Thursday Reads: Molly Ivins, Governor Goodhair, Corporate Crime, and Heroes

Good Morning!! I’m going to be leaving for a two-day drive to Indiana either today or tomorrow, so I’m a bit meshugge this morning. Please be patient with me. Let’s see what’s in the news.

From what I can see, it’s mostly Rick Perry. And I must say, I find “Governor Goodhair” endlessly fascinating. He’s more of a gaffe-machine than Joe Biden–and that’s really saying something. Molly Ivins gave Perry that nickname. I miss her so much. So I was thrilled when I cam across this article in the Sacramento Bee:
Molly can’t say that about Rick Perry, can she? It’s a collection of quotes on Perry from Ivins. Here’s one:

June 24, 2001

First, we Texans would like to salute the only governor we’ve got, Rick “Goodhair” Perry, the Ken Doll, for vetoing the bill to outlaw executing the mentally retarded.

We are Texas Proud.

Such a brilliant decision – not only is Texas now globally recognized for barbaric cruelty, but a strong majority of Texans themselves (73 percent) would prefer not to off the retarded.

Gov. Goodhair’s decision – in the face of popular opinion, the Supreme Court and George W. Bush’s recent conversion on this subject – is a testament to his strength of character.

Or something.

His Perryness announced, anent the veto, that Texas does not execute the retarded. I beg your pardon, Governor. Johnny Paul Penry, now on Death Row for a heart-breaking murder and the subject of two Supreme Court decisions, has an IQ between 51 and 60, believes in Santa Claus and likes coloring books.

We will never have another political writer like Molly.

Yesterday Perry “challenged” Obama on border security.

Perry, who was on his second trip to New Hampshire as a presidential candidate, criticized President Obama for his assertion during a speech in El Paso, Tex. in May that his administration had “strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible.”

“Six weeks ago the President went to El Paso and said the border is safer than it’s ever been,” Perry said. “I have no idea, maybe he was talking about the Canadian border.”

Perry thinks we should use Predator Drones to deal with illegal immigration.

“I mean, we know that there are Predator drones being flown for practice every day because we’re seeing them, we’re preparing these young people to fly missions in these war zones that we have. But some of those, they have all the equipment, they’re obviously unarmed, they’ve got the downward-looking radar, they’ve got the ability to do night work and through clouds. Why not be flying those missions and using (that) real-time information to help our law-enforcement? Becuase if we will commit to that, I will suggest to you that we will be able to drive the drug cartels away from our border.”

Apparently the Governor of Texas did not know that the Department of Homeland Security has already been using Drones to patrol the Mexican border for years.

I’m not that up on Texas politics, but I’m beginning to get the idea that the Bush crowd doesn’t care much for Rick Perry. According to Elspeth Reeve at The Atlantic, Bush’s Crew Is Gunning for Rick Perry

Is Rick Perry “another George W. Bush”? In reality, Bush was more of a fake Perry, the Texas version of a studio gangster, clearing brush in his cowboy boots despite his prep school background. It helps explain why Bush’s allies and Perry’s allies don’t like each other very much: the Bush-loving Republican establishment sees Perry as “the low-rent country cousin,” the Los Angeles Times reports. And it explains why Karl Rove (who once worked for Perry, before helping Bush become president) went on Fox News to criticize Perry for calling the Federal Reserve treasonous — and to wish for more candidates to enter the 2012 race.

You’ll need to go to the link to read all about the Bush-Perry feud. In addition, Howard Dean told The Hill that the “Bush camp will take Perry out.”

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean predicted that prominent political supporters of former President George W. Bush will deal a critical blow to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) presidential campaign.

“The Bush people don’t fool around, as you know,” Dean said Tuesday night on MSNBC. “You can say a lot of things about Bush’s presidency and his failures as president, but one thing nobody should say [anything] bad about [is] his political team. They know what they’re doing, and they are ruthless, and they are going to take Perry out.”

Here’s Bill Clinton’s opinion on Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions:

—————————————————-

Do you have a Citi credit card? Better watch out

TANGERANG, Indonesia — Irzen Octa, a down-on-his-luck Indonesian businessman, suffered a torment familiar to millions of Americans struggling with debts racked up in better times: He feared losing his home.

In the end, he managed to keep the ramshackle two-story house where he and his wife raised their two now-teenage daughters. Instead, Octa, pursued by Citibank over a $5,700 debt on his platinum credit card, lost his life.

The 50-year-old businessman, invited to a Citibank office in Jakarta in late March, collapsed in a tiny room set aside by the U.S. bank for questioning of deadbeat debtors. He died shortly afterward — a casualty of a “harsh interrogation,” said Jakarta police spokesman Baharudin Djafar.

