Opinion | Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder? – by Nicholas Kristof – NYT

“Soon sheriff’s deputies were swarming all over the Ryen house in affluent, suburban Chino Hills, east of Los Angeles, that day in June 1983. Several signs, including Josh’s personal account, pointed to three white attackers, and blond or brown hairs were found in the victims’ hands, as if torn off in a struggle.

Sheriff’s deputies were also contacted by the woman whose boyfriend was a convicted murderer, recently released from prison, whom she suspected of involvement in the Ryen killings. She not only gave deputies his bloody coveralls but also told them that his hatchet was missing from his tool rack and resembled one of the weapons reportedly used in the attacks.

But instead of testing the coveralls for the Ryens’ blood, the deputies threw them away–and pursued Cooper. After a racially charged trial, he was convicted of murdering the Ryens and Chris Hughes and is now on death row at San Quentin Prison.

Gov. Jerry Brown is refusing to allow advanced DNA testing that might finally resolve the question of who committed the murders, even though Cooper’s defense would pay for it. Brown refuses to allow even advanced testing of the blond or brown hairs  that were found in the victims’ hands.”

 

David Lindsay:

Thank you Nicholas Kristof. I just sent an email to Governor of CA Jerry Brown, using the link at the end of this hair-raising story.
“Kevin Cooper apparently needs you to authorize advanced DNA testing.
The only reason I can imagine your refusing, is if you are part of the frame up that has been described in the NYT.

“But instead of testing the coveralls for the Ryens’ blood, the deputies threw them away–and pursued Cooper. After a racially charged trial, he was convicted of murdering the Ryens and Chris Hughes and is now on death row at San Quentin Prison.

Gov. Jerry Brown is refusing to allow advanced DNA testing that might finally resolve the question of who committed the murders, even though Cooper’s defense would pay for it. Brown refuses to allow even advanced testing of the blond or brown hairs that were found in the victims’ hands.

This is the story of a broken justice system. It appears that an innocent man was framed by sheriff’s deputies and is on death row in part because of dishonest cops, sensational media coverage and flawed political leaders — including Democrats like Brown and Kamala Harris, the state attorney general before becoming a U.S. senator, who refused to allow newly available DNA testing for a black man convicted of hacking to death a beautiful white family and young neighbor. This was a failure at every level, and it should prompt reflection not just about one man on death row but also about profound inequities in our entire system of justice.”

Really, is this what you want to be remembered for?
David Lindsay Jr, Hamden CT

Furthermore, Learning that Kamala Harris participated in this lynching is a disappointing surprise.

Advertisements

Opinion | Let Them Eat Trump Steaks – by Paul Krugman – NYT

“In general, Donald Trump is notoriously uninterested in policy details. It has long been obvious, for example, that he never bothered to find out what his one major legislative victory, the 2017 tax cut, actually did. Similarly, it’s pretty clear that he had no idea what was actually in the Iran agreement he just repudiated.

In each case, it was about ego rather than substance: scoring a “win,” undoing his predecessor’s achievement.But there are some policy issues he really does care about. By all accounts, he really hates the idea of people receiving “welfare,” by which he means any government program that helps people with low income, and he wants to eliminate such programs wherever possible.”

E.P.A. Emails Show an Effort to Shield Pruitt From Public Scrutiny – By Eric Lipton and Lisa Friedman – NYT

“May 7, 2018WASHINGTON — It was supposed to be a town hall meeting where Iowa ranchers could ask questions directly of Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. But when the agency learned that anyone would be free to ask anything, they decided to script the questions themselves.

“My sincere apologies,” an E.P.A. official wrote to the rancher who would be moderating the event. “We cannot do open q&a from the crowd.” She then proposed several simple questions for him to ask Mr. Pruitt, including: “What has it been like to work with President Trump?”

Details about the December event, and dozens of other official appearances from Mr. Pruitt’s scandal-plagued first year at the E.P.A., have until now been hidden from public view as a result of an extraordinary effort by Mr. Pruitt and his staff to maintain strict secrecy about the bulk of his daily schedule.But a new cache of emails offer a detailed look inside the agency’s aggressive efforts to conceal his activities as a public servant. The more than 10,000 documents, made public as part of a Freedom of Information lawsuit by the Sierra Club, show that the agency’s close control of Mr. Pruitt’s events is driven more by a desire to avoid tough questions from the public than by concerns about security, contradicting Mr. Pruitt’s longstanding defense of his secretiveness.”

