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John Boehner has been the worst Speaker of the House in my memory.  He has probably been the worst Speaker of the House in our country’s history.  Especially when you consider that he has ruled over the least productive House in history.  But of course, it isn’t his fault.  He has to deal with a caucus that has too many “knuckleheads” in it.

When speaking to the American Franchise Association, Boehner described the House majority over which he lords as a “paper majority,” and then said:  “On any given day, 16 of my members decide they’re going to go this way, and all the sudden I have nothing,” he said. “You might notice I have a few knuckleheads in my conference.” [...]  He added that “dealing with Democrats is one thing, dealing with the knuckleheads is another.”

Now you must also remember his other rants against his own caucus in the past.  Remember when he did his comic routine about his members who didn’t want to do anything about immigration reform?

“Here’s the attitude,” Boehner said in reference to those who want to stay away from the immigration issue. “‘Ohhhh. Don’t make me do this! Ohhhh! This is too hard!”

“We get elected to make choices,” Boehner continued. “We get elected to solve problems and it’s remarkable to me how many of my colleagues just don’t want to.”

Don’t forget how Boehner scrunched up his face and raised his voice while pretending to be his colleagues and drew some laughs from the audience.

In 2012 he had even more flattery to pass along to his caucus.  “We got some of the smartest people in the country who serve here, and some of the dumbest. We got some of the best people you’d ever meet, and some of the raunchiest. We’ve got ‘em all.”

There are two things to remember about his speech to the American Franchise Association.  The first is that the American Franchise Association is staunchly against raising the minimum wage.  Especially since they are the largest group that believes a 40 hour work week should mean you still live in poverty.  Something that Boehner and his party agree with. Secondly is that he was pitching to get them to elect more Republicans to office.  He has a “paper majority” in which a few wiseacres can separate themselves from the herd and force the House leadership to pull legislation from the floor. But elect them all anyway.

I am not a political strategist.  But, I don’t think that calling your caucus members “knuckleheads” is the best way to get people to vote for them.  If I were a political strategist, I would be making tapes of Boehner’s speech and running ads against every Republican candidate showing the people just what their leader thinks of his caucus.  I doubt that any Democrats will do so, but that would be a nice trick.  You don’t even have to paraphrase.  Just run his speech as is.

The worst Speaker of the House is basically telling the American People that the best way to vote is to elect “knuckleheads”.  That is his solution to fixing our problems.  It is his idea on how to best create jobs, repair our infrastructure, protect civil rights, and improve our economy.  No wonder he has ruled over the least productive House of Representatives in history.

So, if you want to get even less done, by all means take Boehner’s advice and elect the knuckleheads!

 

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The 2014 mid-term elections are just a couple of months away.  Yet, we are seeing a whole lot more about the 2016 elections, especially the crowded Republican field, than we are about the mid-terms.  Maybe that just goes to show us just how unimportant most citizens feel that Congress has become.

The biggest problem that I see so far is that the Republicans are trying to find someone they can tie their banner to and ride to victory in 2016.  The field is full of right-wing nuts, so-called libertarians, and members of the Conservative Christian Cult.  We continuously hear how the Republicans really care about equal pay for women, yet they keep voting down the Pay Fairness Act.

The one candidate who seems to be making more tracks than anyone else right now is the faux libertarian Rand Paul.  Yes, I said faux libertarian.  Rand Paul is less of a libertarian than I am.  He only trots out his libertarian credentials, which aren’t really his but his father’s, when it suites him.  He is more in line with the Cult than true libertarianism.

Something is coming out that to me is just as disconcerting.  He is beginning to sound just as stupid as George W. Bush sounded.  I am not saying Bush was stupid, but he certainly sounded stupid.  Rand is following up on that theme.  Maybe he thinks it will help him get elected since it didn’t hurt W.

Paul is always talking and always walking back his talking as soon as someone questions him about it.  It is only Wednesday, and Paul has inserted foot twice.  As W was famous for, Paul seems to be suffering from “foot in mouth disease.”  Maybe he should check with his health plan since I am sure it is covered.