Whoa!

Noting that Indonesian debt collectors have a reputation for sometimes aggressive persistence, Johansyah, the central bank official, said: “The best thing to do is just pay.”

Octa’s widow said she first discovered that her husband had money problems when five men showed up uninvited at their Tangerang home one night in October and said they had come to get money. Unable to collect, they slept on a terrace outside the front door.

In the following months, debt collectors kept calling — and Octa’s debts kept rising because of hefty interest.

Sounds like a Mafia movie! Will that start happening here after the Republicans remove all regulations?

Matt Taibbi has a new article at Rolling Stone: Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?

Imagine a world in which a man who is repeatedly investigated for a string of serious crimes, but never prosecuted, has his slate wiped clean every time the cops fail to make a case. No more Lifetime channel specials where the murderer is unveiled after police stumble upon past intrigues in some old file – “Hey, chief, didja know this guy had two wives die falling down the stairs?” No more burglary sprees cracked when some sharp cop sees the same name pop up in one too many witness statements. This is a different world, one far friendlier to lawbreakers, where even the suspicion of wrongdoing gets wiped from the record.

That, it now appears, is exactly how the Securities and Exchange Commission has been treating the Wall Street criminals who cratered the global economy a few years back. For the past two decades, according to a whistle-blower at the SEC who recently came forward to Congress, the agency has been systematically destroying records of its preliminary investigations once they are closed. By whitewashing the files of some of the nation’s worst financial criminals, the SEC has kept an entire generation of federal investigators in the dark about past inquiries into insider trading, fraud and market manipulation against companies like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and AIG. With a few strokes of the keyboard, the evidence gathered during thousands of investigations – “18,000 … including Madoff,” as one high-ranking SEC official put it during a panicked meeting about the destruction – has apparently disappeared forever into the wormhole of history.

Under a deal the SEC worked out with the National Archives and Records Administration, all of the agency’s records – “including case files relating to preliminary investigations” – are supposed to be maintained for at least 25 years. But the SEC, using history-altering practices that for once actually deserve the overused and usually hysterical term “Orwellian,” devised an elaborate and possibly illegal system under which staffers were directed to dispose of the documents from any preliminary inquiry that did not receive approval from senior staff to become a full-blown, formal investigation. Amazingly, the wholesale destruction of the cases – known as MUIs, or “Matters Under Inquiry” – was not something done on the sly, in secret. The enforcement division of the SEC even spelled out the procedure in writing, on the commission’s internal website. “After you have closed a MUI that has not become an investigation,” the site advised staffers, “you should dispose of any documents obtained in connection with the MUI.”

I haven’t finished the article yet, but it sounds like an important story.

I’m going to end with a couple of feel-good stories.

Father of 2 becomes hero in abducted girl’s rescue

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The timing was just right for saving the life of a 6-year-old girl and for turning a 24-year-old mechanic and father of two young daughters into a hero.

It was coincidence that Antonio Diaz Chacon had come home from work early to spend time with his family Monday afternoon. It was also a coincidence that the family’s washing machine had just gone out, forcing them to do laundry a block down the road at a relative’s home.

Had it not been for that, Diaz Chacon wouldn’t have been there to see the girl thrown into a van as another neighbor yelled for the would-be kidnapper to let the child go.

Diaz Chacon is credited with saving the girl after chasing the van through a maze of neighborhoods to the edge of where Albuquerque’s sprawling housing developments meet the desert. It was there where the van crashed into a pole, the suspect fled and Diaz Chacon was able to rescue the girl and take her home.

Go read the whole thing. It’s good to know there are still brave and generous people out there who act selflessly just because someone needs help. And here’s another story about a heroic rescue–by an 8-year-old boy.

Just 8 years old and a novice swimmer, Jesus [Lara] reacted quickly last weekend to save a drowning infant from the bottom of a pool. On Thursday morning, the Plano Fire Department recognized his life-saving actions and explained how grateful they were for his quick reaction.

[….]

Jesus has only been swimming for two months. His father Henry began teaching him to swim in the pool at the Estancia Apartments where they live. Henry said after a long day of work Friday, Aug. 5, he kept his promise to take his son to the pool that night.

While Jesus was swimming, he noticed some bubbles coming from an object under the water.

Jesus Lara being honored by fire department

The bubbles were coming from a 21-month-old toddler who had stumbled into the water.

“I grabbed a quick breath, and I dove under,” he said.