David Lindsay:

This story is tragic, heartbreaking and revolting. I am not surprised, which is part of the sadness. When you control the public’s questions, that is aping fascist regimes. This is how fascists behave. The Republicans who condone this behavior are complicit in the destruction of our democratic values and practices. Luckily, there is another election on November 6th.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

Redskins Cheerleaders Describe Topless Photo Shoots and an Uneasy Night Out – The New York Times

“When the Washington Redskins took their cheerleading squad to Costa Rica in 2013 for a calendar photo shoot, the first cause for concern among the cheerleaders came when Redskins officials collected their passports upon arrival at the resort, depriving them of their official identification.

For the photo shoot, at the adults-only Occidental Grand Papagayo resort on Culebra Bay, some of the cheerleaders said they were required to be topless, though the photographs used for the calendar would not show nudity. Others wore nothing but body paint. Given the resort’s secluded setting, such revealing poses would not have been a concern for the women — except that the Redskins had invited spectators.

A contingent of sponsors and FedExField suite holders — all men — were granted up-close access to the photo shoots.One evening, at the end of a 14-hour day that included posing and dance practices, the squad’s director told nine of the 36 cheerleaders that their work was not done. They had a special assignment for the night. Some of the male sponsors had picked them to be personal escorts at a nightclub.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval
What an opportunity. I am sorry once again, that I didn’t go to law school, and then practice law. These cheerleaders need a really good law firm. And criminal charges should be pressed by Attorney Generals. The NFL is trafficking in the sex trade. That is exactly what these men did when they took away the passports of these young women, and then ordered them to perform topless and act as escorts.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

Opinion | Smearing Robert Mueller – By Nancy Gertner – NYT

By Nancy Gertner
Ms. Gertner is a retired federal judge.

“April 18, 2018Was Robert Mueller, the special counsel, complicit in one of the worst scandals in the F.B.I.’s history — the decades-long wrongful imprisonment of four men for a murder they didn’t commit?

This question, which has been raised before, is being addressed again — this time by some of President Trump’s most ardent supporters on the right, especially Fox News’s Sean Hannity but also Rush Limbaugh and others. My friend Alan Dershowitz, the retired Harvard Law School professor, has also weighed in.

In an April 8 interview with John Catsimatidis on his New York radio show, Mr. Dershowitz asserted that Mr. Mueller was “the guy who kept four innocent people in prison for many years in order to protect the cover of Whitey Bulger as an F.B.I. informer.” Mr. Mueller, he said, was “right at the center of it.” Mr. Bulger was a notorious crime boss in Boston, the head of the Winter Hill Gang, and also a secret source for the F.B.I.

There is no evidence that the assertion is true. I was the federal judge who presided over a successful lawsuit brought against the government by two of those men and the families of the other two, who had died in prison. Based on the voluminous evidence submitted in the trial, and having written a 105-page decision awarding them $101.8 million, I can say without equivocation that Mr. Mueller, who worked in the United States attorney’s office in Boston from 1982 to 1988, including a brief stint as the acting head of the office, had no involvement in that case. He was never even mentioned.”

Ryan Zinke Is Opening Up Public Lands. Just Not at Home. – The New York Times

“WHITEFISH, Mont. — When Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was a state senator from this idyllic mountain town, he drove a Prius, sported a beard and pushed President Barack Obama to make clean energy a priority.

Today, the beard and Prius are gone, and Mr. Zinke has emerged as a leading figure, along with Scott Pruitt of the Environmental Protection Agency, in the environmental rollbacks that have endeared President Trump to the fossil fuel industry and outraged conservationists.In the last year, Mr. Zinke has torn up Obama-era rules related to oil, gas and mineral extraction and overseen the largest reduction of federal land protection in the nation’s history, including an effort to slash the size of Bears Ears National Monument.”

David Lindsay Jr. Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Excellent reporting by Julie Turkewitz. She writes, “But as Mr. Trump’s chief public lands administrator, Mr. Zinke has favored the fossil fuel companies that have increasingly made up his donor base, overhauling restrictions on methane emissions, fast-tracking the oil-and-gas leasing process, and pushing to open nearly the entire outer continental shelf for energy development.”

Mr. Zinke is apparently a weasel. Methane emmissions are really bad for life on the planet as we know and admire it. He dismantles environmental protections, everywhere but his own state of Montana, since he is deeply ambitious for more political career. He was for fighting climate change when Barack Obama was president. Working for this new administration, it is no longer an issue. Just another politician for purchase.