First, Paul said that if he was elected President, the first thing he would do is sign an executive order that would overturn every executive order issued in the history of the country.  That means that every single executive order issued since George Washington would hit the waste bin.  So, one reporter asked if that includes small meaningless executive orders like the Emancipation Proclamation or the desegregating of the military.

His reply:

Well, I mean, I think those are good points, and it was an offhand comment, so obviously, I don’t want to repeal the Emancipation Proclamation and things like that. Technically, you’d have to look and see exactly what that would mean, but the bottom line is it’s a generalized statement that I think too much is done by executive order, particularly under this president. Too much power has gravitated to the executive.

Oops!  If that sounds like double-talk to you, you are not alone.  But then, Paul seems to favor double-talk.  He does have one trait that seems to fit him.  When called out on these stupid comments, he simply changes course and pretends the first didn’t happen.

Then, when Paul wanted to show his Libertarian side and his dislike for foreign intervention he went off about the Middle East problem and ISIS in particular.  But, he wasn’t really railing against ISIS, he was using John McCain as proof that you don’t know who to trust.  John McCain had gone to Syria and met with Free Syrian Army leaders whom he called moderate.  McCain wants to arm the Free Syrian Army in their civil war.

During the trip a story broke that McCain was meeting instead with “anti-American” lunatics.  There was even a photo to prove it.  Where did this story originate?  From a Hezbollah Paper.  The New York Times has since debunked this story.  But, that didn’t stop Paul from making his point.

Here’s the problem. He [McCain] did meet with ISIS, and had his picture taken, and didn’t know it was happening at the time. That really shows you the quandary of determining who are the moderates and who aren’t. If you don’t speak Arabic, and you don’t understand that some people will lie to you — I really think that we don’t have a good handle on who are the moderates and who aren’t, and I think the objective evidence is that the ones doing most of the fighting and most of the battles among the rebels in Syria are the radical Islamists.

In a not surprising rant, McCain went off on Paul when contacted by the Daily Beast about Paul’s comments.  “I can’t believe Rand is still repeating this stuff, which came from a Hezbollah newspaper in Lebanon! He’s getting his information from Hezbollah. It’s outrageous…I don’t know if Rand is dishonest or misinformed.”

Which brings me back to my original point.  Rand Paul seems to be taking the same tract as W did in his run for office.  Sound as stupid as you can, then pretend you never said it.  With backers like FOX News, that is an easy thing to do.  FOX News never backtracks on their stupid stories.  They simply double-down and pretend that they are always right.

I think the worst part of all of this is that Rand Paul seems to be the leader right now.  Of course you have the Canadian Senator Cruz making sounds like he wants to run too, but Paul is getting the most ink.  What does that say about the state of our politics?  I know his supporters at FOX News are doing everything in their power to dumb-down the Republican base, but does Paul really think that is good way to get elected President?  If so, maybe we are in worse shape than we thought.

 

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The NFL is still taking heat over domestic abuse problems.  And, they should take heat for it.  As they struggle to get a grip on the problem, basically their perceived problem of bad publicity, they continue to show just how inconsistent their policies on this issue really are.  As you all know by now, Adrian Peterson was charged with negligent injury of a child for using a switch on his 4 year old son to discipline him.  An arrest warrant was issued on Thursday.  He voluntarily turned himself into law enforcement.  The Minnesota Vikings deactivated him for Sunday’s game.  But, they have reactivated him this week.

As usual, the NFL has done nothing yet.  Besides doing nothing, the NFL hasn’t even said a word about it.  They are apparently “investigating” the situation before making any announcement.  Ray Rice is still suspended indefinitely, but he filed an appeal yesterday.  In these two cases, the league is standing behind their “due process” language saying they really can’t do much until due process has been completed.  There is another case in San Francisco against a 49er player for domestic abuse as well who played on Sunday night against the Bears.

