Tuesday Reads

Good Morning!! It is just me, or is the news getting weirder with each passing day?

Last night Jerry Sandusky who, with a little help from his friends, has destroyed the reputation of a large university and created the worst scandal in sports history, appeared on the new NBC show Rock Center. Sandusky told Bob Costas he didn’t sexually abuse little boys–he just “horsed around” with them in the showers.

When asked by Costas, “Are you a pedophile,” Sandusky responded “No.”

Joe Paterno’s one time defensive coordinator was charged earlier this month with 40 counts of sexually abusing eight boys. He is currently free on a $100,000 bond and has denied any wrongdoing. The allegations date back to 1994, according to a grand jury report. A grand jury report detailed claims of alleged sexual encounters with young boys in Sandusky’s home, hotels and Penn State locker rooms.

“I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact,” said Sandusky.

When pressed by Costas about what Sandusky was willing to concede that he’d done was wrong, Sandusky said, “I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.”

He touched their legs? Talk about a non sequitur. Sandusky’s lawyer should have told him not to talk to the media.

NPR’s Morning Edition is running a three-part series on Ayn Rand’s influence on U.S. politics. The first episode was on yesterday. They reported on an interview that Mike Wallace did with Rand in 1959.

Wallace is in a chair, on a stark set, holding his notes and a cigarette. Across from him sits Rand, a native Russian, small and sharp and a little nervous. Wallace asks her to outline the idea she calls “objectivism.”

It is, she says, a system of morality “not based on faith” or emotion, “but on reason.”

Rand wholly rejected religion. She called it a weakness, even a parasite — one that convinces people their purpose is to work for the betterment of others. In fact, she says, for man, the truth is just the opposite.

“His highest moral purpose is the achievement of his own happiness,” she says.

Wallace asks Rand about politics and about government programs and regulations that have improved many people’s lives.

“I feel that it is terrible that you see destruction all around you, and that you are moving toward disaster until and unless all those welfare state conceptions have been reversed and rejected,” Rand answers.

These programs are destroying individual liberties, Rand says, especially the freedom of producers, entrepreneurs, businessmen. The government has no right to take their property, she says….

“I am opposed to all forms of control. I am for an absolute, laissez-faire, free, unregulated economy.”

I still don’t understand how Republicans can buy into Rand’s philosophy and then claim the right to control women’s lives based on their fundamentalist nonsensical religious beliefs. If you really think about it, what they’ve done is taken Rand’s gospel of selfishness and pretended that was Jesus’ message too.

Yesterday, President Obama went golfing with a friend who was recently caught in a prostitution sting.

“The president’s fourball at the Mamala Bay Golf Course includes his long-time friend Robert “Bobby” Titcomb who was arrested and plead no contest in May to soliciting a prostitute, Marvin Nicholson, and White House advance man Pete Selfridge,” the report read.

In April, Titcomb was arrested in Honolulu and charged with a misdemeanor for soliciting a prostitute after he approached an undercover police officer. Titcomb’s attorney, William Harrison, said at the time that Titcomb did not fully agree with the facts of the case, but plead no contest because he wanted to take responsibility.

He was fined $500 and the conviction was expunged from his record in October, following six months without further incident.

Obama and Titcomb have been friends since attending the Punahou School together in Honolulu, according to Hawaii News Now.

That should give the Republican candidates something to be outraged about in the next debate. Why are there so many of those debates, anyway?

King Abdullah II of Jordan has called on Syria’s President Bashar Assad to resign.

Syrian President Bashar Assad faced heightened economic and political pressures Monday, as Europe imposed a new round of financial sanctions and King Abdullah II of Jordan called on the embattled autocrat to step down.

Meanwhile, the Arab League, which on Saturday moved to suspend Syria because of its failure to implement a league-brokered peace deal, said it was preparing to send a delegation of up to 500 observers into Syria. Details were still being worked out with Damascus, the league’s secretary-general, Nabil Elaraby, told reporters in Cairo.

Syria has said it would welcome Arab League observers, but the Assad regime has remained defiant in the face of Arab demands that it halt violence against civilian protesters.


The Syrian uprising began in March near the Jordanian border in the southwestern provincial city of Dara. Opposition activists reported that at least 28 people were killed Monday in that area, some in clashes between armed rebels and security forces at the city’s northern entrance. The official government news agency said at least two law enforcement officers were killed and an unspecified number wounded in clashes with a “terrorist group” in the vicinity of Dara.

