Tag Archives: todd

Eric Cantor’s Phony Victim Story

Written by Joan Walsh, posted by: Betsm

His false claim of office gunshots functioned as the Ashley Todd tale of 2010, distracting from right-wing violence

Left: Ashley Todd on Oct. 22, 2008. Right: House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia.

Did House GOP Whip Eric Cantor just become 2010’s answer to Ashley Todd, the white McCain supporter who claimed she was assaulted by a black Obama backer in October 2008?

You remember the story: A 20-year-old McCain-Palin volunteer told Pittsburgh police that a black man robbed her, and then, when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on her car, he beat her and carved a B – for “Barack” — into her cheek, and told her she better support the black Democrat. Days later, the clearly disturbed Todd confessed that she made up the attack, and apparently mutilated herself to provide “evidence.” But for a few days, the right wing insisted Todd’s attacker was the Democratic equivalent of the menacing crowds at Sarah Palin rallies shouting “Kill him!” and “Terrorist!” about Obama. Drudge and Fox News hyped the story, with Fox news V.P. John Moody even claiming the attack might lead some voters to “revisit their support for Senator Obama.”

No one’s accusing Cantor of shooting up his own office, but from the minute he made his claim — also implying he was targeted because he was Jewish — it was almost certain to be untrue. In the very first AP report on the incident, the Richmond police said the bullet had been fired into the air, not through Cantor’s window. Two photos in Salon show that the nondescript office building is unmarked, with no signs indicating Cantor or his staff have one of the suites inside. Friday Richmond police confirmed the bullet was a stray: Neither Cantor nor his office was targeted, and in fact the bullet didn’t even land in his office. A spokesman for Cantor told reporters he was “very happy” his story turned out not to be true.

But just as Ashley Todd’s tale interrupted a narrative of right-wing menace and near-violence about Obama, briefly letting commentators tsk-tsk about extremes on both sides, Cantor’s claim interjected the same kind of false equivalence. On CNN Thursday night, Gloria Borger insisted not only should tea partiers rein in their members, but “Move On too” (h/t Greg Mitchell). It’s crazy time.

Read Joan Walsh @ Salon.com
Please continue reading @ Salon.com

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TPM Update: Cantor’s Office Claims Ignorance In Pumping Up Random Shot Incident

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Filed under Creepy right-wing antics, Partisan Politics, Republicans, RNC, Tea Party Protestors, Uncategorized

Shake-up at MSNBC: New Changes to Daytime Line-up

Posted by: Audiegrl

TVNewser reports that MSNBC is streamlining its daytime schedule and doing away with the themed hours focused on the economy and politics. It’s a back-to-basics approach for the network’s daytime news hours which slipped to fifth place in December, behind FNC, CNN, HLN and CNBC between 9am-4pm.

Effective Monday the new daytime line-up is:

  • Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski ~ “Morning Joe” at 6-9amET
  • Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie ~ “The Daily Rundown” at 9amET
  • David Shuster at 10amET
  • Tamron Hall at 11amET
  • Contessa Brewer at 12Noon
  • Andrea Mitchell ~ “Andrea Mitchell Reports” at 1pmET
  • Tamron Hall at 2pmET
  • David Shuster at 3pmET
  • Dylan Ratigan ~ “The Dylan Ratigan Show” at 4pmET

In a late December shake-up, Ratigan’s morning show was cut in half and moved to a afternoon slot, along with the cancellation of Dr. Nancy Snynderman’s “Dr. Nancy” show.

The network’s themed shows “It’s the Economy” which had been co-anchored by CNBC’s Melissa Francis and Brewer and Friday’s “New York Times Edition” which had been co-anchored by NBC’s Norah O’Donnell and CNBC’s John Harwood have both been canceled.

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Filed under Chris Mathews, Culture, Dylan Ratagan, Ed Schultz, Entertainment, Kieth Olbermann, Media and Entertainment, MSNBC, Networks, News, Norah O'Donnell, Opinions, Politics, Pop Culture, Rachel Maddow, Television, The Morning Meeting w/Dylan Ratagan, TV Shows, Uncategorized, United States, US

TX Gov. Perry: No Amount of Good Hair Will Make the Cover Up Go Away

Posted by LibbyShaw

Texas Governor Rick Perry must be blinded by arrogance to believe that he could actually shut down and cover up an investigation and no one would notice. A politician would also have to be completely overcome by an over sized ego to do so during a primary contest.

Last night on MSNBC’s Hardball, Chris Matthews interviewed Samuel Bassett, former Texas Forensic Science Commission Officer about the Todd Willingham case.

OK so Perry did not like where this investigation was going and so, as only a dictator would do, he shut it down. And now we also know where the fake, self-serving “moderate” Kay Bailey Hutchison stands on barbaric medieval practices. We already know where she stands on ginned up wars and a deregulated Wall St. KBH voted with W. over 90% of the time. Princess Sparkle Pony may have made a brilliant tactical political move, at least according to Slater, but she also revealed her true colors as anything but moderate.

Earth to Perry: as hard as you spin, rail and cry, the execution of an innocent man on your watch ain’t going away. And Kay, hell will freeze over before this liberal would ever in her dreams vote for the likes of you. You squarely belong in the deather box right there along with Dictator Perry and your beloved W. who is responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqis. For? Please do remind us.

Scott Cobb over at The Burnt Orange Report has been providing exhaustive and outstanding coverage of this issue. Please click on the link to see how you can get involved with ongoing efforts to abolish the death penalty. Now that we know Texas has executed an innocent man, never has the case been stronger to eliminate this barbaric medieval practice.