Even if we buy into the “due process” argument, how can the NFL use that argument with Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers?  Greg Hardy was accused of choking his then girlfriend and drug her around by the hair and threatened to kill her.  Hardy was “convicted” in a one day bench trail in Charlotte.  He received 18 months of probation and a 60-day suspended sentence for the misdemeanors he was charged with.  He is appealing the decision and asking for a trial by jury.  Yet, the Carolina Panthers waited until the last-minute to deactivate him.  Even though he was deactivated to play Sunday, he was still paid by the team.

The Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, while accepting a civic award last week, began to cry while speaking about domestic violence.  “When it comes to domestic violence, my stance is not one of indifference. I stand firmly against domestic violence, plain and simple,” he told the audience in Charlotte. “To those who would suggest we’ve been too slow to act, I ask that you consider not to be too quick to judge.”  At that time, Hardy was still eligible to play.

What is the major difference in all of these cases?  The Ray Rice incident had video.  The Adrian Peterson incident has pictures and tweets from Peterson.  The Hardy case and the one in San Francisco have neither video or pictures or tweets.  As a result, the NFL can hide behind their “due process” garbage without too much public outrage because there isn’t anything to show what happened.

I was particularly struck watching the pre-game shows on Sunday.  The one I was really interested in was the NBC pre-game show because it had Tony Dungy on it.  Dungy talked about how he “asked his players to be honest with him” when he had situations come up with Colts players.  He bragged about how they let one player go and punished another.  If I had been able to ask a question of him, I would have asked about the “distractions” these cases brought to the team.  Remember, Dungy said he would not draft an openly gay player because he didn’t want to put up with the “distractions” that would bring.

On Monday night football on ESPN, they had the audacity to question Ray Lewis about his thoughts about domestic violence.  I say the audacity because it was Ray Lewis, former player for the Ravens, who was wrapped up in a murder one Super Bowl Sunday.  He only escaped being part of the defense in an agreement to testify against those involved.  I would think that would sort of disqualify his opinion on domestic violence.

When it comes to handling social issues, this conflict shows exactly why the NFL can’t seem to handle these problems.  The NFL is not alone in this problem either.  They have a very willing partner in the NFLPA.  The NFLPA is very willing to negotiate punishments in their contract for things like drug use or performance enhancing drugs, yet they are loathsome to negotiate punishments for Domestic Violence.  The NFLPA is backing Ray Rice in his appeal and have remained silent on the Hardy incident, as well as others.

It has been suggested that any player who is arrested for domestic violence be deactivated, with pay, throughout the “due process”.  That is an idea that I support.  Players should not be allowed to participate in activities until their cases are resolved one way or the other.  By deactivating them they do not lose any money.  That takes away the argument of punishing them before their case is resolved.

But, in the Hardy case, there already has been a conviction.  So why is the NFL dragging its feet?  “If the NFL is saying there hasn’t been disposition (of the case), I think they’re ducking the issue,” Belmont Abbey law professor Steve Ward told Sports Illustrated. Ward, who is a former prosecutor in Charlotte, North Carolina, told SI that fewer than 5% of bench trials are appealed and Hardy is manipulating the system.

We all know that football is a violent sport.  But, that does not mean that it needs to be filled with men who abuse their family members.  The type of violence on the football field is not comparative to domestic violence.  Beating someone up is hardly the same as tackling a running back.  The league has a long roster of players who are what some would call “model citizens.”  It is this majority of players that are being disrespected by the NFL and the NFLPA.

The NFL and the NFLPA are going to keep their heads in the sand on this issue simply because deactivating these players, some of whom are vital pieces of their teams success, will only hurt the bottom line of their product.  And, until sponsors start saying enough is enough, the league will continue it pathetic path of inconsistent policy in these matters.

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As usual, in an election year, we are faced with an onslaught of political ads on TV and Radio.  These ads don’t necessarily “support” a candidate, they just go after one of the candidates in the race.  Meaning the ad is something for the other candidate.  However, the ads aren’t being run by a political party.  They are being produced and paid for by Political Action Committees.  The biggest problem with a PAC is that they don’t have to say from where or whom they get their money.

