Tuesday Reads: Voodoo Economics, Whistleblowing, Torture, and Violence against Women and Children

Coffe and Morning News, by Tim Nyberg

Good Morning!!! Gee, that title doesn’t look so cheery, does it? Sorry, but please read on. Since we just ended a long holiday weekend, there’s not a whole lot of news happening, but I located a few interesting reads for you.

Dakinikat has been hammering away at the lack of economic knowledge in the media and in our government. Yesterday, she pointed me to this great piece by Mark Thoma in which he once again explained what actually caused the economic meltdown and why our “leaders” are doing the wrong things to help the economy recover.

I’ve written about this so much it’s hard to muster the will to take it on yet again, especially with the attitude it deserves, and I liked the second column better. But with David Brooks, George Will, and a new book by Gretchen Morgenson and Josh Rosner recently pushing the idea that Fannie, Freddie, and Democrats caused the financial crisis it’s important to push back. The right is very good at repeating their story line over and over and over, and if that redundancy goes unmatched — if they are allowed to have the last word many, many times over — they stand a good chance of capturing the narrative.

Actually, they’ve already “captured the narrative,” and President Obama has bought into it too. I don’t know if I can excerpt this piece, you really need to read the whole thing. But here’s just a bit:

…the targets for home ownership that supposedly led to Fannie and Freddie’s aggressive entry into subprime markets were set in 1992. If these targets were the problem, why didn’t the crisis occur sooner?

….if Fannie and Freddie had never existed, securitization would have likely happened anyway. As Barry Ritholtz notes, “securitized credit card receivables, auto loans, small biz loans, etc. took place without GSEs. I assume there would likely have been a private sector version for conforming loans, the way there was a private sector securitizing response to the demand for non-conforming (sub-prime) loans.”

The bottom line is that the case that the CRA, Fannie, and Freddie – and by implication Democrats supporting these institutions – were key players in the crisis is at odds with the evidence. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots for reasons to be concerned about Fannie and Freddie, and I’m not trying to defend them or their choices, but the idea that support of these institutions caused the financial crisis is wrong.

Hey, I’ve said this till I’m blue in the face, but I’ll say it again. We needed to put a Democrat in the White House in 2008.

Paul Krugman is also lamenting the economic ignorance in high places.

Watching the evolution of economic discussion in Washington over the past couple of years has been a disheartening experience. Month by month, the discourse has gotten more primitive; with stunning speed, the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis have been forgotten, and the very ideas that got us into the crisis — regulation is always bad, what’s good for the bankers is good for America, tax cuts are the universal elixir — have regained their hold.

And now trickle-down economics — specifically, the idea that anything that increases corporate profits is good for the economy — is making a comeback.

On the face of it, this seems bizarre. Over the last two years profits have soared while unemployment has remained disastrously high. Why should anyone believe that handing even more money to corporations, no strings attached, would lead to faster job creation?

Nonetheless, trickle-down is clearly on the ascendant — and even some Democrats are buying into it.

Once again, if we had put a Democrat in the White House in 2008, perhaps things would be different….

Via Kevin Drum, this article about NJ Governor Chris Christie contains some priceless quotes from NJ Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

Senate President Stephen Sweeney went to bed furious Thursday night after reviewing the governor’s line-item veto of the state budget. He woke up Friday morning even angrier.

“This is all about him being a bully and a punk,” he said in an interview Friday. “I wanted to punch him in his head.”

Sweeney had just risked his political neck to support the governor’s pension and health reform, and his reward was a slap across the face. The governor’s budget was a brusque rejection of every Democratic move, and Sweeney couldn’t even get an audience with the governor to discuss it.

“You know who he reminds me of?” Sweeney says. “Mr. Potter from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ the mean old bastard who screws everybody”….The governor’s budget, he says, is full of vindictive cuts designed to punish Democrats, and anyone else who dared to defy him. And he is furious that the governor refused to talk to him during the final week….“He’s mean-spirited,” Sweeney said in the Friday interview. “He’s angry. If you don’t do what he says, I liken it to being spoiled, I’m going to get my way, or else.” And: “He’s a rotten prick.”

Jeeze, why doesn’t he tell us how he really feels?

