Tuesday Reads

Good Morning!! Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the news today.

The Daily Mail has some excerpts from a new book about the Osama bin Laden assassination mission. Apparently President Obama was out on the golf course until about 20 minutes before it all went down.

The claims are from Chuck Pfarrer, a former SEAL team commander, in a book called SEAL Target Geronimo.

He has spoken to several of the men who carried out the operation at Bin Laden’s mansion hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2.

Mr Pfarrer paints a very different picture to the official photo released at the time which shows Mr Obama and advisers huddled round a table in the White House situation room as footage was beamed from a drone 15,000ft above the al-Qaeda leader’s mansion.

Mr Pfarrer says the President’s role was largely inflated and suggests he stayed out on the golf course for so long so he could distance himself in case it went wrong. Mr Pfarrer writes: ‘If this had completely gone south, he was in a position to disavow.’

Pfarrer also claims that “when they burst into Bin Laden’s room, his wife screamed: ‘No, no, don’t do this… it’s not him!'”

More horrible details keep coming out about the child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State. Here’s a timeline of events published by CNN. The reports of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky go back as far as 1994, and it’s clear that head coach Joe Paterno was aware of Sandusky’s behavior. In 1998, there was an investigation by Penn State Police and Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare of Sandusky showering naked with an 11-year-old boy. The incident was reported by the boy’s mother. Are we supposed to believe that Paterno wasn’t informed of this investigation? Give me a break!

Then, in 2002,

According to the grand jury report, a graduate assistant allegedly tells Coach Joe Paterno that he saw Sandusky in the locker room shower the night before, performing anal sex on a young boy he estimated to be 10 years old….

Paterno reports the incident to Athletic Director Tim Curley, saying the graduate assistant had seen Sandusky “fondling or doing something of a sexual nature to a young boy,” according to the grand jury. Later, the assistant is summoned to a meeting with Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz.

So first, Paterno minimizes the incident in his report and then nothing is done and Paterno just lets it slide. But apparently Paterno isn’t a target in the case.

Quite a few writers are calling for Paterno to resign, however. From the LA Times:

In 46 seasons as the football coach at Penn State University, Joe Paterno appeared to create a culture of winning and decency he called “Success with Honor.”

Now that the culture has been exposed as a haven for an alleged child molester, Paterno needs to do the honorable thing and resign before he coaches another game.

It’s sad that the winningest coach in major college football history will end his career with a giant “L” in the human-being department, but not nearly so sad as the idea that boys may have been abused because football’s most controlling boss did nothing.

From Lawyers, Guns, and Money:

There can be little doubt that Paterno has known since at least 1998 that Sandusky had a “problem” with “inappropriate behavior” toward children, i.e., he was a child molester. That’s when the campus police did a six-week investigation after a mother reported to them that her 11-year-old son had showered with Sandusky. From the grand jury report:

The mother of Victim 6 confronted Sandusky about showering with her son, the effect it had had on her son, whether Sandusky had sexual feelings when he hugged her naked son in the shower, and where Victim 6′s buttocks were when Sandusky hugged him in the shower. Sandusky said he had showered with other boys and Victim 6′s mother tried to make him promise never to shower with a boy again but he would not. She asked him if his “private parts” had touched Victim 6 when he bear-hugged him. Sandusky replied, “I don’t know . . . maybe.” At the conclusion of the second conversation, after Sandusky was told he could not see Victim 6 any more, Sandusky said, “I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.”

To put it mildly, it’s extremely unlikely that in a little town like State College, PA, word of this investigation didn’t get back to Paterno. This supposition is bolstered by Sandusky’s otherwise strange “retirement” the following year.

Paterno should be prosecuted, but because of his reputation, he won’t. At the very least, he should lose his job.

According to the National Journal, President Obama is considering issuing an executive order that would deal with an “earmark workaround” that members of Congress have been using.