As we all know, this is called “dark money.”  In fairness, both sides use PACs to help their candidates.  However, there are far more “conservative” PACs than “liberal” ones.  Of course, most leaders of corporations are Republican because they want the “free market” system.  As a result, Democratic candidates are usually at a disadvantage in raising money because they have to fight their opponent and the PACs.

The Citizen United decision by the Supreme Court has made it extremely easy for corporations and/or other rich business people to literally “buy” an election.  And, they can do it in total anonymity.  The PACs don’t have to list their donors.  My question to this is why?  Why is it so important for people to be able to donate money without saying who they are giving to?  Is it possible that they are hiding something?

Now we get to an interesting thing.  The SEC has been looking into a new rule that would make it mandatory for all publicly traded corporations to release to their shareholders their political spending.  The rule first came up in a petition in 2011.  The SEC has held the rule open for public comment.  As of this month  more than 1 million comments — most of them in favor of the mandate have been received.

Thanks to that pressure, the Center for Political Accountability reports “almost 70 percent of companies in the top echelons of the S&P 500 are now disclosing political spending made directly to candidates, parties and committees,” and “almost one out of every two companies in the top echelons of the S&P 500 has opened up about payments made to trade associations.” The center calls that a dramatic increase from a decade ago when “few, if any, companies disclosed their political spending.”

However, the new rule would make such disclosure mandatory not voluntary.  This brings us to another question.  The Republicans have already passed laws that allow union members to “opt out” of having their dues used for political activity by the union.  If unions cannot use money from members who “opt out”, why can’t shareholders have the same option of opting out?  Why is it okay for corporations to hide their political activities from shareholders, and unions cannot?  Would the answer be because unions generally support Democrats and corporations generally support Republicans?

Let’s take this another step further.  Suppose you are a very good customer of a business.  If this SEC Rule becomes law, you discover that the business you have supported with your spending supports political issues that are against your beliefs.  Shouldn’t you have the right to take your business elsewhere to a business that more reflects your beliefs?  If dark money is allowed to continue, how can we make such decisions?

There has been a huge backlash against Burger King recently.  It has nothing to do with politics, but rather their intention to move their corporate headquarters to Canada in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes.  That type of business decision is made public by law.  Shouldn’t the political choices of corporations also be made public?

I know that most people do not make their purchase decisions based on political beliefs.  If that were the case, WalMart would probably be out of business.  But, the fact that these corporations are allowed to hide their political activity flies in the face of open democratic governance.  If the Supreme Court says that money donation is a form of free speech, there is no reason to hide who is donating it and to whom they are donating.

Of course, there are a lot of people opposed to this new rule.  Mostly groups like the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Those lobbying groups represent corporations that would have to disclose their political spending under the new rule — including the budget spent on those lobbying groups themselves.   As a result of pressure from these groups, the SEC has taken the new rule off of their agenda.  Meaning it will be a lot longer before any decision is made, if any.

The reason this rule is important is because it could be the first shot to end dark money.  The right is full of conspiracy theories.  The one conspiracy theory they seem to ignore is the fact that “dark money” allows billionaires to purchase candidates without being caught.  What could be more un-American than holding shady elections where candidates are for sale?

This new rule should become law.  Furthermore, I believe that this rule should apply to all companies whether or not they are publicly traded.  Customers have a right to know who the company is donating money to as well.  Whether you are a large corporation like Koch Industries or a small mom and pop shop on the corner.  After all, history has shown that only those trying to overthrow a government need secrecy!

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I am going to not talk about Roger Goodell and his decisions concerning Ray Rice.  As you probably know, the Commissioner has given Ray Rice an indefinite suspension and the Baltimore Ravens have cut Ray Rice from the team.  All of this comes after the release of a second video, one inside the elevator showing Rice punching Janay Palmer, now Janay Rice.

Who saw what video and when is the question that everyone is asking.  The original two game suspension raised enough questions about how the NFL handles cases of domestic violence.  This new “evidence” only raises new questions.  On top of all of this, there are those who either reject Ray Rice for the violent domestic abuser he is, to those who defend him.  I honestly cannot believe that anyone in their right minds can defend Rice, but there are those who do.