Glenn Greenwald has a great post up about Bradley Manning’s motives for whistleblowing, drawn from some recently released “chat logs and other on-line communications” between Manning and another young man. The information was published in New York Magazine in an attempt to make Manning look psychologically troubled, but Greenwald reads the information differently. Here’s how Manning responded when asked what he was trying to accomplish:

hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms – if not, than [sic] we’re doomed – as a species – i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens – the reaction to the [Collateral Murder] video gave me immense hope; CNN’s iReport was overwhelmed; Twitter exploded – people who saw, knew there was something wrong . . . Washington Post sat on the video… David Finkel acquired a copy while embedded out here. . . . – i want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.

Greenwald goes on to argue that many of Manning’s goals have actually been achieved. He made a difference, and that’s why our government is persecuting him.

At Danger Room there’s a very interesting review of a new book by former CIA operative Glenn Carle. The memoir tells the story of a CIA “black site” and a supposed senior al-Qaida operative that Carle was assigned to break. Eventually, Carle realized the man was innocent.

Uneasy with the CIA’s new, relaxed rules for questioning, which allow him to torture, Carle instead tries to build a rapport with the man he calls CAPTUS. But CAPTUS doesn’t divulge the al-Qaida plans the CIA suspects him of knowing. So the agency sends him to “Hotel California” — an unacknowledged prison, beyond the reach of the Red Cross or international law….

Carle provides the first detailed description of a so-called “black site.” At an isolated “discretely guarded, unremarkable” facility in an undisclosed foreign country (though one where the Soviets once operated), hidden CIA interrogators work endless hours while heavy metal blasts captives’ eardrums and disrupts their sleep schedules. But Carle — codename: REDEMPTOR — comes to believe CAPTUS is innocent….

“We had destroyed the man’s life based on an error,” he writes. But the black site is a bureaucratic hell: CAPTUS’ reluctance to tell CIA what it wants to hear makes the far-off agency headquarters more determined to torture him. Carle’s resistance, shared by some at Hotel California, makes him suspect. He leaves CAPTUS in the black site after 10 intense days, questioning whether his psychological manipulation of CAPTUS made him, ultimately, a torturer himself. Eight years later, the CIA unceremoniously released CAPTUS.

The jury has begun deliberations in the Casey Anthony case. I have continued to watch the trial closely and listened to all of the closing statements.

I know I’ll probably get yelled at for saying this, but if I were on the jury, I would have to go with one of the lesser charges, because there just isn’t any evidence to show how the child was killed. I do believe Casey Anthony should go to prison for a long time, but this trial has turned into a witch hunt.

If a man had done what Anthony did, there would never have been this much publicity and this amount of rage against the perpetrator. I shouldn’t have to point out that both men and women kill their children every day in this country. Both women and children are devalued in this country, and they are routinely abused and murdered. There are a number of reasons why this woman has been treated differently, but what she did is far from unique.

I honestly think Casey’s father George was involved with the disposal of the body at least. What motive did he have? I’ll tell you. George and Cindy Anthony thought the father of the child could have been either George or Casey’s brother Lee. I am convinced there was sexual abuse in that family. I can’t see how Casey could have become what she is without severe abuse. JMHO, based on personal experience and serious study of the effects of child sexual abuse.

Until we get serious about protecting children in this country, children will continue to die at the hands of their parents and other caregivers.

There is some possible news in the other case I’ve been following–the young Indiana University student who disappeared about four weeks ago, Lauren Spierer. The body of a woman has been found in a creek in Indianapolis. There are a couple of other missing women in Indiana, so it’s not clear this is Spierer. I just have a feeling it might be.

Police investigating the disappearance of Indiana University student Lauren Spierer are awaiting the results of an autopsy Tuesday of a decomposed female body found Sunday on the northeast side of Indianapolis.

The body, found a month after the Edgemont, N.Y., native went missing, had not been identified as of Monday night, and Bloomington, Ind., police have given no indication whether it may be her.

Spierer disappeared after a night when she had told her boyfriend she wanted to stay home. There are reports that they had had a fight. After midnight, she went out with some male friends, spent some time with them watching TV and then went with one of the young men to popular local bar. When she returned to her apartment with him, a group of men (possibly friends of her boyfriend) accosted them and punched her companion in the face.

The two then left and supposedly went to this young man’s apartment where he passed out. She then went to another apartment where another male friend lived. This man claims to have seen her leave his place at 4:30AM and turn the corner on her way home, but there is no independent confirmation of that.

At first this was investigated as a stranger abduction, but Spierer’s “friends” have all clammed up, and several have refused to talk to police and have retained lawyers. Most of them, including the boyfriend and the last guy to see Spirer, hightailed it out of town almost immediately. So now it looks like something bad happened to Spierer that night and these “friends” know something.

