from Jim's life. As a journalist, I want to celebrate his dedication to truth and understanding. But that would sell him short. It is clear even just by secondhand accounts from the family that would do anything to help him, even when he insisted on returning to a war zone, and from the friends who were so enriched by knowing him, that Jim's value was so much more.

HuffPost on the Ferguson McDonald's:
It’s a little hard to tell whether we should be glad that McDonald’s is serving a useful public cause, or utterly depressed that traditional meeting places like libraries and local sandwich shops have been replaced by a corporate behemoths like McDonald’s and Starbucks.

“When a McDonald’s is becoming your primary gathering place, that might suggest that there’s a shortage of appropriate public spaces that allow for people to exercise their First Amendment rights,” Bernardo said.

When the public spaces are overrun with a heavily militarized police force, perhaps we should be glad for an alternative.

Jamelle Bouie:
To residents of Ferguson, in other words, the situation is simple. Michael Brown was executed by an angry cop. You can hear their shock and fear in a video recorded just after the shooting. “They killed him for no reason … they just killed this n---er for no reason,” said one man. “Do you see a knife? Do you see anything that would have caused a threat to these motherf--kin’ police? They shot that boy because they wanted to shoot that boy in the middle of the motherf--kin’ day in the middle of the motherf--kin’ street.”

A forthright police department could have calmed these nerves. They could have answered basic questions: Who was the shooter? How many times did he fire? What was Brown stopped for? And why did officers let his body sit in the street for four hours?
Instead, led by Chief Thomas Jackson, the Ferguson Police Department stonewalled at every turn, refusing cooperation and transparency.

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Comment Preferences

  •  early am meetings at work (47+ / 0-)

    so posting early to be around for a bit for comments.

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 03:46:44 AM PDT

  •  Couldn't happen to a (15+ / 0-)

    nastier, more power-hungry, sleazier, more corrupt (I could go on...) guy.

    Partisan my *ss!  And the political writers and commenters will lick this vile sh*t right up from the ground where it dropped.

     i personally hope they nail Perry's sorry ass to a board.

    I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:02:35 AM PDT

    •  but how do you really feel? (15+ / 0-)

      let us know.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:24:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you look at any of the legal web sites (0+ / 0-)

      you'll find that all of them think that it will be from very hard to impossible to convict Perry on them.  Mainly because of the very narrow definitions of bribery, misuse of funds, etc.

      Perry has used the Lehnberg DUI as an excuse to shut down the investigation into his corruption.  In that sense, he has already won: what agency has taken up the cases of the PUI?  In NY, the US Attorney has taken the cases of commission that Cuomo shut down.

      I think that Perry should be indicted for shutting down the commission investigating him on the grounds that  he is obstructing justice.

      By the way, the Legislature, as I understand it, could have overridden Perry's veto but didn't.  They too have a fear of the PUI.

      So who else can investigate Perry and cronies?

      •  I'm not sure what bribery and misuse of funds (0+ / 0-)

        have to do with the charges against Perry, since he wasn't indicted on either of those.  I guess his offering to help Lehmberg find another job could be construed as bribery, but I think the special prosecutor picked the correct charges to level at Perry.

        The Legislature, as well as Perry, has been wanting to get rid of the Public Integrity Unit at the Travis County DA's office for a long time - at least since they discovered the unit's investigatory powers included jurisdiction over the entire state government - all but the judicial branch -including all the offices, agencies and staffs.  Perry's indictment had absolutely nothing to do either with Lehmberg or the governor's veto power regardless of what the pundits, in their infinite ignorance, contend.

        "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

        by SueDe on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:07:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Chief Jackson works for the former slave (9+ / 0-)

    owning class. He's part of the overseer class. He doesnt answer to the descendants of former slaves (the negros). He works for the evil racist RW white supremacist criminal injustice system/power structure.

    It's a feature not a bug.

    Thanks Greg nt

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:03:59 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the roundup, Greg! (9+ / 0-)

    One does hope that the presidential aspirations
    of  Rick Perry, Chris Christie, and the Scott Walker have been permanently scotched.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:15:47 AM PDT

  •  Perry's Prosecutor, Michale McCrum seems (14+ / 0-)

    to be a perfect fit for this case (from the above link):

    As the special prosecutor in the Perry case, McCrum is a veteran attorney — and former cop in Dallas and Arlington — who’s been on both sides in legal skirmishes.

