Lazy Saturday Reads: Here We Go Again . . .

Brigit Ganley, The Dramatist

Brigit Ganley, The Dramatist

It’s Saturday!!


And a glance at the news headlines today reveals that everything old is new again. Remember 14-year-old Cherise Morales, who committed suicide after being raped by her teacher Stacy Dean Rambold? And G. Todd Baugh, the judge who blamed Cherise for the rape and sentenced the Rambold to only 31 days in jail and probation?

Well that decision *may* be overturned, but now we have another judge in Texas who sounds like a clone of Baugh–except she’s a woman! From the Dallas News: Judge says sexually assaulted 14-year-old ‘wasn’t the victim she claimed to be’.

A man sentenced to five years probation by a Dallas County judge after admitting he raped a 14-year-old girl won’t have to follow many of the restrictions typically given to sex offenders.

And the judge who issued the light sentence said Thursday that she did so in part because the girl wasn’t a virgin and “wasn’t the victim she claimed to be.”

State District Judge Jeanine Howard, who gave 20-year-old Sir Young deferred probation last week, also altered Young’s probation requirements. As a result, Young does not have to stay away from children, attend sex offender treatment, undergo a sex offender evaluation or refrain from watching pornography.

Wait a minute. Let me check my calendar. Is this really 2014?

District Attorney Craig Watkins said Thursday that his prosecutors would “always fight for our most vulnerable victims” like the one in this case. It is rare for prosecutors to critique a judge’s actions, but Watkins said he was “alarmed” by Howard’s decision.

“This young lady was 14 at the time she was sexually assaulted at school, and we cannot send the wrong message to rape victims who have the courage to seek justice,” Watkins said. “I am disappointed the judge would choose to give the defendant probation after he admitted guilt, but even more alarmed the judge failed to impose standard sex offender conditions of probation designed to protect society.”

Make sure you’re sitting down before you read this next bit. Judge Howard is a Democrat. She’s going to withdraw from the case now so she can better explain herself, but she doesn’t have to worry about being reelected because she’s running unopposed.

Howard said she made her decision for several reasons, including: The girl had texted Young asking him to spend time with her; the girl had agreed to have sex with him but just didn’t want to at school; medical records show the girl had three sexual partners and had given birth to a baby; and Young was barely 18 at the time.

“She wasn’t the victim she claimed to be,” Howard said. “He is not your typical sex offender.”

The girl’s mother said Friday morning that her daughter has never been pregnant and she was “livid” over the judge’s comments.


The victim, who is now 17, told The News on Thursday night that she feels it would have been better if she had never come forward about the 2011 assault. She and Young testified last week at his trial that she had told Young “stop” and “no” numerous times before and during the attack at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where both were students.

“I did what I was supposed to do. I went to the law about this situation,” she said. The judge’s probation sentence and the removal of the restrictions — “that says everything I went through was for nothing.”

Unbelievable! We’ll have to watch what happens with this case. But when will judges learn that 14-year-old girls are not able to consent to sex in the first place?

“Don’t Run for President, Hillary”

Why won't that stupid bitch quit? (WWTSBQ)

Why won’t that stupid bitch quit? (WWTSBQ)

Remember when MSNBC’s Krystal Ball told Hillary Clinton she shouldn’t run for President? Ball said that Elizabeth Warren, who  is approximately the same age as Hillary and has zero experience and would be unlikely to win should run instead because Hillary was once on the board of Walmart … or something? Of course Ball’s nonsensical “advice” was ignored by most rational Democrats.

Now comes Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast to lecture Hillary some more: Don’t Run for President, Hillary. Become a ‘Post-President’ Instead. Except Brown seems not to care at all about Hillary’s positions on issues or her qualifications. She simply thinks Hillary should do the easiest thing and avoid the “stress” of a campaign and a tough job like the presidency. Brown apparently has projected her own values onto Hillary, assuming that she (Clinton) is as narcissistic and self-involved as Tina Brown is. Never mind that Hillary has spent most of her life focusing on public service and fighting for causes like women’s rights.

Brown writes:

I know as much as anyone how much her most fervent supporters want Hillary Clinton to run for president. On the opening night of the Women in the World Summit the mere mention of the possibility had the audience on their feet. The fan base is there, and constituencies beyond it.

Because American women want a woman in the White House in their lifetimes, and Hillary has the experince, strength, and passion to do the job.