Since I grew up in Indiana and my sister lives in Bloomington, I’ve been following this case pretty closely. But women “disappear” every day too. Why do Americans tolerate it? Why do so many Americans seem to see the pervasive violence against women in this country as somehow normal?

That’s all I’ve got for today. What are you reading and blogging about?

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26 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Voodoo Economics, Whistleblowing, Torture, and Violence against Women and Children”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    bb: You and I would be at odds in the jury room had we were chosen to serve.

    I would be voting to the top charge of murder in the first degree that does not include the death penalty.

    Regardless of how she did it, it was a deliberate act on her part to rid herself of the burden. It is illustrative of how the great lengths she went to in order to cover it up.

    She is nothing more than a spoiled child raised without limits or accountability, quite used to having her own way and enabled by her mother with one excuse for her behavior piled onto another until it reached its climax with the destruction of a little human being who stood in her way.

    Her hatred toward her father is based more on his wanting her to be held accountable while her mother made excuses and stood between them. Her behavior held that home captive. The sad fact is that they forced her into the role of parent when she was unready at the age of 19 to assume the responsibility. It merely escalated her resentment and Caylee paid the ultimate price.

    This is an overindulged young woman who has little regard for others. Scott Peterson was convicted without a cause of death as the body of his wife and child had disintegrated into nothing but bones when they washed up on the beach months later. Another reprehensible act that most of us would consider just plain evil.

    Sometimes that is all it is. An evil act carried out by evil people that most of us are just incapable of understanding. It happens everyday, in every socio economic setting. What fascinates is that these are purpotedly middle class people that could be neighbors.

    Should she get anything less than second degree murder an injustice will have been earned on behalf of that helpless baby whose life was taken before she was able to celebrate her thrid birthday. And for what?

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Pat wrote:

    She is nothing more than a spoiled child raised without limits or accountability, quite used to having her own way and enabled by her mother with one excuse for her behavior piled onto another until it reached its climax with the destruction of a little human being who stood in her way.

    The sad fact is that they forced her into the role of parent when she was unready at the age of 19 to assume the responsibility. It merely escalated her resentment and Caylee paid the ultimate price.

    Casey is the child of two vicious psychopaths who lie at the drop of a hat. Her parents are a huge part of the prosecution’s case, and they both told obvious lies under oath during the trial. As a juror, I would have to set aside all that testimony, because it is obvious both parents committed perjury multiple times.

    I think life in prison is enough. I simply do not believe in the death penalty period. I do not believe that the state should compound murder with another murder. As I have said before, I fear that this woman could kill again if she were released.

    You say you don’t want the death penalty. If she is convicted of first degree murder, she can get the death penalty if seven jurors vote for it. With second degree murder, she can get live in prison. Life in prison is enough.

    Tiny babies are beaten to death in this country every day by their parents–usually fathers. It’s a horrible, vicious, heartless crime. How many of those parents get the death penalty? In my opinion, anyone who kills or sexually assaults a child should go to prison for life. How many times does that happen in this country?

    • bostonboomer says:

      BTW, I think Scott Peterson’s personality and his choice to get rid of his wife and her unborn child is a very good analogy for what happened in the Casey Anthony case. Peterson was also a pathological liar who constantly exaggerated his accomplishments and had a secret life in which he indulged his fantasies. He also made a choice to take the life of a person who was getting in the way of the fantasy life he wanted. Both of these people are dangerous psychopaths who need to be kept away potential victims. Peterson also had psychopathic parents, IMO.

      One difference: In California, it’s highly unlikely that Peterson will ever be executed. Florida executes people. I don’t believe in the death penalty, so I can’t support that penalty.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      I think there are two counts for first degree, one in favor of the death penalty, one that does not. Second degree carries a conviction of 50 years.

      I don’t believe this is a death penalty case, nor do I support the death penalty at all.

      As for her parents, your characterization is right on: two liars who have passed down their legacy to their child. I never could stand her mother with all her grandstanding and “pity me” interviews which merely displayed her domineering attitude and ability to control. The father always struck me as a spineless weasel under the control of his wife but I do not see him as a child molester under any circumstances.

      The brother is another one dominated by the mother but I think he finally grew some balls and distanced himself from the circus that is Casey. Her “abuse excuse” defense was done simply because the defense had nowhere else to go to explain her actions other than to find a “red herring” to divert attention from the facts at hand.