    He’s got plenty of fans, both Democrats and Republicans. And his political leanings largely are muted.

    As a federal prosecutor in San Antonio, he oversaw the unit that focused on money laundering, public corruption and criminal tax fraud cases. After 14 years as a private attorney, he’s on the short list of highly sought criminal defense attorneys.

    I only hope McCrum manages to wipe that smug smirk off Perry's face...

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:16:22 AM PDT

  •  Perry is better at crony capitalism (29+ / 0-)

    than anyone. He's got several slush funds set up to reward his biggest donors.
    Here's a great article by Matt Taibbi from 2011:

    According to Texans for Public Justice, Perry appointed 921 of his donors and their spouses to government posts over the past decade. All told, those appointees gave a staggering $17 million to his campaigns – 21 percent of the entire amount he raised during that time. To give an indication of just how completely for-sale public appointments became during his administration, Perry collected $6.1 million from the 155 people he appointed to be regents of state universities in Texas.

    You can get a fairly decent summary of Perry's track record as governor just by going down the list of political favors that were granted to the 204 "Central Committee" members who collectively contributed half of his campaign money. Start at the top: Perry's biggest single donor, the homebuilder Bob Perry, was rewarded with his very own regulatory agency.

    Back in the Nineties, Bob Perry made a fortune building cheap homes, and he had enormous success in circumventing regulation, taking advantage of arbitration clauses that prevented homeowners from suing in the event of leaks or faulty construction or other problems. But after he lost a high-profile arbitration case, he and other builders decided to go straight to the top. In 2003, his company's general counsel, John Krugh, served on a task force established to craft new legislation. The result was a bill creating the Texas Residential Construction Commission, which Gov. Perry signed into law that year. Not long after getting a $100,000 check from Bob Perry, the governor appointed Krugh to serve on the new nine-member commission.

    The commission, which initially included four builders and not a single consumer advocate, was a masterpiece of deregulation – actually a kind of deregulation from within, in which builders created and ran a toothless regulatory agency to non-police themselves. The body forced homeowners to pay, at minimum, hundreds of dollars for an inspection fee before making any complaint against a builder. And though the commission frequently ruled in favor of ripped-off homeowners, it had no enforcement power at all – meaning homeowners rarely got their homes fixed.

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/...
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

    If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

    by skohayes on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:19:17 AM PDT

  •  A "season for investigations of governors"? (6+ / 0-)

    For me it seems more like having caught a few of the scattering cockroaches that attempted to get away when the light was turned their way.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:23:02 AM PDT

    •  Last season a record number of GOP governors (0+ / 0-)

      were elected. So it follows that we have a record number of court cases against them this season.  Why? Because they are GOP governors with GOP statehouses and something about absolute power ...and not having the memory of a goldfish.

  •  I think the Perry case is ridiculous. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin

    There isn't the slightest chance of a conviction, nor should there be.  Even the baldest stipulation of the facts of the case, that he line-item-vetoed the appropriation for the PIU to get rid of one person, is pretty far from criminal.  Pundits are assholes but whoever's saying that this case is the "criminalization of politics" is correct in my opinion.  

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:25:37 AM PDT

    •  most of the legal scholars (17+ / 0-)

      and half of the liberal punditry say it's thin.

      But while I mostly agree, I think Slater, Hooks and Wilder (links above) make the case that it's not devoid of substance:

      1.

      Perry has called the prosecution a political attack by Democrats. A Republican judge presided over the inquiry. And the special prosecutor in the case, San Antonio attorney Mike McCrum, was a federal prosecutor in the administration of Republican President George H.W. Bush.
      Slater

      2. TX state law doesn't like coercion.

      3. the veto has little to do with it. See the Wilder piece:

      The criminal case against Perry centers on his “coercion” of a local elected official using threats and promises. It is not premised—as has been repeatedly misreported—on the veto itself. Craig McDonald, the head of Texans for Public Justice and the original complainant, has said as much. As McDonald told CNN:

      “The governor is doing a pretty good job to try to make this about [Lehmberg] and her DWI conviction. But this has never been about his veto of her budget and about her. This is about his abuse of power and his coercion trying to get another public citizen to give up their job.”

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:35:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Again, I accept all the facts as stipulated. (0+ / 0-)

        I just think it's legal for an elected official to threaten to do things that are within his or her office's power, so long as it's not for a goal that's illegal: to protect someone (or oneself), to gain illegal favor for someone (or oneself), that kind of thing.  If there's any element of that, then I'd certainly change my assessment.  And a general plutocrat's hostility to the idea of the PIU, which I assume is a fair characterization of Perry,  wouldn't reach that threshold.