What everyone is totally missing in this case is the fact that the video actually shows just how vicious domestic violence really is.  It further shows that when domestic violence happens, it is the victim who is questioned most by authorities, not the offender.  Questions usually begin with “what did you do to provoke the attack?”  That is not made up.  I have heard police ask that question myself.  I wanted to punch the officer who asked it, if truth be told.

There are other consequences that no one seems to be talking about.  When a woman is trapped in a domestic violence relationship, it is more than just the physical battering, which is undefendable in itself.  It is also a mental battering that the woman must endure.  Women face depression.  They face fear all of the time.  They fear not only for themselves, but for their children, if any.  It is a vicious cycle that never ends for the victim.

A lot of people who have never been exposed to such violence, or don’t know anyone who is victimized don’t understand why a woman will continue in a relationship with the batterer.  If you really want to see things as they are, go to the twitter feed #whyistayed to discover the reasons women give for staying in the relationship.  If you think the video was sickening, you really need to read these comments.

One of the most sickening reasons I read was a woman who said she stayed in her abusive relationship because the pastor of her church told her “god hates divorce.”  If I had been around, I would have asked that jerk if god loves beating the shit out of women?

There are many reasons women stay in these relationships.  Some experts call it “battered wife syndrome.”  The fact is that for whatever reason, the woman believes they have no alternative but to stay in the relationship.  You can usually tell just by looking at their faces when you get them to talk about the abuse they are suffering.

Yesterday after everything went down, Janay Rice tweeted the following:

“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend,” Palmer wrote. “If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels.  Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is!”

Now, I am not going to question Janay Rice or her comments.  But, I have seen and heard this type of reaction before.  Here is a woman who is the victim of a vicious attack by her then fiancé, and she is putting the blame somewhere else.  That is typical behavior in these cases.

At “mensrights” idiots are saying that Rice was simply defending himself from an attack from Janay.  Of course, that is ridiculous.  When Janay Rice was punched, her head hit the rail in the elevator.  She could have died from this attack.  But, the part that really shows just how unaffected Rice was, was how he casually dragged her body from the elevator when the door opened.  If Rice had any real concern for her welfare, he would have pushed the emergency button in the elevator and asked for an ambulance to assist her.  He didn’t!

Or, you could look at the press conference the Baltimore Ravens held for Rice after his initial two-game suspension was handed out.  The Ravens were brazen enough to have Janay Rice sitting next to her husband.  She even said “I want to apologize for my part in this incident.”  I often wondered exactly who wrote those words for her.

I don’t know if Rice owns a gun.  But all too often, these domestic violence cases turn to murder if a gun is present in the home.  You don’t have to take my word for it either, there are plenty of statistics that prove this point.  Yet, the problem of domestic violence is all too often simply swept under the carpet by law enforcement and the courts.

This is not just and NFL problem.  It is a societal problem.  When victims are accused of “instigating” their own beatings, how can there be any justice?  How can the District Attorney who prosecuted this case in Atlantic City claim that no jail time was the proper justice for an aggravated felony assault?  We know that he had the video in the elevator.  Plus, he also was aware that Rice admitted punching Janay Rice in the face.  Yet he let him slide.

The scars the victims of domestic abuse carry last for years.  Sometimes, they never get over them.  Women don’t trust another partner.  I can hardly blame them for their distrust.  The real problem, and one that never seems to be talked about, is the fact that children who grow up in an abusive environment tend to become abusers themselves.

Domestic violence is a barbaric act that cannot be defended.  In real terms, it is the true definition of “domestic terrorism” that can be found.  I know what this does to women.  My wife was married before me.  She was a victim of domestic abuse.  It took me over twenty years to help heal most of the scars from that experience.  There are some scars that I know will never heal.