In a move that could escalate hostilities with Congress, President Obama may be planning to use his executive authority to publicize special funding requests that lawmakers make for pet projects.

A memo that the White House has floated on Capitol Hill would require executive branch agencies to make public any letter from a member of Congress seeking special consideration for any project or organization vying for government funding….

The threat to name and shame would potentially cut off another avenue members of Congress have for influencing government spending in their own back yards. It comes at a time that Obama is ratcheting up his campaign rhetoric against Congress, which he blames for blocking his efforts to stimulate the economy, on the eve of his 2012 reelection effort.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Some senior citizen protesters blocked traffic in Chicago yesterday.

Chicago police on Monday issued citations to 43 senior citizens and their supporters who linked arms to block an intersection near the city’s financial district.

The action was part of a protest against proposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other benefits.

The Jane Addams Senior Caucus (JASC), their supporters and “Occupy Chicago” began the demonstration with a rally outside the office of Illinois Sens. Mark Kirk (R) and Dick Durbin (D). The group, which organizers claimed was nearly 1,500-strong, then marched to the Federal Plaza.

Traffic at the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Clark Street was blocked for about an hour, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“At every level of society, Americans are under attack,” said Karen Bocker, an “Occupy Chicago” participant and grandmother of four.

Matt Yglesias learned yesterday that Noam Chomsky had mentioned him unfavorably in a speech on receiving a Peace Prize in Sydney, Australia. Be sure to read Yglesias’ convoluted explanation of International Law as it relates to the state murder of Osama bin Laden. One commenter wrote that Yglesias had achieved a

Fantastic career milestone. Every pundit needs a personalized bitchfest with someone more famous. Next, Matt should try getting into a fistfight with Norman Mailer, or get into a William F. Buckley/Gore Vidal-esque television spat with Andrew Sullivan.

The fistfight with Norman Mailer would certainly be entertaining, since Mailer died in 2007. How about a beer drinking contest with the ghost of Jack Kerouac?

Politico reports that Herman Cain will hold a press conference in response to the allegations by Sharon Bialek.

CNN and ABC News’ Michael Falcone are reporting that Herman Cain, who has said he’s not commenting and it’s the “end of story” several times in the past week, will hold a press conference in Arizona tomorrow to address the latest allegations today, made by Chicago single mom Sharon Bialek.

In a series of tweets, Falcone also said the Cain campaign is questioning Bialek’s motives.

I guess he’ll also have to answer questione about a fifth woman.

A former USAID worker claims Herman Cain asked her to set up dinner with a woman who attended a speech he gave in 2002, the Washington Examiner is reporting tonight.

The worker – 40-year-old Donna Donella, of Arlington – told the paper that the moment came after Cain gave a paid speech in Egypt that year. A woman in the crowd posed a query to Cain during the speech, the Examiner said.

Donella told them “And after the seminar was over, Cain came over to me and a colleague and said, ‘Could you put me in touch with that lovely young lady who asked the question, so I can give her a more thorough answer over dinner?’”

She was “suspicious of Cain’s motives and delined to set up the date,” the Examiner reporter wrote.

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

29 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Cain’s 5pm press conference should be a hoot.

    His misbehavior is a reminder to the number of women who popped up during the debacle surrounding Tiger Woods. Oops, here comes another one!

    I’m amazed that people are still donating to his campaign which again only goes to show that the intelligence of some factors within the electorate are “blockheads”.

    Herman Cain: America’s answer to Silvio Berlusconi.

    • dakinikat says:

      My guess is that Berlusconi knows that china has had nukes for decades. Cain is a serial sexual harasser and dumb as a box if Sarah palins.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Yup, I would agree that Berlusconi does know China has Nukes and more shocking is the fact that some people who were considering him as a candidate are just figuring this out now. The media is very much a patriarchy as if Palin had made this mistake with China, it would have been over.