        I may be a little extreme about this, since I didn't see the criminality in most of the allegations against Rod Blagojevich.

        It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

        by Rich in PA on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:57:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. But for pure partisan reasons, (5+ / 0-)

          let the indictments and convictions flow. Of course, im a statist so my views on the use of governmental power for partisan politics is also extreme.

          •  best analogy I've seen is from Wayne Slater in TX (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Uncle Moji, brooklynbadboy

            you can take money, you can do favors, but you can't do it when they are linked (quid pro quo, bribe, etc).

            You can veto or you can demand resignation, but you can't do it if they are linked (coercion).

            up to prosecutor to link, up to jury to decide.

            http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/...

            "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

            by Greg Dworkin on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:00:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's akin to a certain form of sexual harassment (0+ / 0-)

              You can have sex, you can promote, you can not have sex, you can fire, but you can't use a conjunction and link the two.

              "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

              by Uncle Moji on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:30:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  can't help but think of halbig (5+ / 0-)

          which to me is a grammarian nightmare case made real because of partisan politics, and gets all sorts of serious attention from serious people because of partisan judges who decided to make the abstract real.

          This is no less serious, and should be taken as seriously, though as more than one pundit notes, the chances of Perry either spending time in jail or in the Oval Office are close to zero.

          "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

          by Greg Dworkin on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:13:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not important politically that he spend time in (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stude Dude, I love OCD, Albanius

            jail.  What IS important is the spotlight on Perry and the opportunity to bring into the sunshine his entire record of arranging every action to benefit himself and his cronies, usually at the expense of Texas taxpayers and consumers.

            If this does not happen - if the corporate media is successful in keeping Perry's political shenanigans secret - then, yes, the whole thing's a farce.

            I think he did violate the law.  Being guilty and being punished, however, is something reserved for lesser beings.

            Not only that, but being innocent and put to death in Texas is Perry's prerogative.  He has executed people when the evidence against them was publicly exposed as bogus.  Then I imagine he went out and celebrated his hard day of work with dinner at some exclusive private club at someone else's expense, went home to his taxpayer-funded mansion, and slept like a baby.

            Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

            by ZedMont on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:49:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I don't care about jail for Perry. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stude Dude, Albanius

            His crony capitalism (especially) is the glue that's holding the gop grip on power in TX together.

            I hope they blow that ball of wax to smithereens.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:43:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Legal to veto to save money. Not legal to threa... (7+ / 0-)

          Legal to veto to save money. Not legal to threaten an elected official that if they don't resign (so he can appoint a Republican who will bury his and Abbott's complicity in the Cancer Institute money dealings - SERIOUS ETHICAL BREECHES) he will eliminate all monies to her dept.

          This is about the threat. Not about the veto (which is where most pundits get it wrong). She works NOT at the pleasure of the Governor (which apparently pisses him off).

          We are allowed to elect our officials - what does it say when a governor can use the threat of veto to replace that person?

          It says we have lost the ability to elect officials.

          And this is where the pundits seem to have a blind spot.

        •  They're in the foyer now. The smoke is coming (0+ / 0-)

          from the back room. Wait til all the facts are out. That prosecutor doesn't sound like he'd gamble on losing.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:40:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't get it either. (0+ / 0-)

      The indictment, that is; that Perry used his powers as a money making, patronage operation is well known and strangely legal, but refusing to fund an office because he doesn't like it or its chief is in his job description.  

      Someone actually admitted on DK, "Yes. If it pisses you and the other Greenwald-Tweet-pearl-clutchers off, it's smart." Wow. Just....wow.

      by Inland on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 05:08:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As the Special prosecutor (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, ZedMont, Stude Dude

         has noted, you haven't heard all the facts in the case yet.

  •  Doesn't this just (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, I love OCD

    throw a big ol' monkey wrench into Speaker Boehner's lawsuit? what's good for the Texan is good for the Kenyan, eh?

    What fresh hell is this? D. Parker

    by BetteNoir on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:57:13 AM PDT

  •  Pincus is right; I read the actual interview (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tuffie, sweatyb, UnionMade

    (it wasn't long) and there wasnt Obama bashing or signs of a substantial desire to change policy.