But should she do it? Would the bravest and best decision be for her to skip it? In the 2008 campaign the chronic negativity of the ladies and gentlemen of the press was relentless, and the gouging of Hillary was wholly unrelated to either her record or her behavior. It was just that her story had gotten old. It required new angles, or, heaven forbid, new facts, to make it interesting—whereas Barack Obama was a story that wrote itself.

The first black president was a hotter plot line than the first woman president. Bad luck for Hillary. Obama stole her exceptionalism, leaving the press only with the hair, the alleged cackling laugh, and the over-familiar back-story, which meant dogging Bill around, hoping he’d lose it once in a while. (He obliged.)

I joined the Hillary bus for a Newsweek story in 2008 I was fascinated how little attention in their copy the traveling reporters actually paid to anything she said when she got out. They were too busy filing recaps of blogs by commentators who weren’t there. Suddenly there would be media uproar about some killer soundbite from Hillary that someone had gotten traction for that in context wasn’t controversial at all. Remember that shit-storm when she said MLK’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act?

In other words, the media is full of assholes and even though Hillary could probably handle it, why bother? She should just be a “post-president” in the mode of Jimmy Carter and bask in the reflected limelight of her former-president husband.

Even the Wall Street Journal’s wingnut comumnist James Taranto seems to think Brown’s column is a little strange.

Does Brown disagree with Mrs. Clinton on matters of policy or doubt she would be a good president? One assumes the answer is no, though the column doesn’t say. Nor does Brown offer a more coldly political rationale–say, that Mrs. Clinton would be unlikely to win, or that a different candidate would better enhance the long-term fortunes of the Democratic Party.

Brown sums up her argument as follows: “She should forget it. If she wins, it’s too much stress for too little return.” By “return,” Brown means nothing more than “personal benefit.” By forgoing a campaign, Brown writes, Mrs. Clinton “can have her glory-filled post-presidency now, without actually having to deal with the miseries of the office itself.” ….

Brown….credits Mrs. Clinton with standing for something, namely “her global mission to promote women’s rights, education, and political participation.” She asks if skipping the presidential candidacy would be “the bravest and best decision,” though she doesn’t say a word about why it would be brave.

Her central argument, however, is that running for and serving as president would entail too much suffering, in large part because people, particularly in the media, would not respond to Mrs. Clinton fairly…

Taranto thinks he may have figured out Brown’s real motivation: she’s floating a trial balloon for Hillary, because maybe Hillary has doubts about running and wants to see how her supporters react to Brown’s arguments.

No, Mr. Taranto, that’s not it. Brown is just the latest example of women being women’s worst enemies–like when Gloria Steinem supported Barack Obama over Hillary in 2008. And, by the way, could you please stop referring to Hillary as “Mrs. Clinton?” She is a former Senator and Secretary of State for god’s sake!


Remember when Boehner thought Benghazi investigations were stupid?

Remember when Boehner thought Benghazi investigations were stupid?

And then there’s the GOP’s obsession with Benghazi!!–which is of course the stick they hope to beat Hillary Clinton with in 2016. From U.S. News and World Report: Boehner says he intends to appoint select House committee to investigate Benghazi.

Boehner said U.S. officials misled the American people after the Sept. 11, 2012, assault on the U.S. diplomatic post in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. He said emails released this week showed the White House has withheld documents from congressional investigators and asked, “What else about Benghazi is the Obama administration still hiding from the American people?”

“Americans learned this week that the Obama administration is so intent on obstructing the truth about Benghazi that it is even willing to defy subpoenas issued by the standing committees of the people’s House,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “These revelations compel the House to take every possible action to ensure the American people have the truth about the terrorist attack on our consulate that killed four of our countrymen.”

Because Darrel Issa hasn’t already investigated enough? If only the House had spent half this much time investigating 9/11, we might know why the Bush administration ignored all those warnings.

Here’s Brian Beutler at The New Republic: The GOP’s Benghazi Obsession Returns With a Vengeance. Pay Attention, Hillary.

It is by sheer coincidence that just as Obamacare recedes as an issue, House GOP leaders have announced their intent to create a Select Committee on Benghazisomething they’ve long resistedand that Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, perhaps overcome by zeal to maintain control over the issue, subpoenas Secretary of State John Kerry to testify about the 2012 attackdespite the fact that Kerry was a senator at the time, and hasn’t been invited to testify, and is currently visiting Sudan.