David Lindsay:
I just enjoyed the The Will Rogers Follies at the Goodspeed Opera House. David Lutken was fabulous, and quoted Will Rogers as saying, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” But then added, though some men are far more trying than others. Will Rogers made a lot of jokes at the expense of politicians of both major parties. Thinking of Zinke, the weasel described in this NYT piece, I would amend the statement. I never met a man I didn’t like, unless he was a politician and practicing hypocrite and sycophant.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

Speaker Paul Ryan Will Not Seek Re-election in November – The New York Times

After all the bromides, the underlying facts come out.

“Back in his Southeastern Wisconsin district, Mr. Ryan was facing a spirited challenge from two Democrats, Randy Bryce, better known by his Twitter handle, “Iron Stache,” and a schoolteacher, Cathy Myers. On his right flank, an avowed anti-Semite, Paul Nehlen, was making another run at the Republican nomination — and earning a national following among white supremacists.

Mr. Ryan is by far the most prominent figure fleeing Congress in a long season of Republican retirements. More than 40 House Republicans are leaving the chamber to retire or seek other offices, including a number who have voiced concern about the 2018 elections and intense dissatisfaction with the state of Washington under Mr. Trump. Several others have resigned in personal scandals.The exodus has further endangered Republicans’ already tenuous hold on Congress, creating open seats in states like New Jersey and California that Republicans will struggle to hold. Republicans acknowledged on Wednesday morning that Mr. Ryan’s seat will be far more vulnerable without the speaker on the ballot.”

The plot thickens. Here are the lead comments at the NYT. I too, am not fond of this hypocrite and stooge of the oil and gas oligarchs.

Socrates is a trusted commenter Downtown Verona. NJ 1 hour ago
One of the worst venal public ‘servants’ in United States history.

Pledged allegiance to teenage fantasy hero Ayn Rand and handed out Atlas Shrugged as required reading to all staff members before publicly repudiating Ayn Rand in 2012 when his love for her was publicly revealed.

Pushed hard to eradicate universal healthcare.

Pushed hard for millionaire-billionaire-corporate welfare.

Pretends to be a ‘Catholic’ while cheerleading for the shredding of Social Security, Medicare and the ACA.

I’m not religious, but there’s a special place in Catholic hell for these type of shameless hypocrites and misanthropes.

Good riddance to one of America’s worst Americans.

Reply 924 Recommended

Matthew Carnicelli is a trusted commenter Brooklyn, NY 1 hour ago
The lead rat flees the sinking ship.

Reply 834 Recommended
John Harlem 1 hour ago
He retires at 48 with full pension and healthcare. We work until 84 with crumbs.

Reply 835 Recommended
Suzanne Victor Southampton, PA 1 hour ago
Does not want to be around when the disastrous results of this tax plan come home to roost in the next few years.

748 Recommended

F.B.I. Raids Office of Trump’s Longtime Lawyer Michael Cohen; Trump Calls It ‘Disgraceful’ – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. raided the Rockefeller Center office and Park Avenue hotel room of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, on Monday morning, seizing business records, emails and documents related to several topics, including a payment to a pornographic film actress.

Mr. Trump, in an extraordinarily angry response, lashed out hours later at what a person briefed on the matter said was an investigation into possible bank fraud by Mr. Cohen. Mr. Trump accused his own Justice Department of perpetrating a “witch hunt” and asserted that the F.B.I. “broke in to” Mr. Cohen’s office.The president, who spoke at the White House before meeting with senior military commanders about a potential missile strike on Syria, called the F.B.I. raid a “disgraceful situation” and an “attack on our country in a true sense.”

It is not clear how the F.B.I. entered Mr. Cohen’s office, but agents had a search warrant and typically would have presented it to office personnel to be let in. The documents identified in the warrant date back years, according to a person briefed on the search.The prosecutors obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel in the Russia investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but most likely resulted from information that he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York.”

What a wonderful day we are having.
Here is one of many great comments to this extraordinarily important new piece, which I felt compelled to respond to.

Steve Burton Staunton, VA 18 hours ago
Michael Cohen has demonstrated himself to be a bully toward his adversaries, fast and loose with facts, and extremely arrogant in his demeanor. It’s fitting to see him taken down a notch or two. Still, it is troubling to consider the power of law enforcement to seize attorney-client communications…. On the other hand, I can’t help hoping that they nail him.

1906 Recommend

David Lindsay Jr. Hamden, CT Pending Approval
I am sorry Mr. Burton, it is not troubling that law enforcement can seize attorney-client communications if done properly. This is essential, if lawyers and politicians are not to be above the law that the rest of us must respect and live by.
As Madeleine Albright wrote in the NYT the Sunday Review, “no politician, not even in the oval office,” should be allowed to break the law and tarnish the dreams of the American people.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com

Opinion | Horror of Being Governed by ‘Fox & Friends’ – by Charles Blow – NYT

“This show, with its kindergarten-level intellectual capacity, moved from parroting conservative policies to constructing presidential priorities. “Fox & Friends” has essentially become Donald Trump’s daily briefing.