    Someone actually admitted on DK, "Yes. If it pisses you and the other Greenwald-Tweet-pearl-clutchers off, it's smart." Wow. Just....wow.

    by Inland on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 05:01:27 AM PDT

    •  Tell it to the Hillary basher army. (0+ / 0-)

      Tell it to the Hillary basher army.

      •  I did. (0+ / 0-)

        But it didn't help much, because.....Pincus is right.

        Even to the extent someone bought that the interview was innocuous, it still showed how HRC is a terrible politician for putting herself in that situation. Of giving an interview, I guess.

        Someone actually admitted on DK, "Yes. If it pisses you and the other Greenwald-Tweet-pearl-clutchers off, it's smart." Wow. Just....wow.

        by Inland on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:55:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Perry gutted the committee investigating (10+ / 0-)

    Cameron Todd Willingham's execution for arson which might have proved Perry executed an innocent man. Perry was running for reelection at the time. Then he vetoed the budget for the PIU department which was investigating cronyism/corruption in CPRIT which has ties to Perry's sister. That would have certainly put a dent in his plans to run again for POTUS.  I see a pattern.

    •  Would it matter? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, rl en france

      In a sane and rational world, this sort of ethical issue would "certainly put a dent in his plans to run again for POTUS." But in reality, I'm not noticing that it makes much of a difference -- if you're Republican. Christie is still on the short list for 2016; Scott Walker is still Governor of Wisconsin and could move up from there; Rick Scott is in no hot water from past Medicare fraud; LePage is still in the race for reelection.

      Only McConnell is in deep enough trouble to be off the 2016 list, and that's because his wife took gifts like luxury-branded handbags that have really really bad optics in front of a lower-middle-class jury. And if by some chance his lawyer gets him off the hook, he could be back on the list chanting about "partisan attacks."

  •  "Politics" has been turned into a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deha, codairem, alrdouglas

    dysphemism by people who don't want to confront that the interests of the polis (the people) are supposed to be paramount. This accounts for "public" having been similarly degraded and justifies the move to privatize. Private everything is supposed to be better than

    public parks
    public libraries
    public utilities
    public education
    etc.

    Populism is similarly dissed by people who dislike their own kind (aka fellow man) unless they are subject to their pleasures. Dominion is everything to the proponents of exceptionalism.

    Anyway, "politics" = power. The real issue is who's got the power, who rules, who gives the orders and who does what he's told. Under the schema outlined by the U.S. Constitution, the last are supposed to be public officials whom we hire as agents. And, when they don't perform as expected and directed, they're supposed to be fired. In the military, insubordination is a firing offense. So it should be on Capitol Hill.

    Btw, when persons start referring to themselves as "leaders," that's a clue they don't know what agency means. They may like to think they've been selected as warders for the hoi poloi, but that's wrong. Elections are not just a matter of picking a dictator our of a sorry lot. If they were, we might be better off relying on DNA which insures that talent breeds true.

  •  When this police execution happened... (4+ / 0-)

    you could see the "blue" entrenchment begin. There will be no information detrimental to Officer Wilson released by the Ferguson Police Department. But you will see more stories about Brown fed to the media by the police.

  •  Michael Brown is a modern day (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, a2nite, peregrine kate, tb mare

    scape goat.
    Let's not forget that the original ram in the thicket that got slaughtered by Abraham, instead of his son Isaac at the Lord God's behest, was no doubt intended to make Isaac glad that his dad had spared him.

    That the human father's authority is based on the reluctance to kill the young fathered by another male, as is reportedly common in a lion clan, is not much on which to base human exceptionalism.

    Nowadays, sending other men's sons to be killed in warfare is supposed to be an improvement. Classifying their deaths as a sacrifice for the "nation" is supposed to make it good.

    Anyway, Michael Brown was slaughtered in the street to put the fear of God into the neighborhood. Since it is not possible to kill them all, an example has to be made. Besides, when people are dead, they can't follow orders. So, abusing them by making them witness a slaughter is ultimately much more effective.
    We tend to assume that actions are bilateral -- i.e. intended to affect the object/target/victim. That's wrong. Very often there's actually triangulation involved. As in a kidnapping, the purpose is to affect persons indirectly by making them feel bad without coming into contact. Triangulation is the mode of the coward. Triangulation always targets "innocent" victims because they are unsuspecting, unaware, and unlikely to fight back. Not to mention that triangulation gives the aggressor the benefit of surprise.