The pretext for all this is the release of an email from White House adviser Ben Rhodes, which includes as a bullet point the goal that in speaking about the attack, then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice should “reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

Slate’s Dave Weigel did a great job earlier this week of placing the email in chronological context, to discredit the argument that the email represents evidence of a “coverup.” And while it might appear a bit unseemly for administration officials to be concerning themselves with the president’s image and the administration’s competence in the midst a crisis … this is actually completely uncontroversial. Would John Boehner and Darrell Issa have preferred it if Susan Rice went on TV that week and granted that the administration was in complete disarray? Or had refused to take a position on the administration’s handling of the situation?

Beutler goes on to explain that even though all of the Republicans’ claims on Benghazi have been debunked, he is *concerned* because they are still going  to use it to attack Hillary.

if Republicans are serious about working their base into a frenzy over Benghazi, it’d probably behoove liberals to mix a bit more clarity about the events in with the mockery. What’s really happening is pretty straightforward. Of all the Americans who’ve died in dangerous parts of the world over the last decade, Republicans have concerned themselves with Benghazi’s four victims, because they think there’s political utility in fostering suspicion that the administration was more concerned with the coverup than the attack itself.

Something tells me Beutler is another one of those “Please don’t run, Hillary” folks.

What do you think? Please let me know in the comments and, as always, post your links on any topic!

37 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads: Here We Go Again . . .”

  1. Kick ass post this morning BB!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thank you!

      • Oh this is disgusting and figures in with your post BB: Arizona high school student accused of up to 18 sex attacks

        An Arizona high school student has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting up to 18 girls and threatening to kill victims and witnesses, the Pinal County Sheriff’s office said.

        Tyler Kost, 18, was being held without bond after being arrested on Thursday, suspected of assaults on high school students between early 2011 and last month, the sheriff’s office said.

        One of the alleged victims was 13 years old, it said.

        “Tyler Kost was a predator who threatened, harassed, stalked and then either forcibly sexually abused or sexually assaulted his victims,” Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement.

        Kost’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A media report said the attorney had unsuccessfully sought a gag order against the sheriff for what he argued were damaging comments about Kost, of San Tan Valley.

        He was described “from all of the accounts of the victims, as somebody who was highly manipulative, very charismatic and charming in how he presented himself and then things obviously turned,” Babeu told reporters on Friday.

        • Teen ‘Serial Sex Offender’ Re-Arrested After New Allegations

          “There was a clear breach of trust,” Babeu said of Kost. “From all of the accounts of the victims, (Kost) is someone who is highly manipulative, very charismatic and charming in how he presented himself. And then things obviously turned.”

          The sheriff was also critical of the judge who released Kost on bond after the first allegations.

          Kost was released on $10,000 bond after being arrested Monday on suspicion of two counts each of sexual assault and sexual misconduct with a minor.

          The County Attorney’s Office said it had requested a $100,000 bond, but Pinal County Judge Larry Wharton set it at $10,000.

          A message left at Wharton’s office seeking comment was not immediately returned Friday.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    I’m not sure what the deal is, but JJ pointed out to me that Joseph Cannon has called Sky Dancing out on some issue having to do with Ukraine. I’ve read his post carefully, but I can’t figure out what he’s accusing us (me?) of except that he seems to be suggesting that I (and other Sky Dancers?) support the U.S. attacking Russia over Ukraine. Cannon writes:

    The liberals who have bought into the propaganda (I’m looking at you, Skydancing) must remember 2003, and the great lessons of that year. Deep in their hearts, they must be asking themselves: “Shouldn’t we be on the right side of history from the start? Just once…?”

    Am I interpreting that correctly? For the record, I don’t support the U.S. intervening in Ukraine or in Syria for that matter, and unlike Glenn Greenwald, I never supported intervening in Afghanistan or Iraq. I’m not interested in seeing WWIII break out.

    Is Cannon assuming all this because of my lack of support for Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald? Cannon points out that the U.S. helped bring down the Ukraine government. I have no doubt of that, and they got help from Glenn Greenwald’s boss in the process. There are lots of wheels within wheels in world politics.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d post this in a comment. I wouldn’t be able to respond in a post, because I’m not particularly knowledgeable about the Ukraine crisis and thus don’t have strong opinions on it. I’m not sure where Cannon got an idea like that.

    • RalphB says:

      Joe is always just a bit too close to Alex Jones for my taste. Sometimes wheels are just wheels, but not to followers of RT or their like.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Yet Cannon loathes Alex Jones. He may not even know that at this point a large percentage of Greenwald supporters are Jones cultists. I know he must have a point; I just don’t know what it is.

