Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Archive for February 2012

“Obama 2012 ~ Because the Other Side is Nuts”

I stole that from John Cole and I hope he doesn’t mind.  But he’s hardly alone in thinking it.

… the GOP is intellectually stagnant. To disagree with the dominant GOP zeitgeist is tantamount to heresy. Everyone must toe the hard-right line of religious conservatives who ignore not only science but also obvious realities.

That’s from a Republican ~ a self-professed member of the “rational wing of the Republican Party.”  They exist but, particularly if Rick Santorum is the GOP presidential nominee, they may vote in some number for the Democratic nominee because, as was the case with Mr. Cole and Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, the Republican Party left them.

A Friend Responds to Anti-Choice Legislation.

The following is a piece that a friend wrote last year in response to a spate of anti-choice legislation.  She and I went to seminary together; she’s now seeking ordination in the United Church of Christ.  

I posted it with her permission on Daily Kos last year.  It seems pertinent again with the recent open attacks on birth control, and women’s reproductive freedom generally.

Asians in the Soviet Union?

By: Inoljt,

I recently came upon an interesting Youtube video of the former Soviet Union’s national anthem. The music was set to a clip of Soviet propaganda, which was also interesting to watch. There was a lot of emphasis on heavy industry, for instance, a peculiar obsession of communist countries that still lingers in places such as China.

In the middle of the video, however, something very surprising occurred. Take a look at 0:48, 1:44, and 1:52.

These scenes show what look unmistakably to be individuals whom we in the United States label as “Asian.”

Who are these people?

More below.

FOTHOM XXXIV: US Newscorp Prosecutions Loom after Bribery Arrests and Avon FCPA case

Whew! This has been an exhausting weekend of revelations and arrests as the Hackgate scandal at News of the World has spread, via an email hacking scandal at The Times, to the arrest of ten journalists, many of them senior, at Britain’s most popular paper, The Sun.

Without doubt, from the multiple angry responses from NI journalists, the British arm of Newscorp is now at war with its corporate masters in the News Corp headquarters in New York. The latter are in charge of the 100 plus lawyers at the Management and Services Committee which is directly co-operating with 161 officers in the Met Operations Weeting, Tuleta and Elveden engaged in investigating phone, email hacking and bribery of state officials. It’s the latter which are behind the recent spate of arrests, and directly threatens the News Corp base with the threat of prosecution under FCPA violations.

I haven’t got long because all these developments have to be incorporated in my book with Eric Lewis, Bad Press: Fall of the House of Murdoch. But in short the DOJ, the FBI and the SEC have all been investigating News Corp since the summer. Mark Lewis, the sterling lawyer for the hacking victims is heading to New York this week to launch civil claims on this basis. In the meantime it’s the FCPA violations which could land senior News Corp Executives in the dock.

There are so many sources on this, from Reuters, the NYT, even the WSJ, I’m just going to link to the most recent: Ed Pilkington on the US Guardian site:

News Corp executives at risk of US prosecution for ‘willful blindness’

The perils to News Corp of an FCPA prosecution in the US against the company and its executives was underlined by the revelation that a grand jury has been convened in the case of Avon Products. The Wall Street Journal reported that US authorities are probing an internal audit report compiled in 2005 that found that Avon employees had bribed officials in China, yet the company only launched an official inquiry into possible violations three years later.

In the Avon case, the grand jury is likely to be asked to consider whether executives were culpable under the “willful blindness” provision of the FCPA.

Professor John Coffee, a specialist in white-collar crime at Columbia law school in New York, said that executives were at risk of prosecution in cases where they failed to ask relevant questions about a suspicious persistent pattern of payments. He gave the metaphorical example of a driver used by a Mexican drugs cartel to transport cocaine across the border who was aware that the vehicle contained a secret storage panel but made no attempt to find out what packages had been placed inside.

As part of its response to the billowing phone hacking scandal, News Corp has amassed the most formidable team of FCPA lawyers ever assembled. “They have appointed not just one of the best lawyers in this field, they have appointed most of the best lawyers,” Coffee said.

“That’s not normal defensive strategy,” he added.

And in other ‘news’ (I use the term lightly in the Fox news sense), there are rumours that the government scientist David Kelly, who committed suicide after the Iraq invasion over allegations of sexing up WMD threat, could have been a hacking victim. Michael Wolff, Murdoch’s official biographer speculates that James could be arrested this week. And dozens of tabloid journalists, more than happy to see others arrested in dawn raids or suffer trial by media, are whining loudly, in a liberal way, about human rights, due process, and innocent before being proven guilty.

Sweet is it in this dawn to be alive.  

The Rest of My Life Will Suck. I Have No Regrets.

For the last three years, I’ve been trying to find my way into an academic job.  That’s what I’m trained for.  I go through phases where I start to give up that idea and try to sort out what other options are out there.  Life is nothing but surprises, so who knows what’s in store.  Just yesterday, someone at my church suggested possibilities for teaching overseas.

In any case, I’ve been trying to find my way into a career, trying to balance the things I need to do to continue the gamble of an academic career (which at this point will still involve mostly unpaid work – trying to get articles submitted to academic journals, getting a book contract for my dissertation, which I would then spend a few years revising) with what I need to do keep a roof over my head (take any work I can find).  I keep looking for teaching options, but some days I run out of hope.  

Ladies and Gentlemen ~ The Surge Is On

Last week Public Policy Polling teased their latest polling by tweeting that Rick Santorum had taken the lead nationally.  Today that information was formally released.

Rick Santorum has opened up a wide lead in PPP’s newest national poll. He’s at 38% to 23% for Mitt Romney, 17% for Newt Gingrich, and 13% for Ron Paul.

38% doesn’t strike me as a ringing endorsement but it beats the other guys.  But what’s driving these numbers?  Is it simply Santorum’s rather surprising beat-down of his competition last Tuesday?

California’s Unusual Black Vote in 2010

By: Inoljt,

The black vote is one of the most reliably Democratic constituencies out there. Blacks commonly give Democratic candidates more than 90% of the vote; Democratic presidential candidates in 2000, 2004, and 2008 won 90%, 89%, and 95% of blacks respectively.

Blacks were as reliably Democratic as ever in the 2010 midterm elections. The black vote undoubtedly saved many a Democrat from defeat. Exit polls indicate that 89% of blacks nationwide voted for a Democratic congressman.

In California, however, blacks seemed to have been quite a bit more Republican than this.

More below.

I’m Barack Obama, and I approve Bruce’s message

Every now and then, Bruce takes another hack at writing his own “This Land is Your Land,” a populist, inclusive, communitarian nationalist anthem.  This one is even more blatant than most, and teeters on the edge of unintentional self-parody.  Yet it’s somehow sustained by Springsteen’s unflinching sincerity, a more welcome than expected naive exuberance.  It also should be considered the first major campaign ad for Obama’s reelection and should end with the title of this diary.