      • ralphb says:

        Yeah but I think Berlusconi has been more concerned with the nuke in his own pants for decades than China’s nukes. Berlusconi’s reputation is terrible.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Yes, Berllusconi is a perv creep, no doubt and has spent more time on his ‘personal’ stuff than the people of Italy’s economic issues.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    Morning! The Penn State story is getting more disgusting each day. Joe Pa needs to resign…he should have been charged for not reporting the abuse.

    I’ve got a couple links:

    Why The Super Committee Is Heading For Super Catastrophe | TPMDC

    Republicans responded with a trial balloon, provided first to Wall Street Journal editorial writer Stephen Moore. “One positive development on taxes taking shape is a deal that could include limiting tax deductions, perhaps by capping write-offs on charities, state and local taxes, and mortgage interest payments as a percentage of each tax filer’s gross income,” he wrote. “In exchange, Democrats would agree to make the Bush income-tax cuts permanent. This would mean preventing top rates from going to 42% from 35% today, and keeping the capital gains and dividend tax rate at 15%, as opposed to plans to raise them to 23.8% or higher after 2013.”

    Make the Bush tax cuts permanent? And you know that will probably be agreed to…as well as cuts to social programs…

    In S.E.C. Fraud Cases, Banks Make Promises Again and Again – NYTimes.com

    When Citigroup agreed last month to pay $285 million to settle civil charges that it had defrauded customers during the housing bubble, the Securities and Exchange Commission wrested a typical pledge from the company: Citigroup would never violate one of the main antifraud provisions of the nation’s securities laws.

    To an outsider, the vow may seem unusual. Citigroup, after all, was merely promising not to do something that the law already forbids. But that is the way the commission usually does business. It also was not the first time the firm was making that promise.

    Citigroup’s main brokerage subsidiary, its predecessors or its parent company agreed not to violate the very same antifraud statute in July 2010. And in May 2006. Also as far as back as March 2005 and April 2000.

    Why have an SEC in the first place? If they are just going to let these banksters get away with fraud.

    Robert Khuzami, the S.E.C.’s enforcement director, said never-do-it again promises were a deterrent especially when there were repeated problems. In their private discussions, commissioners weigh a firm’s history with the S.E.C. before they settle on the amount of fines and penalties. “It’s a thumb on the scale,” Mr. Khuzami said. “No one here is disregarding the fact that there were prior violations or prior misconduct,” he said.

    But prior violations are plentiful. For example, Bank of America’s securities unit has agreed four times since 2005 not to violate a major antifraud statute, and another four times not to violate a separate law. Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America acquired in 2008, has separately agreed not to violate the same two statutes seven times since 1999.

    Of the 19 companies that the Times found by the S.E.C. to be repeat offenders over the last 15 years, 16 declined to comment. They read like a Wall Street who’s who: American International Group, Ameriprise, Bank of America, Bear Stearns, Columbia Management, Deutsche Asset Management, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Putnam Investments, Raymond James, RBC Dain Rauscher, UBS and Wells Fargo/Wachovia.

    When this kind of inaction and non-prosecution stance is given to big banks and big financial companies, it only brings about more calls for inequality. The inequality of justice.

    Just like Tim Geithner and various other individuals that get away with tax evasion…their is a lack of treating these people and companies with the same aggressive persecution that the IRS and other government agencies will go after the “regular people.” They should be held accountable for their actions, just like the people who paid for their bail outs…

    Inequality of Justice…those damn basturds!

    • dakinikat says:

      That is some of the worst policy I’ve ever heard. Making those tax cut permanent would tank the country for sure unless they agree to get rid of the defense department.

    • quixote says:

      Very interesting. Capping deductions will have almost no effect on the 1%. Even if they paid everything they owe, without any clever tax shelters, deductions for the interest on their $9 million houses is a negligible quantity at their income levels. Raising their rates to 42% might actually amount to a million or two, although even that wouldn’t actually deprive them of a single $400 lunch.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Silvio Berlusconi is on the brink in Italy, faces a no confidence vote today.