  •  Meanwhile, back in Teabagger Land (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, Stude Dude, David54

    If trees gave off WIFi signals, we would probably plant so many trees, we would save the planet. Too bad they only produce the oxygen we breathe.

    by skohayes on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 05:31:42 AM PDT

  •  Someone here has mentioned a number of Texas (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denig, I love OCD, codairem

    state officials who have been convicted of DWI offenses as well as graft, and that Perry lifted not a bushy eyebrow at them.  This is the sort of thing that needs to be used to call in to the right wing radio stations who are going apoplectic over this "injustice" and "politically motivated" attack.  Also, letters to the editor.  You need the exact names and positions of these folks, though, and now I've forgotten which diarist pointed them out.

    Of course these folks did not control Public Integrity Units investigating Perry's "Cancer" initiative, already shown to have wrongly disbursed state funds to people who did not merit them.  Possibly even Perry contributors?

    Remember Perry's sudden insistence that every school girl in Texas be vaccinated against HPV?  Remember that financial ties between Perry and Merck were discovered and the plan was scrapped.

    One thing I've noticed over the past few years is that Rick Perry has been replacing functional roadside rest stops with virtual "Taj Mahals" complete with tornado shelters (like it's really important to protect people who are driving by rest stops just as a tornado approaches it while the rest of the state huddles in a bathroom).  These things are huge and impressive.  Some, if not all of them, have DPS offices in them which will almost certainly deter panhandling and crime.  Personally, I like them a lot and think they reflect well upon the state.  I have absolutely no issue with their existence.  I just have a question.

    Who was the contractor who built them?

    As far as I can tell, when you look up the phrase "quid pro quo" in the dictionary, Rick Perry's mugshot should be there.

    For Rick Perry to complain that ANYTHING is politically motivated is the most hypocritical farce imaginable.

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:19:19 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the SUPERB coverage of Rick Perry -- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, ZedMont, Greg Dworkin

    After a couple of the usual back-n-forth views on his actions, just as a introduction, all the rest laid the basis for obtaining a firm understanding of the situation.

  •  Ferguson and frets..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZedMont, askew

    Does anybody with their ear to the ground know if Ferguson is going to effect the fall elections?

    I'm fretting that it may push things to the law & order right.

    I'm also worrying that if Iraq goes seriously south during the fall, it will reflect badly on the White House and the Democrats.

    OTOH, I'm hoping that a GOP Governor flaming out will do some collateral damage to the Republicans. But that doesn't happen until that happens.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:53:56 AM PDT

    •  Iraq won't go seriously south as long as ISIS is (0+ / 0-)

      annihilated.  Exterminated.  They are no longer people, they are vermin who deserve their 72 virgins at the earliest possible time.

      Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

      by ZedMont on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:57:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well I hope the US doesn't have to do (0+ / 0-)

        the annihilating.  The other countries in the Mid East are the ones directly threatened, and they need to be the ones in charge of annihilations.  If Lebanon needs arms, we can supply them; if Jordan needs money, Qatar is very good at doling out money; if Kuwait or the UAE need religious support, call the Saudi's.  But if annihilation of ISIS requires fighters, they shouldn't be ours.

        "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

        by SueDe on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:45:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with Max Fischer. (0+ / 0-)

    Let's forget about ISIS for a day.
    Let's think about James Foley and  the others like him who are out there right now.
    And smile.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:33:48 AM PDT

  •  Of course, Perry's using projection! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    Republicans are very good at this: blame your opponent for exactly all the things YOU are guilty of in hopes it confuses them and you get a pass.

    He, of course is the very one who distorted the political system, etc, etc, etc.

    It will be delicious to watch him go down in flames!

    Pass the popcorn!

    Change the charter of corporations to serve the public interest BEFORE fiduciary concerns. 100% of Republicans and HALF the Dems are AGAINST We The People. We need TRUE Progressives, NOT Republican-Lite Dems - like Hillary, Pelosi, Feinstein...

    by RTIII on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:28:40 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Greg nt (0+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:07:24 AM PDT

  •  bingo (0+ / 0-)
    A forthright police department could have calmed these nerves. They could have answered basic questions: Who was the shooter? How many times did he fire? What was Brown stopped for? And why did officers let his body sit in the street for four hours?
    Instead, led by Chief Thomas Jackson, the Ferguson Police Department stonewalled at every turn, refusing cooperation and transparency.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 10:23:40 AM PDT

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