The opposition reported at least 50 killed nationwide Monday. The death toll could not be independently confirmed.

Herman Cain had a serious case of brain freeze yesterday when he was asked if he agreed with President Obama’s position on Libya. From the NY Daily News:

The GOP presidential hopeful looked hungry for a cheat sheet when the editorial board of the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel asked him if he supported Obama’s backing of the revolution that toppled Moammar Khadafy.

“Okay … Libya,” Cain responded haltingly, according to a video of the interview.

He stared at the ceiling, fiddled with his blazer, blinked a bunch of times and pushed his water bottle away from him on the table.

Eleven seconds later, he spoke:

“President Obama supported the uprising, correct?” said the normally chatty former head of the Godfather’s Pizza chain.

“President Obama called for the removal of Khadafy — just wanted to make sure we are talking about the same thing,” he added, as if trying to goad his interviewers into confirming what he said was true.

More staring at the ceiling. “Nope, that’s a different one,” he blurted out, waving his hand, adjusting his chair and crossing his legs.

And so on. There’s lots more. Watch it:

What a dope!!

That’s it for me. What are you reading and blogging about today?

48 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    NYPD sweep of Zucotti Park, 70 arrested. Others marching on city hall.


    • bostonboomer says:

      Interesting how this always happens in the dark of night.

      • joanelle says:

        Actually it was good that it happened at night – when the business crowd – who has to fight there way around or through that mess were not there.

        Actually, this is not a good thing anymore – the folks who live in that neighborhood are not “rich – 1%ers – they can’t sleep, get in or out of their homes easily, the place stinks and they are not going to get a reduction in their taxes because of it.

        They do have a right to free speech but not to mess up the place, camp there and infringe on the rights of other citizens.

        Good grief!

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Reuters: Protesters hope to shut down Wall Street with day of action, carnival.


  3. bostonboomer says:

    Humphrey the hippo kills owner, “tragically ends ‘father-son’ relationship.”

    A farmer in South Africa has been killed by his pet hippopotamus, after repeated warnings that it was a wild animal that could never be tamed.

    Marius Els, 40, an army major, was bitten to death by the 1.2 tonne hippo he christened Humphrey and tried to domesticate on a farm in Free State province.

    Els’s savaged body was found submerged in the river where, years earlier, the hippo had been rescued from a flood. It grew too big for the people who adopted it and was bought by Els at the age of five months, becoming a pet on his 400-acre farm and learning to swim with humans.

    Earlier this year, Els was photographed riding on the five-year-old hippo’s back. “Humphrey’s like a son to me, he’s just like a human,” he said. “There’s a relationship between me and Humphrey and that’s what some people don’t understand.

    “They think you can only have a relationship with dogs, cats and domestic animals. But I have a relationship with the most dangerous animal in Africa.”

    • Gregory says:

      Well, at least he knew Hippo’s are the most dangerous animal in Africa and probably the world. However, knowledge isn’t everything. You still have to use good sense and give these animals a healthy dose of respect. Not just hippo’s but all wild animals.

  4. janicen says:

    I’m guessing that the strategy behind Sandusky’s interview was to try to create reasonable doubt, hopefully for him, in the mind of one of the potential jurors. I watched the interview. He failed.

    I think you’re being kind to Cain about the Libya gaffe. It wasn’t a brain fart, he’s just that disinterested and uninformed. He hasn’t prepared for this presidential run one bit. He’s just winging it.

    • purplefinn says:

      He seemed like a practiced liar hoping for a plea deal to me.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I hope he won’t get off with a slap on the wrist. The judge who let him out of jail was associated with Sandusky’s charity. That seems like a blatant conflict of interest.

        • dakinikat says:

          Some one associated with the charity did a political fund raiser for her. That should raise red flags. Evidently some one has filed a complaint with the chief justice of the state’s supreme court.

      • dakinikat says:

        He’s going to have a hard time with all those eye witnesses to his activities. Two Janitors and that grad student plus more. If you can stomach reading the grand jury document, you’d be surprised at the number of witnesses. They all reported it to superiors who didn’t call the police so there’s no hard evidence. But there’s tons of witnesses to each of this charges.

    • Fannie says:

      Did you notice how long it took him to answer the question about his abuse………..too long for the term NO.

      Everybody in the world knows that horsing around is exactly how one succeeds in abusing children.