  4. Minkoff Minx says:

    On Penn State and Joe Paterno:
    Michael Tomasky: Penn State Coach Joe Paterno’s Moral Fall – The Daily Beast

    Could it be that on some deep and horrible psychological level, it was precisely the fact of Joe Paterno’s moral authority—and God, did he have it, not only as much as anyone in college football, but as much as any prominent person in America in any field—that enabled this revolting daisy chain of denial to exist at Penn State? Because, after all, he was a great man. A great moral man. Great moral men don’t hire depraved monsters. Great moral men don’t let things like this happen in their orbit. Great moral men take care of these things. But he didn’t. This kind of thing could have happened at any university. But it could have happened the exact way it did only at Penn State, where everyone, from that cowed janitor to the president, takes his cues from Coach.

    Let us first be blunt about the facts at hand, because some media outlets resort to the kind of euphemism that appallingly softens the blow of what Jerry Sandusky is alleged to have done to “Victim 2,” as he is called in the grand-jury report Forgive my language, but here at the Beast we are permitted these very occasional lapses, so let me say it plainly, the better to ensure that we all understand just how shocking and sickening this is: On the evening of March 1, 2002, Sandusky, it is alleged, was raping a 10-year-old boy in his anus. A 10-year-old boy. In the very showers used by the Nittany Lions players. A boy Sandusky had seduced with promises of things like tickets to games and visits to the mighty Penn State locker room. A graduate assistant, also a former star quarterback and today still an assistant to Paterno, saw it and went to his father. His father told him to go not to the police, according to the report, but to Paterno. The great man would make it right.

    Tomasky goes on to say:

    There is no good way out of this one. If Paterno is lying and was told specifically about sodomy, then (a) he’s lying and (b) he did nothing more, upon learning this vile news, than have one discussion with the athletic director. And if he’s not lying, then (a) he didn’t press the GA for details, after hearing that something illegal and reprehensible happened in his showers and (b) didn’t banish Sandusky, who had retired by then as a coach but maintained full access to Penn State athletic facilities until 2009. Maybe Paterno spoke with Sandusky. But he sure didn’t punish him.

    And if Paterno didn’t punish him, who else was going to? It was all up to him. Ever heard of the president of Penn State (until maybe yesterday)? Didn’t think so. Graham Spanier would have done anything JoePa told him to.

    “I can’t do it myself,” JoePa might have said. “Sandusky is my friend for 30 years. But Graham, call the police, right now, while I’m sitting here.”

    “Yes, sir, Coach.”

    Easy. That he didn’t do it is unconscionable. Totally and eternally unconscionable.


    …if I am confronted some day with a situation that requires real moral bravery of me, where I really have to choose, and it will hurt—would I do the right thing? None of us knows until that moment comes. But when it comes, it comes, and nothing you’ve done up to that point matters anymore. You’ve educated and guided hundreds of young men. Admirable. But a 10-year-old boy was anally raped right under your nose. What are you going to do about it?

    He failed. And when he failed, the whole system was destined to fail, because he was the system. He should resign immediately and come clean about what he failed to do.

    • Gregory says:

      There can be no excuse for the behavior of ANY of those involved. Seems the GA wasn’t just some GA either. A 28 year old man and former player. How is he such a coward that he doesn’t immediately confront Sandusky and call the authorities right then? I know of few people who would take the non-actions that all of these people took. The moral cowardice here is unbelievable. Essentially, they allowed a child molester to continue to rape children for years and years for the sake of jobs and career.

    • The Rock says:

      Paterno should be prosecuted, but because of his reputation, he won’t. At the very least, he should lose his job.

      This is one of those tough times for football fans. Jo Pa is a great coach and, according to legions of his former players and other students that passed through his program (equipment managers, grraduate assistants, coaches, etc), he is a good man. But there really is no way he COULDN’T have known about this. And by not acting more decisively when he found out, he should be employed by Penn State (or any other school for that matter). This is a sad day for the game of football in general….