It is this vicious cycle that forces the government to pass legislation like the Violence Against Women Act.  Even then, there are those who opposed a simple bill like that.  The real sad part is that many women in Congress voted against it.  How can they justify their belief that it is unnecessary?  Especially, after seeing this sickening video.

This horrible situation is caused by the insistence that “men act like men.”  That phrase turns my stomach because it is saying that men are entitled to behave like the proverbial caveman.  All of this stupid machismo that is portrayed as “being a real man” is total bullshit!  It is also caused by the sick belief of many in the conservative Christian cult that women are subordinate to men.  That too is bullshit!

The real shame is that as long as society, especially men, condone this barbaric attitude about men, this problem will not go away.  And, that is the fault of any man who defends such behavior!

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There was a time just a short fifty years ago when the middle-class prospered.  It was a time when workers were protected and safety regulations were put in place.  Middle-class wages were rising, and injuries and death at the workplace went down.  The reason was very simply the unions.  Unions gave workers a voice at the table.  They helped usher in safety regulations.  They actually benefited the middle-class.

Then the Republicans started their campaign against unions.  They argued that it was the unions that were shipping jobs overseas by demanding a fair and livable wage for the workers.  They argued that all of the safety restrictions were actually hurting companies and keeping them from making money.  They said companies know what’s best for everyone.

So, what happens when corporations are allowed to regulate themselves?  We often hear Republicans complain about too much regulation on the part of the Federal Government.  They argue that companies and industries should be allowed to regulate themselves since these companies and industries “know better what needs to be done.”  As a result, there are a lot of industries that have fallen under the radar when it comes to regulations.

One example is the Electric Industry.  Specifically those companies that burn coal to make their electricity.  The by-product known as coal ash is mostly unregulated by the Federal Government.  As a result, the companies handle the coal ash as they see fit.  Mostly they are held in ponds, or empty mines.  The unfortunate side of coal ash is that it contains many toxic agents including arsenic.  These toxins have been proven to be hazardous to individual health.

In Ohio, 77 workers for American Electric are suing the company for failing to provide proper safety equipment while working with coal ash.  They state in their complaint:  “Repeatedly, individuals were not provided with protective equipment, such as overalls, gloves or respirators when working in and around coal waste,” the lawsuit says. “These working men and women, already exposed to the contaminants at the job site, then, in turn, carried the coal waste home to their families on their clothes and shoes, thus even exposing family members to the deadly toxins.”

In the complaint, the plaintiffs claim that they asked supervisor Doug Workman whether or not it was safe to work with coal ash. “By sticking his finger into the coal waste and then placing his fly-ash covered finger into his own mouth,” the lawsuit reads, ” [Workman] then misrepresented to the working direct claim plaintiffs that coal waste was ‘safe enough to eat.’”

Workers at the Gavin landfill in North Cheshire, Ohio were allegedly told that coal ash was only a mixture of “water and lime,” and that it contained “such low levels of arsenic, it made no difference.” The workers were allegedly told that “lime neutralizes the arsenic,” according to the [West Virginia] Record’s report.

The lawsuit offers a different argument.  “Coal waste contains a multitude of contaminants that are dangerous to human health, and individuals can be exposed through contact on skin, inhalation and ingestion,” it reads. “These toxins have been shown to be directly related to incidences of cancer, respiratory disease, heart disease, chromosomal abnormalities and birth defects, among others.” In addition, the physician-led organization Physicians for Social Responsibility states that coal ash toxics “have the potential to injure all of the major organ systems, damage physical health and development, and even contribute to mortality.”

In North Carolina this year tons of coal ash were dumped into the Dan River.  A few months later another “dumping” took lace in another river in North Carolina.  Since the state has control over the clean up, there are still tons of coal ash that have never been cleaned up and never will be.  The State argues that everything is just fine.  I wonder if that is because the current Governor is a former employee of Duke Energy who was responsible for both spills.

So as we can see, self-regulation does not work.  In Ohio, workers were refused the proper safety equipment needed to protect themselves and their families from these toxins.  In North Carolina millions of people are wondering if their drinking water is really safe to drink.  Yet, Republicans tell us that everything is just fine.  All we need to do is allow these companies to continue regulating themselves, and the world will be peachy!  That is one of the biggest problems we will face should the Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress.

