SDB Evening News Reads for 091511: Attack and Plead and Hope

Good Evening…

There are some very important timely links I want to bring to your attention, so I have just a couple things to mention before I get to the meat of this evening’s news post.

When I saw the image of the newest website in the Obama 2012 Campaign arsenal, I honestly thought it was a GOP wingnut site…look at this screenshot:

Get the facts. Fight the smears. — AttackWatch.com

Well, this is what Tommy Christopher over at Mediaite had to say about it.  Barack Obama | Attack Watch | Fight the Smears | Mediaite

The Obama campaign has launched a new version of 2008′s “Fight the Smears” website (also a rejected Windex slogan) that debunked guano from every source, but with some new twists. AttackWatch.com does a 180 on the old site’s shiny, happy design, and includes a nifty crowd-sourcing feature that allows supporters (or not) to report an attack, and even to attach a file. Hmmm, we’ve got a report from a supporter named Haywood D’jablowmee, let me just open that attachment…

In an email to supporters, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said, “There are a lot of folks on the other side who are chomping at the bit to distort the President’s record. It’s not a question of if the next big lie will come, just when — and what we’re prepared to do about it.”

I love this next bit of commentary:

Great. Sounds like a terrific content-generating resource for right-wing bloggers, too. Everybody wins!

…If there’s a guy at OFA whose job it is to sift through these submissions, his is officially the worst job in the world. Let’s not even think about what kinds of attachments that poor guy is going to have to look at.

Wow, I don’t know what to say about this site…it bothers me.

Here’s the full text of OFA’s “AttackWatch” email:

Expose the attacks

Friend –

If you’re someone who cares about seeing a campaign focused on substance between now and November 2012, I need you to become a part of one of our most important teams.

It’s called AttackWatch.com, and it launches today.

Here’s the deal: We all remember the birth certificate smear, the GOP’s barrage of lies about the Affordable Care Act, and the string of other phony attacks on President Obama that we’ve seen over the past few years.

There are a lot of folks on the other side who are chomping at the bit to distort the President’s record. It’s not a question of if the next big lie will come, just when — and what we’re prepared to do about it.

AttackWatch.com is exactly what it sounds like: a resource that allows us to nip these attacks in the bud before they show up on the airwaves and in emails — and then fight back with the truth.

By signing up, you’ll be on the front lines — you’ll hear about false claims as soon as they come up, and we’ll count on you to spread the truth to your friends and personal networks and let us know about new smears whenever you hear them.

Will you sign up now to be a part of AttackWatch.com?

Yes, I want to be on the team that fights back.

Not right now, but I’ll donate $5 to fund the 2012 campaign and support this work.

I remember the smears from 2008 well, and I’m sure you do, too.

They didn’t just attack Barack Obama and Joe Biden. They went after everything this movement is built on, and everyone who supports it.

This time, they’re not just out to personally attack the President — they’re also out to mislead Americans about the record of accomplishments that he’s compiled. Just the other day, a Republican financier actually quoted Saddam Hussein in telling a group of millionaire donors that defeating President Obama will be “the mother of all wars.”

We’re launching AttackWatch.com today to make sure we’re ready for the attacks we know are coming — and armed with the ability to fight back quickly.

Sign up for AttackWatch.com now, and let’s get the facts out:

http://my.barackobama.com/Join-Attack-Watch

Thanks,

Messina

Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Hey, at least you can donate your $5 bucks and feel like you are part of the “team” right?  But what’s with that “friend” intro…are they channeling McCain?

Personally I think Obama should be worried about the “livid” people he represents.

Some jobs numbers came out today that should be a warning to the Obama Administration..but they aren’t listening to any advice from the left anyway…  Georgia jobless rate hits highest level in 6 months | The Biz Beat

Georgia’s unemployment rate hit its highest level in six months, rising to 10.2 percent in August from 10.1 percent in July, the state labor department said Thursday.

There has been no improvement from a year ago, when the state’s jobless rate was also 10.2 percent.

August marked the 49th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.1 percent, the labor department said.

The August unemployment rate increased because 5,500 new job seekers — as well as more of those already unemployed — were unable to find work.