Countless media outlets have written and talked about the strangely intense connection between Trump and the show.As The Guardian put it, “The show manages to serve as a court sycophant, whispering in the ear of the king, criticizing his perceived enemies and fluffing his feathers.”

Politico Magazine concurred, saying the show “feels intentionally designed for Trump himself — a three-hour, high-definition ego fix.”And the impact that the show is having on Trump is undeniable. Dan Snow, a master’s student at the University of Chicago, analyzed the president’s tweets and found that they are highly concentrated in the hours when the show is on.As Politico wrote, Trump is “live-tweeting” Fox’s coverage. Vox noted that at times he seems to be tweeting precisely what he sees on the show, sometimes even using their exact language.”

Yes and thank you. Here are two of my favorite comments:

ChristineMcM
Massachusetts

“As The Guardian put it,
“The show manages to serve as a court sycophant, whispering in the ear of the king, criticizing his perceived enemies and fluffing his feathers.”

I’ve watched snippets of this inane show selected by other networks to make a point.

It makes me groan to see these two idiotically grinning males with a buxom leggy blond scrunched between them, on this stupid white couch.

Why the couch? Why the lack of notes, pads, papers, pens, mics, you know–the tools of the trade?

It’s unnerving to think this particular show and network are so widely watched given its shallowness fact-free content.

But it does explain what has to be said, which is just when you think America can’t get any dumber, all you need to watch is FOX to find that’s not true either.

If the president merely watched the network it would be bad enough, but that he tweets its talking points and hires its “commentators” for his administration is downright frightening.

Yes, Charles, you nailed it: Fox & Friends is the president’s daily briefing–just not condensed for his limited attention span but expanded to meet his insatiable desire for validation.

But by whom? When I was a girl, my mother used to say, “consider the source” when I complained about what kids were saying at school.

America, consider the source.

Socrates
Socrates
Downtown Verona. NJ

“All this was inspired by the principle – which is quite true in itself – that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. “

Mein Kampf (and Fox and Friends and Daycare Donnie)

Grand Old Propaganda 2018

Nice GOPeople.

Opinion | The Tragedy of James Comey – by David Leonhardt – NYT

“James Comey is about to be ubiquitous. His book will be published next week, and parts may leak this week. Starting Sunday, he will begin an epic publicity tour, including interviews with Stephen Colbert, David Remnick, Rachel Maddow, Mike Allen, George Stephanopoulos and “The View.”All of which will raise the question: What, ultimately, are we supposed to make of Comey?

He may be the most significant supporting player of the Trump era, and his reputation has whipsawed over the last two years. He’s spent time as a villain, a savior and some bizarre combination of the two, depending on your political views.I think that the harshest criticisms of Comey have been unfair all along. He has never been a partisan, for either side. Over a long career at the Justice Department, he was driven by its best ideals: upholding the rule of law without fear or favor. His strengths allowed him to resist political pressure from more than one president of the United States.

Yet anybody who’s read Greek tragedy knows that strengths can turn into weaknesses when a person becomes too confident in those strengths. And that’s the key to understanding the very complex story of James Comey.”

Yes, and thank you. Readers must read the ending of this piece to get its tragic ending, Comey folley, for which he will never be forgiven.
Here are the most popular two comments I endorsed:
Cat Glickman
ArizonaApril 8
As a prosecutor and a Clinton voter, I have terribly mixed feelings about Comey. He did Americans enormous good by stopping Bush & Cheney. He also demonstrated admirable honor & intelligence in refusing to flatter Trump or accede to his demands & in memorializing those interviews right after they happened.
But Comey’s decision to publicly announce why he was not recommending charges against Clinton was just wrong – it is not the cop’s call to make & he clearly did it for self-aggrandizement. As a prosecutor i was dumbfounded – he was so clearly out-of-bounds. But the real damage was done when he announced he was re-opening the investigation. It is very hard to believe he did not make that announcement with intent to influence the election, & there is no doubt that he did it knowing that it would affect the election.

7 Replies 848 Recommended

J
Judith
ny11h ago
Robert Mueller seems to be the only Republican in Washington that knows exactly what he’s supposed to do, is doing it well, and sees no need for public display UNTIL it’s time to present the next result of his investigation. He clearly knows the difference between serious investigation and show business. I wish there were more like him.

1 Reply 628 Recommended