      My prediction:
      1. Second degree murder with a verdict probably by Wednesday.
      2. The parents divorce within the next year.
      3. The mother making the rounds of any tv show that will have her, defending Casey and blaming the police and the prosecution for an “unjust conviction”.
      4. The brother fades into obscurity but remains faithful to the mother.
      5. Baez gets sanctioned for breaking the rules.
      6. Casey’s appeal will fail but her case will be revisited every 5 yrs since it boosts ratings.
      7. The father will eventually remarry.
      8. A plethora of books will be written, pro and con, with a lot of “inside” information forthcoming that was held back until now.

      This case from the beginning has shown how these people “cashed in” over the death of an innocent baby who deserved so much better than the hand she was dealt by having these people in her life. With Casey and Cindy in charge of her upbringing, sorry to say but she would have been another Casey 2.0 in the making.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Florida apparently allows two separate charges for First Degree murder: one includes “premeditation” where the other does not.

    I would convict on First Degree that does not include “premeditation” because of my aversion to the death penalty.

    However, I would also be able to compromise and go for Second Degree with a term of 50 years. This woman should never see freedom because I believe as you do that she is capable of doing this again.

    Had it not been Caylee I could see her “offing” some guy who stood in her way or even, as some have hinted at, her own mother who controlled her.

    She is the epitome of a sociopath.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Then I don’t think we disagree. I think if Casey had gotten away with this somehow, she would have been disappointed in her “beautiful life” with Tony, and then his life might have been in danger.

      From what I’ve observed, I think Casey longed for approval from her narcissistic mom, but she was never going to get it, because her mom is a vicious psychopath. She still longs for her mother’s approval, a hopeless fantasy. If only her mother hadn’t manipulated her into having that baby!

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Yes! Completely agree with you BB and Pat…only I do think she was sexually abused by the father and the brother.

        And Pat:

        My prediction:
        1. Second degree murder with a verdict probably by Wednesday.
        2. The parents divorce within the next year.
        3. The mother making the rounds of any tv show that will have her, defending Casey and blaming the police and the prosecution for an “unjust conviction”.
        4. The brother fades into obscurity but remains faithful to the mother.
        5. Baez gets sanctioned for breaking the rules.
        6. Casey’s appeal will fail but her case will be revisited every 5 yrs since it boosts ratings.
        7. The father will eventually remarry.
        8. A plethora of books will be written, pro and con, with a lot of “inside” information forthcoming that was held back until now.

        This is spot on…

    • Peggy Sue says:

      Yeah, I think they were referring to that second charge of 1st degree as felony murder. If the jury believes that Casey used duct tape to quiet the baby or gave her sleeping pills, chloroform,etc. and the child died as a result that would be considered aggravated child abuse and requires the lesser charge of 1st degree but no death penalty.

      This does remind me of the Peterson case. The evidence was circumstantial. But I’ve heard lawyers say that cases are decided all the time on circumstantial evidence. But that alone would negate a death penalty for me.

      I haven’t followed the case all that well but I did listen to some of the closing arguments and rebuttal. I thought the prosecutor delivering that jailhouse recording was really damning. Casey actually said something to the family friend or whoever the other woman was beyond Cindy that talking to her parents was a f**cking waste, that the only thing they were concerned about was Caylee. Then she caught herself and said, ‘of course, that’s all I’m concerned about, too.’ Revealing. The phone call was a huge fight because she wanted her mother to scrounge up the telephone number of her boyfriend Tony. The baby’s been missing for over a month and she’s concerned about the boyfriend.

      I don’t know but I think it’s pretty clear she’ll be found guilty of something. The web of lies from everyone was pretty amazing. And then, you have the tragedy of a baby dumped in the woods as if she were a piece of garbage.

      A chilling piece of side information came from a defense lawyer not related to the case. This woman suggested that Casey was involved with some highly questionable characters and that the baby’s disappearance may have had a child pornography connection. She said these networks routinely drug the children while filming to make them compliant and also to erase any memory of the exploitation and the people involved. With a three year old, it would be quite easy to overdose and kill.

      As a mother myself, the whole thing gives me the creeps. We all recall how vulnerable and trusting kids are at this age. I’ll never understand how people can do this sort of thing. Monstrous.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I saw that article by Wendy Murphy, if that’s the one you’re referring to. She is a victim’s advocate and sometimes she’s a bit over the to to put it mildly. But frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if George was involved in something like that. He is beyond sleasy, IMO. He sponged off his wife and other women, gambled away $30,000 or more of family money, who knows what else. That is really my worst fear–that Casey was allowing her daughter to be photographed or otherwise used sexually. It’s still a mystery where she was leaving Caylee when she said she was with “Zanny” and she wasn’t with Cindy or friends of Casey’s. Something is very wrong here and the whole truth hasn’t come out. I’ve also heard that Orlando has a very active child porn industry.