The number of long-term unemployed — those jobless for at least 27 weeks — increased by 3,000 to 254,100. There were 15.5 percent more long-term unemployed than in August of last year. The long-term unemployed account for 52.7 percent of Georgia’s 482,321 jobless workers.

Oooo, that “thair”  Georgia Works program sure does look like a good idea!

According to the Georgia Work Ready site:

Georgia Work Ready is transforming our state’s workforce into our number one competitive advantage. By ensuring Georgia workers have the best skills and training opportunities, we can guarantee businesses have the talent they need to succeed today and the resources they need to meet future challenges.

Yeah, the program is working out just fine: Georgia Works Not Working; Just Twelve Applicants in August | FDL News Desk

YMMV, but for me the worst element of the mostly-fine American Jobs Act is the plan modeled on Georgia Works, the job training program for the long-term unemployed. Businesses get free labor (let’s face it, there’s not a whole lot of “training” that goes into the perfunctory data entry or office slug jobs that would likely be filled here), and the worker gets to show up without the hope of a job at the end. It may be a foot in the door with a particular company, or it may be a two-month distraction from a deeper job search, with nothing to show for it at the end. It’s just an unpaid internship in the end, and if companies are getting away with that, why wouldn’t they just cycle through another round of unpaid interns under the guise of “training” rather than make a hire?

Dayen points out that only 12 applicants signed up in August, bring the total of people who have applied to Georgia Works up to 92…and that is since February of this year.

The Democrats got a kick in the balls today from the Orange Tangerine himself: Boehner says no new taxes for debt panel in economic speech on Thursday – The Washington Post

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) rejected Thursday any increase in tax revenue and instead said that a special committee seeking long-term debt reduction should find $1.5 trillion in savings entirely from cutting federal agency spending and slash popular entitlement programs.

Nothing new there, we expected it…right?

Moving on to crime in America, Casey Anthony is getting headlines again: Casey Anthony ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in costs | Reuters

Judge Belvin Perry ruled that Anthony must reimburse $97,676.98 in investigative costs incurred between July 15, 2008, when Anthony first told detectives that her daughter had been kidnapped by a nanny, and September 29, 2008, when detectives determined Caylee likely was dead rather than missing.

I could really give two batshits about this ruling…that $100,000 is a drop in the bucket to what she is going to get in movie deal cash…There is something way more important in the crime news today…

(Here is the meat I was talking about.)

To update y’all on the Troy Davis case: Troy Davis supporters deliver 600,000 petitions to Pardons and Parole | jacksonville.com

Supporters of condemned murderer Troy Davis delivered more than 600,000 petitions today to the Pardon and Paroles Board seeking to prevent his execution scheduled on Wednesday for killing off-duty Savannah policeman Mark MacPhail.

[…]

Also present was Gary Drinkard, who spent six years on Alabama’s death row before he was exonerated. He brought petitions from 25 others who had also avoided a death sentence through new evidence proving there innocence.

“We were there,” he said. “We know what it’s like.”

The case has drawn attention from across the globe. Politicians, entertainers and professional athletes have lent their names to groups supporting Davis. Many are participating in a social-media campaign on Twitter and Facebook on his behalf.

The Parole Board holds a hearing Monday with lawyers for Davis. Because it’s not bound by the rules of evidence and other court procedures, Davis supporters said today they hope the board will use its discretion on his behalf.

I hope the Board does the right thing…but I want to bring another execution up for discussion…

There is another man in Texas who is scheduled for execution later today.  I don’t think he will get any stay of execution from Perry, but at least there are people trying to do the right thing.

Duane Buck lawyers appeal to Rick Perry for stay of execution | World news | guardian.co.uk

Lawyers for a death row inmate in Texas who was sentenced to death on the basis of testimony from a psychologist who argued he was a risk to the public because he is black are making frantic eleventh-hour efforts to spare him from the execution chamber on Thursday.

If their pleading fails to sway the Texas authorities, Duane Buck, 48, will be put to death by lethal injection at 6pm local time. His lawyers are appealing to the governor of Texas, Rick Perry, to use his powers to delay the execution to allow for the case to go to resentencing given the racially tainted nature of the original punishment.