Jesus resurfaced holding a 21-month-old boy and arms outstretched, he yelled for his father to help.

“It was what he said that spoke volumes to me,” Henry said, remembering the boy’s words, “I found him at the bottom of the pool.”

Jesus’ father knew CPR and was able to resuscitate the child, who is now “doing fine.”

Those are my recommended reads for today. What are you reading and blogging about?


45 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Molly Ivins, Governor Goodhair, Corporate Crime, and Heroes”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    Great stories about the 2 heroes, in my very cynical angry mood I wonder when the immigration wingnuts will start investigating to see if these Latinos are “legal.” (Man, gotta get out of this funk I’m in..)
    I have a few links this morning. It looks like the Missouri rape case is getting some traction in the media.
    Lawsuit alleges Missouri school expelled girl for making rape claim – CNN.com

    “School officials approached (the girl’s) claims with the same skepticism as the year before, even going so far as to state that they had ‘already been through this,’ ” the suit states.

    The girl’s mother took her to a child advocacy center that confirmed that a sexual assault occurred and DNA evidence found in the girl matched the male student, the suit alleges.

    The male student was “taken into custody in Juvenile Court and pleaded guilty to charges brought against him,” the suit says.

    The suit does not state the exact charges the male student allegedly pleaded guilty to.

    Despite the results of the test, the girl was suspended from school for what the school called “disrespectful conduct” and “public display of affection,” the suit claims.

    School officials did not respond to CNN’s attempts to get comments, but the school district released a statement on its website.

    “It is important to remember that the allegations in a lawsuit are just that — allegations. The district has filed an answer denying the allegations,” part of the statement said. “The district cannot discuss confidential student matters and does not comment on pending litigation.”

    Display of affection, WTF? These school administrators need to be arrested for child abuse and child neglect.

    And check it out:

    Courthouse News Service

    A new law has made Missouri the first state to try to break the code of silence among school districts that allow sexual predators to move from one district to another without mentioning allegations of the sexual misconduct.
    The Amy Hestir Student Protection Act requires school districts to report substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct by educators to another school district that seeks a reference for that educator. School districts that fail to do so would become legally liable for damages if the educator commits any sexual misconduct in the new school district.
    The law takes effect Aug. 28.
    The law is named for a woman who said she was raped by a teacher more than 20 years ago, but kept quiet for years because she thought she was the only one. The teacher, who was allowed to jump from school district to school district despite allegations of misconduct, recently retired after being named “Teacher of the Year.”
    Missouri is the First
    Missouri is believed to be the first state to hold schools legally liable for failing to report accusations of sexual misconduct to prospective employers.

    This article is from July 22nd. I find it interesting that Missouri has this law that will go into affect at the end of the month, but the Asst. Prosecuting Attorney in Greene County, where the Republic school district is, does not think these administrators broke the law. See that quote from Springfield News below.

    And here are a couple local news outlets reporting on the case:

    Republic School District Responds to Federal Lawsuit – kspr.com

    Lawsuit raises hotline question | Springfield News-Leader | News-Leader.com

    Greene County Assisting Prosecuting Attorney Casey Clark told the News-Leader that since he heard of the allegations Monday, he’s collected police reports surrounding the case and has been rereading the mandatory reporting law.

    The law seems a little gray when it comes to whether mandatory reporters need to report alleged abuse of one youth by another if neither is in a caretaker role, said Clark.

    In the part of the law that defines abuse, it only addresses acts of people who are responsible for taking care of children, said Clark.

    But another part of the law says mandated reporters should report alleged abuse inflicted by a person responsible for the child’s care, custody and control, “as well as abuse inflicted by another person.”

    “I don’t think the intent of the legislature was that every schoolyard fight be reported to the Children’s Division,” said Clark. “If that were the case, I don’t think they’d have enough staff to investigate.”

    An email to the Children’s Division was not returned by deadline, but Clark said he had been discussing the issue with an attorney there.

    Clark said after looking at the law, his office agrees that the statute does not require mandated reporters to report offenses by alleged juvenile offenders who are not in the role of caretaker.

    “We caution, though, that there will always be a theme: if you ever have a question — even if it is dealing with a juvenile offender — err on the side of caution and always report it,” said Clark.

    Here is a link to the public statement issued by the Republic school district.
    http://www.news-leader.com/assets/pdf/DO178271817.PDF

    • northwestrain says:

      I read that copy/ paste statement ending with the statement that the children are safe????? WFT a girl was raped, called a liar, she was expelled — she was raped again by the same damned creep and she is still called a liar. How does this make her safe?