  4. Minkoff Minx says:

    Re: Casey Anthony
    I think she did kill Caylee, and it was no accident. She should get Felony Murder/Aggravated Child Abuse. Don’t think death penalty should be given, but she should stay in prison for the rest of her life. No parole. I do feel that she was sexually abused, and that her parents are pathological liars too, that has a lot to do with her psychological make-up. BB, the way she can change her emotions at a drop of a hat, and the blank expression, the obsessive nature with the boyfriend Tony, the ability to kill to get what she wants…being raised by lying parents, both Casey’s and Cindy’s manipulative nature, sexual abuse, denial, revenge, spite…do you think there is something more than environmental causes to make Casey the person that she is?

    And I agree, she is capable of killing again. There is no emotional connection to guilt for killing this little girl.

    I noticed yesterday when LDB was giving her rebuttal, Casey mouthed “I would never have blamed my mom.” It seemed strange to me that she would say that…like she has a choice of who she will blame “helped” her dispose of the body.

    I don’t think George helped her dump Caylee, but I do feel he knew what was going on from the very beginning. Especially when he went to pickup the car from the tow yard. He kept quiet when the tow attendant made a comment about the stink, he tossed the trash, he did not alert the police. Cindy was the one that made the call and said the stuff about a dead body in the damn car, that something was wrong. I think his behavior is like someone trying to hide something, but I do not think it was hiding his involvement in disposing of Caylee. He was worried about the sex abuse coming back to him…basically acting to cover his own ass.

    The entire family should be locked up, whether in prison or a mental hospital…the bad thing is that the murder of an innocent child was the outcome of all this family’s twisted personalities and actions. That is what has me so upset. I want justice for the baby…

    • bostonboomer says:

      Every psychological disorder comes from a combination of genetics and environment. Someone can have a predisposition for a particular disorder, but it takes life stress to trigger it to manifest. In identical twins, who have exactly the same genetic make-up, one twin can develop a disorder while the other doesn’t. The difference is life stress. In the Anthony family, Lee is the only one who seems to have anything resembling a moral compass. The difference between these two siblings is that Lee was probably not sexually abused–although it’s always possible with parents like these.

      The reasons why I suspect George knew what happened to Caylee–and Cindy probably suspected–are:

      1. George said in court that he knew Casey’s car had been in the Amscot parking lot for three days before being towed.

      2. Cindy probably saw Casey’s car in the Amscot parking lot because she had to pass that lot on her way to and from work.

      3. Cindy asked Dominic Casey to search the area where the body was eventually found.

      4. Cindy at one point slipped up and said to the media that Casey’s body wasn’t in the woods over there. I think that was a Freudian slip because she knew or strongly suspected that’s where Caylee was.

  5. Minkoff Minx says:

    Take a look at this: White Supremacists Running for Political Office in 2012 in Growing Numbers – The Daily Beast

    I know it is something we have talked about here on Sky Dancing, just wanted to bring it to you attention.

  6. paper doll says:

    Thanks for the round up!

    You both have points, and I rather think Pat’s predictions will bare out…we have seen that trajectory so many times before. There will be a Casey media industry etc.

    Bottom line is for whatever reason how she got here, Casey must be now kept from regular society imo. She’s become very toxic ….prison completing the job ….if one looks at her history , it’s one ever escalating crime…I see no reason why that would not continue indefinitely… and most likely will in prison . If the death of a child wasn’t involved, perhaps Casey would still be at the point of the stealing the checkbook of who ever crosses her path….

    about Governor Chris Christie :

    And: “He’s a rotten prick.”
    NJ Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

    finally a Dem who barks back after they were screwed over a deal….maybe they will finally learn Repugs can’t be trusted and the more you give them, the more they take. Yeah , I’m looking at you Mr. President Repug .