      Hillary 2012

      • The Rock says:

        Should NOT be employed by Penn State. Sorry about the typo….

        Hillary 2012

      • Gregory says:

        Really I wish people would quit projecting outstanding character qualities onto athletes and coaches because they win games or play well. I was always taught that athletics “builds” character but all the exceptional athletes and coaches I have ever known had their character shredded rather than built. At some point, the win at all cost mentality gets ingrained or they become “entitled” to privilege.

        Honestly, I pursue way to much time watching and following sports which essentially is nothing but useless, mindless entertainment. As American’s we could actually spend our time pursuing much better things. I am beginning to wish that sports would just go away.

      • The Rock says:

        There are those of us that disagree with that notion. Sports is not the problem. Its the culture surrounding the sport that is. In 1967, my country was embroiled in civil war. Both sides agreed not to kill each other for 48 hours so that an exhibition match could be played in peace in Lagos because Pele was playing in that match. I don’t think that this world would be any better if a young brash fighter named Cassius Clay had not existed. I would love for naysayers to walk up to Olympic medalists in say archery and tell them that the thing they have spent their life trying to perform at the highest level in the world means nothing. In this gotcha media society we live in, the bulk of what sports is defined by are the foibles of high paid athletes as though athletes are the only highly paid individuals that engage in hi-jinks. The bulk of the athletes and coaches I have been associated with have been great human beings. When I first got back here from Nigeria, the soccer field was the most comfortable place for me, not just because I was good, but because my teammates accepted me. There was no racism, classism or religiosity on the field. The only issue was whether I could play. I STILL have friends from my early AYSO soccer days. It is, has been and will always be my goal to see sports everywhere. Nobody said that all teacher must go away when video of the teachers union living it up in New Jersey surfaced. It is not now or will it ever be the SPORT that is the problem. It is the culture surrounding the highest paid that is…..

    • Peggy Sue says:

      The story on Penn State is really shocking. My husband and I are from the tri-state area, my brother-in-law is a graduate of Penn. Joe Paterno is considered a god in the area. He’s always carried an enormous amount of moral weight. But this? If, in fact, he knew [and it certainly sounds as if he did] and then said and did nothing?

      The public outcry and disgust will likely to drive him out. I agree with the prosecutor in New York–there’s a difference between sick and sickening. And these details are absolutely sickening.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Newest allegations against Cain are tipping point, say Iowa conservatives.

    • The Rock says:

      Since these allegations started coming out, those people down here in TX have been pulling back their admiration for his ‘folksyness’ and his ‘regular guy-ness.’ Looks like the GOP is going to have to accept Willard. If Rubio is tapped as VP, I wonder what position Newt will hold if (when) the GOP wins against Bumbles? Curious….

      Great post as always, BB…..

      Hillary 2012

      • Woman Voter says:

        Mark Rubio is not going to pull in the Latino vote because he has been silent while Herman Cain was advocating murder of anyone crossing the border, while making all illegals out to be Mexicans. Rubio’s personal attacks on the ‘undocumented’ (he later changed to that) while claiming to be the son of an exile, but in reality was the son of ‘undocumented’ because if you file the application here, that means you are not documented here.

        If you are a Haitian and land on Miami beach you are arrested, if you are Cuban you get automatic residency via the ‘Touch Land’ rule that ONLY applies to one country in the world CUBA!

        So, no, Latinos aren’t going to be all fuzzy on Rubio who stood silent while Herman Cain went all Joe Arpaio with his personal photo op saying he wasn’t really joking, took nothing back. Anyone remember Marco Rubio speaking up for not murdering people at the border or standing up for Latinos in America?