This morning in the Houston Chronicle, Lisa Falkenberg wrote a sobering commentary about Rick Perry and the Todd Willingham execution.

Perry’s right that Willingham was nobody’s poster child.

The fact that he was a “bad man,” that he beat his pregnant wife, that he’d been convicted of low-level crimes, that he was fond of expletives, might have been enough, even a month ago to sow doubt about his innocence or simply deflect attention from the case of such an unsympathetic figure.

But the story isn’t just about Willingham anymore. It isn’t just about guilt or innocence. It isn’t even about whether Perry did his homework before allowing Willingham’s 2004 execution.

It’s about whether Perry is purposefully trying to subvert the law in Willingham’s case, and potentially obstruct justice in countless other arson cases that could benefit from the commission’s review, all for political gain during a hotly contested primary.
Pressure, ouster

And the case looks clearer every day.

Also also today The Huffington Post reveals that Perry called Willingham a monster.

Though Willingham was certainly a monster if he beat his pregnant wife, he should not have been executed if he did not kill his children.

Professor Bob Stein of Rice University weighs in on the political ramifications of Perry’s coverup.

I don’t think it’s extreme to say it’s a fight for the hearts and minds of the Republican Party.

I beg to disagree with Professor Stein. This is not a fight for the hearts and the minds of the Republican Party. This is about covering up the execution of an innocent man for purely political reasons. Perry obviously doesn’t care about the wrongful death of an innocent man. He, a typical Republican, is driven by his own ambitions and agendas.

But fortunately for Texas, all of the good hair and handsome looks on the planet won’t make Perry’s coverup go away.

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Filed under Death Penalty, Elections, Law, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

Texas Governor Perry May Have Put a Lid on Arson Report

Posted by Libby Shaw

Republican Governor Rick Perry

Republican Governor Rick Perry

According to the Houston Chronicle Perry received an arson report from an expert in 2004 but he won’t reveal if he read it before Todd Willingham was executed.

In a letter sent Feb. 14, three days before Willingham was scheduled to die, Perry had been asked to postpone the execution. The condemned man’s attorney argued that the newly obtained expert evidence showed Willingham had not set the house fire that killed his daughters, 2-year-old Amber and 1-year-old twins Karmon and Kameron, two days before Christmas in 1991.

On Feb. 17, the day of the execution, Perry’s office got the five-page faxed report at 4:52 p.m., according to documents the Houston Chronicle obtained in response to a public records request.

But it’s unclear from the records whether he read it that day. Perry’s office has declined to release any of his or his staff’s comments or analysis of the reprieve request.

A statement from Perry spokesman Chris Cutrone, sent to the Chronicle late Friday, said that “given the brevity of (the) report and the general counsel’s familiarity with all the other facts in the case, there was ample time for the general counsel to read and analyze the report and to brief the governor on its content.”

A few minutes after 5 p.m., defense lawyer Walter M. Reaves Jr. said he received word that the governor would not intervene. At 6:20 p.m. Willingham was executed after declaring: “I am an innocent man, convicted of a crime I did not commit.”

Cameron Todd Willingham, executed in Texas

Cameron Todd Willingham, executed in Texas

In the past, as recently as during George W. Bush’s term, gubernatorial reviews were made public. Rick Perry, however, does not believe any of his or his staff reviews should be.

A Forensic Science Commission was about to disclose a report that seriously questions the arson evidence in the Willingham case. But Perry had immediately fired three of the Commission’s members, including the Chairman. The meeting at which the report would have been revealed was canceled.

His 2004 execution gained renewed prominence this year after the newly formed Texas Forensic Science Commission, created by the Legislature to explore and fix forensic flaws, released a report that criticized the arson evidence. Two days before the panel was to review that report, Perry abruptly replaced three members, including the chairman, and the meeting was canceled. The governor also attacked the report, according to other media reports.

The report reveals that the investigators in Willingham’s case made serious errors and had relied on junk science.

The five-page opinion faxed to Perry’s office on Willingham’s execution day in 2004 was the first. It said investigators made “major errors” and relied on discredited techniques akin to an “old wives tale.”

It was authored by Dr. Gerald Hurst, an Austin-based arson expert who holds a doctorate in chemistry from Cambridge University.

By 2004, Hurst already had received national media coverage for helping to obtain a string of high-profile exonerations by debunking arson evidence in other criminal cases. Hurst said in an interview that his previous analysis of flaws in another Texas arson-murder case had helped prompt the Board of Pardons and Paroles in 1998 to free a woman convicted of setting a fire that killed her infant son. She had served six years of a 99-year sentence.

By his actions one can only assume that Governor Rick Perry is attempting to cover up his negligence. Otherwise, he would admit if he did nor or did not read the report. For a man with 20 executions on his watch, one would think Governor Perry should, at the very least, want to know if the state has executed an innocent man. A person’s life is far, far more important than an election outcome.

Please call Rick Perry’s office and demand that he release all reports at 512 463 1782. Please also check Scott Cobb’s post over at the The Burnt Orange Report and Daily Kos. He provides links to a petition and the site to send an email to Perry.

Texas must immediately declare a moratorium on all executions until a complete and thorough review of all procedures on all levels is done by an outside, non-partisan board of experts. One innocent death is one too many.

More @ houstonchroniclelogo

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Filed under Crime, Death Penalty, Elections, Law, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, True Crime, Uncategorized, Violence