The Republicans are marching us swiftly back to the 1890s when companies ran the country.  When workers were simple pawns of the rich to make more millions for themselves.  When it was just fine to allow millions of workers to die making money for their bosses.  These are the kinds of things that unions helped eliminate.  Plus, middle-class Americans prospered more when unions helped protect workers.  Why do you think  Republicans hate unions so much?

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On August 15, 2014 a Texas Grand Jury indicted Governor Rick Perry on two felony counts.  These charges have nothing to do with bribery, as the Governor said he thought while speaking in New Hampshire.  They are basically an abuse of power charge against the Governor.  It happened something like this.

Rosemary Lehmberg the Travis County District Attorney with the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office was arrested and convicted with DWI.  This outraged the Governor so bad, he publicly threatened to veto the funding for the Public Integrity Unit unless Lehmberg resigned her post.  When Lehmberg refused to resign, he did veto the funding for her unit.

Lehmberg is a Democrat who was elected by the Travis County electorate.  Coincidently, the Public Integrity Unit was investigating some of Perry’s cronies at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas at the time he sought to force her out, and replace her with his own appointee.

Let us be clear.  Texas is a Red State.  Travis County on the other hand is a Blue and progressive County.  So, the national media immediately painted this as “sour grapes” and declared the indictment as frivolous.  But there are some things that have not been clearly reported by the national press.

Even though Travis County is a Democratic county, there were no Democrats involved in the case.  The Grand Jury was called by McCrum, a respected conservative former federal prosecutor.  Republican U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison once recommended McCrum for the job of U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas. McCrum could have dismissed the complaint. Instead, he took it to a grand jury.

Even before McCrum was appointed, the case went before two Republican judges who could have dismissed the case before it even started.  Neither of these judges saw fit to dismiss the case, and the second judge was the one who appointed McCrum as Special Prosecutor.

Another issue in this case is that Perry remained silent when two different Republican district attorneys were previously convicted of DWI.  One hit another vehicle and it was his second offense.  But, Perry didn’t see any need for them to step down from office.  So, why all of the outrage in this case?

Some, even on the left, are saying the indictment is an attack on the Governor’s right to veto.  That is not the true anymore than if the Governor vetoed a bill in receipt of a bribe.  As it was said, you may have the right to vote, but you don’t have the right to “sell” your vote.  Using a veto threat in order to force a public official to resign is just as egregious.

It is fascinating to see the national media kind of blow off this indictment as political games, while the two biggest papers in Texas are taking the charges very seriously.   Jeff Cohen, of the Houston Chronicle, and Keven Ann Willey, of the Dallas Morning News, the state’s two largest dailies, both of which have editorialized in support of seeing the investigation proceed:

The Chronicle wrote that the indictments “suggest that the longest-serving governor in Texas history has grown too accustomed to getting his way when it comes to making sure that virtually every key position in state government is occupied by a Perry loyalist.” The Morning News editorial board stated: “It’s in every Texan’s best interests for the charges against Perry, whatever your view of them, to traverse the entire judicial system as impartially as possible.”

Investigative journalism is supposed to be the keystone of the media.  Unfortunately, the national media doesn’t seem to be very interested in that process anymore.  Investigative journalism costs money and is expensive to produce.  The national media seems more interested in sound bites that are less expensive to produce, but still bring in ratings and money.

If it wasn’t for investigative journalism, we may have never gotten to the bottom of Watergate.  I am not comparing this to Watergate, but the lack of investigative journalism by national media is puzzling at best.  Before any judgement of this case is made by media and/or pundits, we must let the case run its course.  It may turn out that Perry will win the case and be cleared of any wrongdoing.  On the other hand, a Grand Jury in his own state determined there was enough evidence to proceed with a trial.

I guess if we really want to know the exact nature of the case we will have to depend on local Texas reports and not the national media.

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