Here is some background on this case: US Supreme Court asked to halt Texas execution amid questions about racial reference at trial – The Washington Post

Duane Buck, 48, faced lethal injection for fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend and a man in her apartment. In an appeal to the Supreme Court on Thursday and in a letter to Perry, Buck’s lawyers said a psychologist testified that black people were more likely to commit violence. Jurors in Texas must decide on the future danger of an offender when they are considering a death sentence.

“The State of Texas should not condone any form of racial discrimination in the courtroom,” attorney Katherine Black wrote Perry, urging the governor to use his authority to issue a one-time 30-day reprieve for Buck. “The use of race in sentencing poisons the legal process, undermines the reliability and fairness of the sentence, and breeds cynicism in the community toward the very institution entrusted with protecting the rights of all persons equally.”

Buck’s case is one of six convictions that then-Texas Attorney General John Cornyn — a political ally of Perry who is now a Republican U.S. senator — reviewed in 2000 and said needed to be reopened because of the racial reference.

I am posting this next quote from Tim Murphy at MoJo in full because I think it is too important not to…The Elephant in the Room in the Duane Buck Case | Mother Jones

Barring a last-minute reprieve from Governor Rick Perry, sometime after 7 p.m. on Thursday Duane Buck will become the 235th person to be executed in Texas in the last decade. Buck’s case has drawn attention because of the role race-based testimony may have played in obtaining the death sentence. As I reported previously, a psychologist summoned by Buck’s attorney testified under cross-examination that Buck’s race (he’s black) made him a greater threat to society; that testimony was then cited in the prosecutors’ closing argument.

Buck’s case is noteworthy because the racial argument was made so explicitly, and under oath. But the reality is that race is a determining factor in capital punishment sentencing whether a psychologist says so out-loud or not. As Amnesty International notes, “the single most reliable predictor of whether someone will be sentenced to death is the race of the victim.” Among other things, they point out that:

  • A report sponsored by the American Bar Association in 2007 concluded that one-third of African-American death row inmates in Philadelphia would have received sentences of life imprisonment if they had not been African-American.
  • A January 2003 study released by the University of Maryland concluded that race and geography are major factors in death penalty decisions. Specifically, prosecutors are more likely to seek a death sentence when the race of the victim is white and are less likely to seek a death sentence when the victim is African-American.
  • A 2007 study of death sentences in Connecticut conducted by Yale University School of Law revealed that African-American defendants receive the death penalty at three times the rate of white defendants in cases where the victims are white. In addition, killers of white victims are treated more severely than people who kill minorities, when it comes to deciding what charges to bring.

That kind of institutional bias means that it’s a lot harder to point to specific cases, a la Buck, in which race impacted the sentence—which means that, unlike Buck, most defendants will have a hard time making the case that their sentencing was in any way mishandled. But taken in sum, the numbers are pretty damning.

I won’t be here to update the Buck Execution situation, so if anyone has some news about it, please post it in the comments…I would appreciate it tremendously.

Let’s end on a funny note, because it is too damn upsetting to think that Perry’s execution numbers may be increased by one in just a few hours.

Here is a clip from Jon Stewart, about the NY District 9 Special Election.  The funniest part for me is the parody Stewart does of the “New York Jewish Mother” who answers the phone when Ed Koch robo calls to offer his support for the GOP candidate.

I will check back later tonight after the UCMS football game…I hope I do not come back to bad news out of Texas…

About these ads

7 Comments on “SDB Evening News Reads for 091511: Attack and Plead and Hope”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Great roundup!

    Ex-FBI Director William Sessions calls on Georgia to stay Davis execution.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/15/troy-davis-execution-william-sessions_n_963366.html

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Texas Supreme Court grants stay of execution for Duane Buck

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/09/15/texas.execution/

  3. Allison says:

    Via Susie at Suburban Guerilla also:

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/163438/us-supreme-court-blocks-rick-perry-executing-man-based-color-his-skin

    Also the L.A. Times is reporting it is the US Supreme Court. Wouldn’t appeals have already been heard in Texas?

    I’m very concerned about the Troy Davis case, as a Georgian and as a human being, frankly. It’s unfathomable to me that there are people who would go forward with this – even though there is no physical evidence he committed the crime.

    At what point and what does it take for a human being to not care about life or death? To cheer when a person dies of poverty or because of race…