        • RalphB says:

          I read the post and don’t have a clue. Maybe we’re not on the Putin bandwagon or something. I really couldn’t care less. Your opinion seems perfectly valid to me.

        • Tell you what. If you’re offended by my reference to Skydancing in that post, I’ll just cut it out. When was the last time you saw a guy like Alex Jones do THAT?

          And frankly, my stance is that Putin is completely innocent in this business. (Maybe not in OTHER business, but in THIS business, he has done nothing wrong.) Ukraine was subverted by US, not by Russia. I wish more blogs would see it that way. But on reflection, I can’t ask others to take a position which most Americans would see as radical.

          • dakinikat says:

            Hi. I’m just confused about what it is that we supposedly said or did?

          • bostonboomer says:

            I’m not offended at all, just confused as to what you mean. What business is Putin innocent in? And what did we at Sky Dancing do in relation to that?

          • I’m just saying that your coverage of Ukraine (and I’ve just looked back over several examples) has been very different from mine. On the other hand, maybe it’s like that story I once heard about the Dublin train station, where the great waiting area is flanked by two large clocks which never tell the same time. If you ask about that, the people who work there will tell you: “If the clocks agreed, then one would be superfluous.”

            Specifically, I’m thinking of things like your April 29 post. You don’t score Kerry for relying on “evidence” that has been debunked in lots of places. (As you know, I take NO pleasure in criticizing John Kerry.)

            Also, from March 6: “Still, at CNN last night Timothy Stanley chided Hillary for “raising the specter of another world war.” Sorry, but isn’t Putin the one doing that?” Nope! It’s us. Purely us. We worked with a bunch of Nazis to destabilize Ukraine. We did it, us us us US, and we have to take responsibility for that. This isn’t a situation where you can say “Well, it’s complicated…” It’s NOT complicated. The smoking gun statement of Victoria Nuland made things very, very simple.

            But if you don’t see it that way — well, okay. That’s why there are two clocks in the Dublin train station. I apologize for wanting the other clock to agree. If we agreed, then one would be superfluous.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I see. I agree with you that the U.S. through the CIA front USAID (with funding from Pierre Omidyar) worked to overthrow the government of Ukraine. That seemed fairly obvious. I’ve wonder what connection that might have to the Snowden/Greenwald operation, but I have very little knowledge of the Ukraine situation per se and have always admitted that. I’ve only reported headlines from time to time while admitting my ignorance.

            I haven’t been motivated to look into the Ukraine situation closely, because there are other issues I have been personally focusing on related to the Boston bombing. I have only written about that here occasionally because it’s my personal hobbyhorse, but I do spend a lot of time researching it. Maybe I’ll write about it someday.

            You may well be right in your analysis of Ukraine–I don’t know enough to judge and so wouldn’t presume to do so. I guess I should learn more about it. If you really think Obama is trying to start a war with Russia, I’ll try to look into it. But I will never claim to be an expert on this and I have admitted that often.

      • NW Luna says:

        I read one of Joseph’s posts in the last month(?) which analyzed the Crimea/UkrainePutin situation and pointed out some aspects overlooked by most of the MSM. The gist was that historically there is much to be said for the Crimea as part of Russia rather than Ukraine. The post considered that the Crimean voter result was valid. I thought he had thoughtful and reasonable conclusions, based on the evidence he presented. I have not looked into this issue in any depth myself. (didn’t mean this to be a fly-by comment, but must run now and will search for his post & link it later…)

        Great post, BB.

        • NW Luna says:

          …and “2003” ?? kat did you have SD back then?

        • bostonboomer says:

          I’ve always been a big admirer of Joseph Cannon. I knew he was totally sold on Snowden and Greenwald, but I just disagree with him. This thing about Ukraine and about our somehow joining the Neocons or something just makes no sense to me. Maybe I should go back and read some of his previous posts. I was hoping he would just explain what he meant.

        • Beata says:

          “Next we reclaim Finland!”

    • Thanks for posting that BB…I got so confused myself when I read it.

    • dakinikat says:

      I dunno. I am highly critical of Israel under Bibi. And in 2003 I was trying to do my best to stop us from getting into Iraq. So, go figure …

  3. RalphB says:

    tpm: Fox News Ditches Obama Presser Because Reporters Not Asking About Benghazi (VIDEO)

    Fox News stopped airing President Barack Obama’s joint press conference Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel because, the network said, reporters weren’t asking him about Benghazi.

    When cutting away from the news conference, Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner was quite blunt about the fact that Benghazi was all Fox wanted to discuss at that moment.