  6. bostonboomer says:

    The sliming of Sharon Bialek in the media is in full swing. Here’s a statement released by the Cain campaign:

    “After attacking Herman Cain through anonymous accusers for a week, his opponents have now convinced a woman with a long history of severe financial difficulties, including personal bankruptcy, to falsely accuse the Republican front-runner of events occurring over a decade ago for which there is no record, nor even a complaint filed,” said Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon.

    • Woman Voter says:

      How many time has Donald Trump taken his businesses into bankruptcies? Oh, but she is held to a different standard and Herman Cain doesn’t care for health insurance reform which causes 2/3 of all personal bankruptcies, which by the way is what Sharon Bialek is saying caused hers.

      Herman Cain needs to stop tar and feathering the women and ask himself if he really thinks people are that stupid as to think all five women thus far, are liars or if it is HIM!

      • dakinikat says:

        She got put into bankruptcy because her child’s father put her there from continually filing frivolous lawsuits and she had to hire an attorney to defend her parental rights. I had that experience too. Any time any one mentioned that I was happy and doing well down here, like buying a new car or something, my ex would drag me into court and it would cost me thousands. Last time he wanted to stop me from taking the girls across the state lines so I couldn’t take them swimming in the Gulf Coast in Mississippi which was like 40 miles away from home.. That cost me $4000 because if I hadn’t showed up or a lawyer showed up for me, I wouldn’t have gotten it released. It was a continual control game for him. He’d go to court in Nebraska and file some outrageous thing against me and a judge would put into effect immediately and I wouldn’t even know about it until a court order showed up at my door. Then, I would have to hire an attorney to go get it removed. That went on for YEARS and cost me between $30-$40 thousand dollars.

      • Woman Voter says:

        I hear ya, and Herman Cain has now made himself into the oppressor of women in the work place, that many women didn’t make it up and I would hope that the news media would see how important it is to file the complaint with the EEOC within the 180 days time line. If after the filing they issue the letter, that will go in a file for that org/business with the federal government and it will give the aggrieved party a better standing if they ever come forward or if as in this case the ‘offender/sexual harasser’ goes after the character of the claimant.

        As I stated before I have been surprised to find that most women (there are some claims for men, albeit very few) simply want to keep their job and never file anything beyond that. If the claim had been filed for the one woman that got a settlement, she could have fought her firing some three months after, which Herman Cain has admitted to knowing about which seems odd since he claims ignorance on everything else.

        So, the moral of the story is, FILE THE CLAIM WITH THE EEOC, let them investigate, then once they issue their findings, corrective action plan and issue the claimant the letter that clears them to file suit, hold on to it like a diploma…it is your vindication of you having activated the system, with a full investigation outside of the organization. Don’t believe for a moment that the org/business will give you protection outside of filing a claim with the EEOC. If the women had filed the complaint, Herman Cain would have had to answer for his actions rather than been promoted and protected for his unethical behavior and his harassment of women would have come to light.

    • Peggy Sue says:

      The whole GOP/Tea Party reaction to this mess is over-the-top. And the first reaction? Blame the women. This is what happens when you hold yourself up as the great exemplar of all things moral and right. And Republicans should be the last bastion to point fingers about ‘false accusations.’ The Clinton smears anyone? Swift boat? The Republican smear machine has turned this stuff into an art form. I bet this story was spread by one of the Republican opposition teams to knock Cain out and bring those numbers down. He was never the ‘establishment’ choice and this has a Rovian feel to it.

      The Republicans are definitely eating their own, only opening the door for an Obama reelection. Ugh!

      Too bad we have no real choices for 2012.

      • ralphb says:

        Perry’s campaign almost certainly started this whole thing. I’m still glad it’s coming out though. The truth is never a political smear.

  7. janicen says:

    Meanwhile, Obama demotes Daley, White House Chief of Staff…


    • The Rock says:

      Bumbles is not the brightest bulb on the street now there is he? His handlers aren’t going to like that. I am curious to see what Jarrett’s role in the demotion is…..

      Hillary 2012