      Fire the whole damned staff. I am completely intolerant of adults like this being anywhere near children.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I totally agree. Let the superintendent and the school staff go to that desert island with all the pedophiles and child abusers.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It looks like CNN just printed the same article on the rape in MO that I had in my post, but I’m glad the story got some national attention anyway. If Missouri’s mandatory reporting law doesn’t require report of a crime (rape, sexual assault) committed by one student on another, then their legislature needs to get busy.

      • northwestrain says:

        Thank you so much for reporting this story. It seems to be spreading — as it should.

        Sexual assaults and sexual molestation are far more common then most people realize. Most are never reported. No link — just personal research conducted as part of my MA thesis.

      • madamab says:

        Great work on this story to BB, and all you Sky Dancers. I will be writing about it, and others, tomorrow on TW.

      • Branjor says:

        Nobody’s said it yet, so I will – the rapist boy and school officials – those animals.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Thanks BB, it is really important to put the light of day on these backward thinking administrators.

      • joanelle says:

        So what the connection between the boy (boy’s family) and the administration – clearly there is some other agenda/motivation.

        Jerks 👿

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        It looks like CNN just printed the same article on the rape in MO that I had in my post,

        Oh yes BB, I touch on that in the evening reads…

    • madamab says:

      Yes, I noticed that both heros BB cited were Latino. Did you know Obama has deported far more people than Bush?

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/20/little-girl-who-challenge_n_583432.html

      That article is from 2010 – it’s a lot more now. He’s on track to deport 1 million undocumented immigrants by the end of his term.

      There is something very wrong with the way this country treats its brown people. We haven’t learned a whole heckuva lot since we claimed America by )in part) decimating the native population.

      • Allison says:

        I agree. My neighbors are Latino and they have wonderful kids from 14 yrs down to 3 months! The 12 -year old boy and his 8-year old sister come over all the time to watch DVDs and do puzzles and board games. We have a great time and the kids are extremely well behaved. The family has a wonderful close-knit bond with the uncles, aunts and cousins and are always doing things together. I can tell the parents really truly enjoy their kids.

        We seem to have issues with people of color who are often living in poverty (my neighbors are not poor although we are probably considered lower middle class). I’ve seen poverty wreck many families in my area, Latino and otherwise. It just adds to the “otherness” we like to bestow on PoC.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Madamab,

        Yup, the narrative has erased Native Americans, Mexican Americans (Great number are mestizos of mixed European and Native American heritage). Not too many people know that Native Americans and Mexican Americans were Lynched, their land stolen outright, and that ‘No Colored’ applied to them too…to clarify the issue in certain states they had signs “No Mexicans, Women or Dogs Allowed”. <– http://www.amazon.com/No-Mexicans-Women-Dogs-Allowed/dp/0292721323

        C-SPAN
        Mexican-American Civil Rights Struggles in Texas (History Panel)
        http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/295989-5

  2. northwestrain says:

    I’m over joyed to read the good guys win — seeing another human in extreme trouble and saving a life.

    Also the good news that CNN has picked up the rape story — I’m wondering just what charge the rapist pleaded to so quickly??? There was an old movie called “Town without Pity” — I don’t remember the plot — but the title seems fitting. School District without pity — punish the victim etc.

    School Districts have School Boards — seems like the School Board needs to be replaced and then the whole damned administration of the school needs to be replaced. Pigs all — sorry to the real pigs who are smarter than these humans.

  3. Minkoff Minx says:

    One more link this morning: We need not just jobs, but jobs that pay – CNN.com

    President Barack Obama promised — just three years ago when he was in general a more promising sort of fellow — that he would raise the federal minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011. Maybe he forgot, just as he forgot his promise to press for the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have made it easier for workers to organize. Or maybe he was intimidated by unemployment rates in excess of 9% and accepted the defeatist notion that any job — no matter how low-paid, backbreaking or abusive — is better than none.

    That’s been the sad trajectory of the American middle-class spirit from the late ’70s to the present day: We’ve gone from Johnny Paycheck’s “Take This Job and Shove It” to begging the sleek-suited “job creators” for whatever they can throw our way.

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Siince we are on a fast track in a “race to the bottom” what better choice than Rick Perry who promises to get us there faster?

    He has now outdistanced Mitt in the polls which just makes you wonder again at the intelligence of the public. The latest statement that climate change is a “manipulation” should strike fear into the hearts of the American public since his campaigns have all been well funded by the gas and oil industries yet his ratings seem to go up every time he opens his big mouth.