    • joanelle says:

      Yep, janicen – I agree

  5. bostonboomer says:

    I had forgotten that Digby’s real name is Heather. No wonder she never used it for blogging. Good article by her first published by Al Jazeera: Militarizing the Police: How the Drug War and 9/11 Led to Battle-Dressed Cops Cracking Down on Peaceful Protests

  6. mjames says:

    I cannot believe that Sandusky’s attorney let him speak to Costas. My own take is that the man is delusional. Like other child rapists I’ve read about, he really thinks he loves kids. He thinks he can simply explain to us all how much he really, really loves little boys and then we’ll understand. All he did was shower with them, hug them, touch their legs, and engage in “horseplay.”

    But, of course, he makes no sense. At some point (let’s say 1998 when he “retired”) when he realized his innocent “horseplay” was not understood as such, why did he continue to do it? Why continue to shower with little boys (which he certainly admits to and which is confirmed by the testimony of a witness found credible by the Grand Jury)? An ordinary Joe would have long since stopped the “horseplay.” Only a man with a compulsion or an inability to control his sexual urges would have continued. He was under investigation for heaven’s sake. But he did not stop. So, we are to believe that everything the victims testified to in the Grand Jury was true (which Sandusky basically conceded last night) EXCEPT for the part about the encounters being sexual.

    As for McQueary, I’ve become somewhat more conflicted. He says he did stop the rape. He says Paterno stopped him from telling Paterno the rape details. McQ has the goods on all of them, IMO. I don’t know how they stopped him from going to the police, but they may have. I need more info on this aspect. I suspect McQ will be forever tormented because he didn’t do enough, but he may be the only one with a conscience. The others are all in total denial. And that will probably never change.

    Then we have one of Sandusky’s (6?) adopted kids, Matt, standing by his adoptive father. But Matt’s biological mother has a far different story to tell about Matt’s relationship with Sandusky. And the mother of Matt’s kids has a restraining order keeping Sandusky away from their kids. There should be an investigation of each of those adopted kids and grandkids. My bet? Something has been major league wrong in that family for a long long time.

    Sandusky, however, does not believe he did anything wrong. That is why the failure of others is so monumentally horrific. If non-molesters see or hear of child abuse and don’t report it, the abuser will never stop, and the victims will multiply.

    • janicen says:

      Here’s a good article about Penn State trying to pray away it’s guilt…


    • bostonboomer says:


      Did you get all that info from the NBC show? I didn’t have a chance to watch it yet.

      • janicen says:

        You mean what mjames is saying about McQueary stopping the rape? That wasn’t on the NBC show last night. It was just a phone interview with Sandusky, and you have the relevant quotes from that. I did read that McQueary says that he did stop the rape, but I don’t remember where I read it.

        • dakinikat says:

          It was in an email that McQueary sent to friends. He said his presence there stopped the rape and that he immediately went to his office to call his father. He didn’t remove the boy or doing anything other than disrupt the act.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Oops! Sorry I addressed you instead of MJames. Thanks for the info!

      • Fannie says:

        I think McQueary knew right from wrong………..and failed to protect the child……if it would have been his boy, his reaction would have resulted in a knock out to Sandusky’s 260 lb. body.

    • Fannie says:

      You are absolutely right mjames…….If non-molesters see or hear of child abuse and don’t report it, the abuser will never stop, and the victims will multiply.

    • Dee says:

      I read somewhere that Sandusky’s attorney was present during that interview. BTW – his attorney has some problems in his background like impregnating a client who was a minor. He later married her.

      Regarding McQueary – I think he is changing his story in an effort to keep his friends and his job. He apparently did not testify in the Grand Jury that he stopped the rape.

    • joanelle says:

      And, mjames, maybe his attorney can’t really allign with him and this was one way of letting him dig himself in.

  7. ralphb says:

    It looks to me as if there is a coordinated effort going against the Occupy movement in cities across the country. In Oakland, Portland, Denver on the same day and now New York with the mayors all using the same words like ‘clean’, ‘sanitation’, etc. I would bet my last dollar those words were focus grouped by someone and proved effective at moving the conservative lizard brain.

    What I want to know is who focus grouped these words and who is coordinating these actions against the Occupiers?

    • Peggy Sue says:

      I thought the same thing, Ralph. All these actions happened within this last weekend, as if the word went out: it’s time. Could have something to do with the holiday season. Fear of losing revenue. Not sure. The critical factor will be in continuing the pressure, the in-your-face messaging, whether through an occupation, marches or continuous actions. The conversation stream has been changed. The real trick will be keeping that hold on the dialogue and general consciousness.