    Mr.Sweeney , there is no honor among thieves….you help Repugs slash state pensions and such , you will not be thanked by them . Glad you finally figured it out…but it took several slaps in the face to wake you up . However what angered Mr.Sweeney was not the slashing of NJ’s social safety net…no, but how his pipsqueak self was mistreated…hilarious . But it’s amazing how many push backs start with something like that ….here’s hoping

  7. paper doll says:

    Obama administration shuts down investigations into Bush-era torture

    http://tinyurl.com/3fufn3o

    ……I welcome the news that the broader inquiries are behind us,” remarked Leon Panetta, who left his post as CIA director July 1 to become secretary of defense. “We are now finally about to close this chapter of our agency’s history,” he added. Panetta was referring not to closing the chapter in which torture took place, but closing the chapter in which the agency’s practices were subjected to any form of official scrutiny

    …..The decision by the Obama administration to shut down virtually all of its investigations is a clear signal that the war crimes will continue. Indeed, in the bourgeois press, Holder’s announcement last Thursday was generally interpreted as a green light from the Obama administration to resume and escalate the practice of torture and murder of political opponents in the Middle East. The headline of an article in the Washington Post read, “Could Torture Make a Comeback?”

    When did it leave??

  8. Peggy Sue says:

    I read a disturbing [yet not all surprising] piece on the CNN homepage, an essay from David Frum about the debt ceiling negotiations. According to his reports, Obama has not only blinked but walked into the discussions with his eyes closed.

    The original offer [according to Frum] was $3 of cuts for every $1 of revenue increase. But POTUS has already folded and offered $6 of cuts for every $1 of revenue.

    We’re going to be reamed, and then told to smile about it. This man [Obama] is ‘not’ a Democrat. He serves the oligarchy and the GOP’s worst instincts.

    • paper doll says:

      Indeed…he always was and always will be a puppet created to do the job he is doing …give away everything while gaining nothing back ….what are we supposedly getting for all his current caving? The closing of some tax loop holes that shouldn’t be there in the first place….yahoo …

      I’m sure the upper crust, will do all in its power to see to it this man is reinstalled for round two …he is the gift from god like Nancy said he was….for her and other members of the power elite that is . At some point people have got to say no….the tea party was created to gather them in and contain them ….but at some point even that wouldn’t work….

      Meanwhile there is only one party in the land : The Haves and the Haves More Party, and the adverage person is given no avenue of political expression…none…it’s a pressure cooker and the upper crust is constantly turning up the heat.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Yup, I’m afraid you’re right. If there are SS and Medicare benefit cuts, there will be hell to pay though.

    • dakinikat says:

      We should be able to sue the Obama campaign and all the Obot Trolls that encamped on liberal sites in 2008 for false advertising. We’re going to need to collect damages from them just to survive.

  9. dakinikat says:

    Online Campaigns Raise Money for High School Cheerleader Who Refused to Cheer Alleged Attacker

    Online protests are raising awareness and money for a former Texas high school cheerleader who said she was sexually assaulted by the school’s star basketball player and then kicked off her squad for refusing to cheer for him.

    The former cheerleader, who is only referred to as H.S. in court documents, claimed she was raped by Rakheem Bolton under a pool table during an October 2008 party while she was drunk. Bolton and two others were arrested after the party. Bolton eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault. Charges were dropped against the two others.

    H.S., who was 16 at the time of the attack, was suspended from the Silsbee High School cheerleading squad for two weeks for refusing to cheer. Now the 19-year-old and her family owe nearly $40,000 in fees after losing a lawsuit against the school district over her punishment.

    But an online petition has gathered more than 95,000 signatures urging the school superintendent to waive the fees.

    “The school district must not force a student victim to pay them over $35,000 for simply standing against making a survivor applaud her rapist,” said Alex DiBranco, women’s rights editor at Change.org, the website that created the petition. “[She] and her family deserve whatever justice they can receive at this late date, but in particular, they want to make certain that no other teenage assault survivor will face the same treatment at the hands of Silsbee High School.”

  10. dakinikat says:

    TPM Talking Points Memo
    Court Blocks Kansas Abortion Rules — But State Planning New Set http://tpm.ly/lUYGdE

  11. JeanLouise says:

    I have no sympathy for Sweeney in New Jersey. He used the people of his state when he joined with the governor to screw the public unions in order to advance his own interests. It’s no more than he should expect that a person like Christie would use him and then cut him loose. From what I read about Sweeney in another article, his “issues” were a bunch of patronage-style contracts that were supposed to go to his family and friends.

    Maybe, the next time, he’ll think twice about turning on the people who elected him if they don’t get the chance to get rid of him first.

  12. bostonboomer says:

    BREAKING — A verdict has been reached in the Casey Anthony case.