    No wonder my sense of doom continues to rise.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s early yet. I don’t think Perry’s act is going to go over that well outside of Texas. And if the Bushies are really out to get him, he’ll probably go down. As Howard Dean said, the Bushes don’t fool around when they attack their enemies.

      • Allison says:

        I wonder why the Bushies are so hostile to Perry.

        If it’s personal animosity that says all you need to know about our political class. Of course we know that – having seen the rancor in the 2008 Dem primaries.

      • Allison says:

        Oops – sorry – just reading the Hill article now….

      • Gregory says:

        It doesn’t go over well here. I have yet to meet anyone that claims to like the man and yet for some reason he gets re-elected every year. Most of the Republicans I know absolutely hate the guy with a passion. It makes no sense.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Allison,

        I linked to an article in the Atlantic explains the history of the Bush-Perry feud.

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    “Coincidence” that Boston Boomer is leaving Massachusetts for Indiana on the same day of Obama’s vacation arrival??

    I think not.

    • Delphyne says:

      LOL, Pat! I don’t blame her!

      • Pat Johnson says:

        While bb heads west, I am heading east this weekend. Another traffic nightmare on the MA turnpike.

        The Red Sox are in town. The Pats are in practice. Obama is headed for Martha’s Vineyard. Many cars will be headed toward the Cape.

        A three ring circus is guaranteed for a less than 2 hour ride for a birthday party.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Pat– are you going to see the Red Sox?

    • bostonboomer says:

      ROFLOL! I have a friend who lives on Marth’s Vineyard, but she isn’t in Obama’s neighborhood.

  6. paper doll says:

    have a safe trip, love the rescue stories!

    They know what they’re doing, and they are ruthless,
    and they are going to take Perry out.”

    If they do , it will be to reinstall Obama or for Jeb perhaps? .
    …depends on what the over lords want and that’s hard to tell at this point.

    • dakinikat says:

      The wall street overlords are not happy with either Perry or Bachmann. That’s why there are romancing Ryan and Christie right now.

      • madamab says:

        I’m confused…don’t they realize that those guys won’t raise taxes or create jobs either?

        I thought the Wall Street overlords were tanking the market because Washington refused to do either – or are we talking about different overlords? The MOTU are so difficult to tell apart…

        • dakinikat says:

          The Wall Street Money doesn’t like Bachmann or Perry. They’re basically right wing populists and they don’t like populists of either ilk. They both are unlikely to bail them out of the troubles come the next time and Wall Street realizes the importance of the Fed and its political independence. Remember, Milton Friedman was a monetarist. They balked when Reagan didn’t want to reappoint Volker. They threatened to not give him money for his 1984 reelection. Wall Street folks are big on the FED and they don’t like any one that threatens the FED right now because a QE3 is likely the only thing standing between us and another Great Depression. Traditional Republican business politics recognizes the role of the FED in stabilizing inflation and providing cheap credit when necessary. (i.e. this stock market crash won’t reverse unless the FED creates more money).

  7. mjames says:

    I suspect that the Bush crime syndicate will let Perry go on for a bit. Then, after they take him out (not really that hard to do, since he’s an idiot who can’t keep his mouth shut), and with time running out, Jeb will come riding in on his white horse. And, yes, horrible as it is to imagine, Jeb will look better than anyone else in the field, including Obie, of course, who will be completely unprepared for a real opponent. Now that’s strategy.

    • Peggy Sue says:

      Ooooo, that’s an interesting theory. Jeb was always the ‘favored son,’ the one being groomed for the WH. After GW’s inglorious run to ruin, most thought Jeb’s prospects were dimmed. Perry could serve as the useful fool since the Huntsman candidacy has seemingly tanked.

      Jeb on the White Horse. Though chilling, I can imagine it. Oh, what a tangled web our rulers weave.

  8. dakinikat says:

    Elizabeth Warren’s campaign site is up http://elizabethforma.com/splash/

  9. dakinikat says:

    GregMitch Greg Mitchell
    It was 10 years ago, on vacation, that Bush saw the “bin Laden wants to hit tall buildings” memo and did nothing.

  10. joanelle says:

    Oh, BB I too miss Molly very much – she was indeed one of our greats – in fact I don’t think we’ve ever had anyone come close!

  11. Branjor says:

    One of the best arguments for single payer universal health care I’ve ever seen. What one woman is doing to pay her medical bills and what her city has done to her.

  12. joanelle says:

    Hey, BB have a safe trip!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks! I’ll do my best. I’ll probably be able to check in to Sky Dancing tomorrow night. I miss you guys when I can’t.

  13. joanelle says:

    And we miss you, when you can’t