    “If in fact somebody throws him a question on this topic, we’ll go back to that joint news conference with Angela Merkel and you could hear the translation points.

    By contrast, MSNBC and CNN carried Obama’s news conference from start to finish.

    The president discussed Russia and Ukraine, U.S.-Germany relations, National Security Agency spying and the recent botched execution in Oklahoma.

    Fox is now a stupid parody of a news network. They’re as nuts as their crazier viewers. This crap is not gonna hurt Hillary in 2016. Anyone who would buy into this conspiracy junk wouldn’t vote for her in the first place.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Wha–? Did they think Merkel would have an opinion on Benghazi? Why would she?

      • RalphB says:

        They’ve slipped the bonds of Earth and live in the Izonkosphere or something now.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Militiamen And Oath Keepers Drew Weapons, Threatened To Kill Each Other

  5. RalphB says:

    Booman: Stay Out of Malibu, Deadbeat

    There are people in this country who won’t pretend that the people who made the decision to invade Iraq are not war criminals. I believe that, as time goes by, this will become more of a mainstream view. But, as it stands, Condi Rice cannot come to New Jersey and deliver the commencement address to Rutgers’ graduates because the students and the faculty will not tolerate it.

    Small payment, but it’s something I guess. Hopefully, it will get worse over time for the war criminals.

  6. dakinikat says:

    “Let’s face it Fox, you’ll miss me when I’m gone. It’ll be harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya.”

    –President Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

  7. RalphB says:

    President Barack Obama taught everyone a little lesson about racist Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy during the 2014 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

    Obama was touting the success of Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson, who was in attendance at the dinner, saying he hadn’t “seen someone pull a 180 that fast until Rand Paul disinvited that Nevada rancher from this dinner.”

    “As a general rule, things don’t end well if the sentence starts with, ‘Let me tell you something about the Negro,'” Obama said. “You don’t really need to know the rest of it, just a tip for you.”

    • bostonboomer says:

      Wow. That was brilliant. Obama is really coming into his own, isn’t he?

  8. RalphB says:

    Since I find Joe Cannon and some other more conspiracy minded peoples explanation of the Ukraine situation to be vastly overcomplex and generally wrong, I should state my own.

    Let’s start with this. According to the conspiracists, foreigners don’t have agency. They can’t do anything on their own. It all has to be done to them, or for them, or both, by shadowy three-letter organizations based in suburban DC. Or Zurich. Or Berlin. Now for Ukraine.

    For starters, it seems the main thing that happened that caused the current crisis is that the Ukrainian government backed out of an expected deal with the E.U. under immense pressure from Putin. The integration of Ukraine into the E.U. has been in negotiations for about six years. It isn’t some secret nefarious plot. It’s part of a more general effort to integrate several former Soviet Socialist Republics into the E.U.

    That angered a lot of Ukrainians. It wasn’t a U.S.-sponsored coup. It was a coup that the U.S. sought to manage so that the result would be a government that would stand up to Putin and join the EU.

    Then Putin acted with real aggression and carved out the Crimean Peninsula and began sending people into the East to cause problems. He got the authority to use force in Ukraine and amassed divisions on the border.

    So, how is this in any way what the United States wanted? It isn’t.

    What we wanted was for the EU-Ukraine deal to go through. And we didn’t even really care about it nearly as much as the Europeans did.

    The bottom line is that Putin seems willing to see a bunch of people killed rather than let Ukraine do what it wants to do. I see no indication that the US Administration wants war over Ukraine.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks for sharing your analysis, Ralph. I haven’t seen any sign that Obama wants to start WWIII.

      Honestly, I’ve gotten to the point where I get so confused about what has happened in Egypt, Libya, Syria, and now Ukraine that I just throw up my hands. It seems that as a soon as a “tyrant” gets overthrown, another one takes his place, more people die, and nothing really changes. I know that’s pretty simplistic and shallow, but . . .

      The one thing I do know is that I’m not going to cheer for Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent and a “president” who has had journalists and artists, political activists killed or forced out of the country, who has shut down or taken over media organizations, who has put gay people in his country in danger, and who has the goal of destroying freedom on the internet.

      The CIA is a rogue actor. They do their thing around the world. If Joseph Cannon can explain why Pierre Omidyar is involved with those actions (destabilizing Ukraine’s govt) while at the same time buying out Greenwald, Poitras, Scahill, Taibbi, and stopping the publication of Snowden leaks for more than a month, maybe I’ll listen. I’ve brought up that point in two comments, and he ignored it.