      I’ll be checking out Occupy Philly at the end of next week. See what’s up.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I was thinking the same thing when I saw the stories about NYC this morning. I hope the protesters double down and keep up the fight. But I actually think finding other ways to be visible than camping out would be a good idea and attract more people to join in.

      • quixote says:

        BB “finding other ways to be visible than camping out would be a good idea and attract more people to join in”

        I’ve been thinking that, too. By all means camp. It seems to attract a lot of stories, many of them even to the point. But also have other actions that dovetail with the overall purpose.

        (Such as what? I dunno. I’m a terrible tactician. But something.)

    • Boo Radly says:

      ralphb – you’re absolutely right, per usual regarding the message, “clean”, “sanitation”. There could be some legal reason.

      Here is a link to an officer that really let it ‘get away with her’ – it’s an example of the very worst a city can demonstrate.


      Here is the link to a blog that got a screen shot of the personal FB – the attitude is not rare and is not ‘healthy’ to say the least. Suggesting a hug, with a rope, around the neck – this person is scary. But, locals have a Support FB site for her – after all, she’s from here and that’s what matters.


      I found the OWL demonstrations here to be a hopeful sign for this area. But reading the comments was a scary experience. If I were not deaf and now crippled, I would be at these demonstrations.

      My guess on who is behind the focus group, Koch brothers.

    • dakinikat says:

      probably the FBI

      • ralphb says:

        Or Homeland Security? Their vision of a threat would be weird enough.

      • northwestrain says:

        The FBI had spies in the earliest Feminist meetings — so yes I’d have to say that the FBI is most likely involved.

        • dakinikat says:

          My mail was opened and read during my freshmen year at university. They kept a profile on me because of my NOW membership and my work with the university women’s action group. My radical activity back then was basically doing rape prevention/self defense lectures to sorority girls and working hard to change nebraska’s rape laws. A friend of mine was raped in the library stacks at it profoundly impacted me. A plain clothes university cop was sent to talk to me once. He met me at a bar and I couldn’t figure out if he was sexually harassing me or investigating me for prostitution. I had been married two years at that point and was working full time and going to school full time. It was really weird.

      • ralphb says:

        I got on an FBI list because a college roommate subscribed to Evergreen magazine in the ’60s. I found out later during the checks for security clearances. 🙂

  8. Gregory says:

    The most disheartening thing about our political situation is that we really need people who are serious about leading and fixing our problems. Instead, we have a bunch of buffoons on both sides. What does it say about us as a people when someone like Cain or Newt not only think they can run for President of the USA but actually have a shot at winning. We are so going to reap all of the rewards due to us. Pitiful.

    • foxyladi14 says:

      fire them all. 🙂

    • joanelle says:

      Gregory said”… think they can run for President of the USA but actually have a shot at winning. i think they can run for President of the USA but actually have a shot at winning. That’s the key right there – everyone thinks this is a game they need to “win” – someone needs to tell them this is real -and our lives depend on what they think they can reallllllly do!

  9. ralphb says:

    From FDL, a little proof of coordination between the mayors …

    Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Admits Cities Coordinated Crackdown on Occupy Movement

    Embattled Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, speaking in an interview with the BBC (excerpted on The Takeaway radio program–audio of Quan starts at the 5:30 mark), casually mentioned that she was on a conference call with leaders of 18 US cities shortly before a wave of raids broke up Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country. “I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation. . . .”

  10. northwestrain says:

    That b&*ch mayor of Oakland — who tried to pretend like she wasn’t in charge the first time the gestapo pig cops where used to beat the Occupy group — is now exposed as a liar. Surprise, surprise.

    Indeed she is part of the conspiracy by the 1% — when it comes to money — we know that the 1% will do whatever it takes to maintain their parasite life style.

    • northwestrain says:

      The wicked witch of the west — (Oakland’s mayor) is a passive aggressive just like 0bowma — so it is no surprise that she left town to avoid blame the first time. 0bowma leaves town and his gestapos help with coordinated attacks.

      Politicians are part of the 1% and they are certainly parasites — forcing the 99% to support them and their lazy ways.

  11. ralphb says:

    Every word of this piece by Charlie Pierce is a gem, as is the following update.

    A Militarized Force Takes to Zuccotti for the Economic Elite