Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July 3rd, 2011

Taibbi, Hari: Not Giving Credit Where It’s Due

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 3, 2011

No sooner than the dust started to settle over Matt Taibbi’s substandard cut-and-paste job that purported to be an original article on Michele Bachmann, than we find that another progressive journalist hero has feet of clay where attributions are concerned:

A 2009 interview with Afghan women’s rights activist Malalai Joya by Johann Hari, a journalist at The Independent, is calling the definition of plagiarism into question.

The 4,000-word piece “appears to pass off a number of quotes and formulations from her book, ‘Raising my Voice’, as if they were direct speech from an interview he conducted with her in a London flat,” The Guardian reports. And this is not the only time; The Islam Versus Europe blog “cites 15 examples of duplications in phraseology from the book which Joya published the same year in which Hari subsequently printed the interview.”

I can’t believe that anyone thinks this might be the least little bit okay, allegedly looser British journalistic standards or not.

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Petters, 2008: Bachmann Pal Vennes Says He’ll Get Pardoned ‘Next Year’

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 3, 2011

Once again, Ken Avidor comes through with the goods.

In this case, the goods involve a trial audio recording and transcript. The recording and transcript (from which the above YouTube is excerpted) document Ponzi schemer Tom Petters, in a September 8, 2008 conversation with Deanna Coleman (who he didn’t know was recording the conversation as the government had already nabbed her), saying that Frank Vennes, longtime Petters associate and friendly with Michele Bachmann, Norm Coleman and Tim Pawlenty, had told him in August 2008 that he, Tom Petters, was going down but that Vennes was “going to get a pardon next year”:

Now, why would Vetters think that? Probably because Michele Bachmann had already written to then-President Bush asking him to pardon Vetters:

KARL BREMER: Frank Vennes, Jr., was one of her largest contributors in 2006. He’s a convicted money launderer. He did time in federal prison in Sandstone Prison in northern Minnesota. And upon his release, he became involved in Tom Petters. And if you are familiar with the Petters Ponzi scheme, about a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme that operated in Minnesota, Frank Vennes steered primarily evangelical Christian groups to invest with Tom Petters. And he became implicated in the Petters scandal in 2008. But that was after Michele Bachmann had written a recommendation for pardon for Frank Vennes. Vennes and his family and his personal lawyer have given Bachmann tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Vennes also contributed heavily to another Minnesota presidential candidate, Tim Pawlenty, and the state Republican Party. And Vennes got letters of recommendation from Tim Pawlenty, or recommendations for a pardon from Pawlenty, from Norm Coleman, former U.S. senator from Minnesota, and from Bachmann.

When Vennes was implicated in the Petters scandal in 2008, Bachmann withdrew her letter of support for a pardon, and she gave back a portion of the money that Vennes had donated to her campaign. Just in April of this year, Vennes was actually indicted in the Petters scandal, and he’s scheduled to go to trial later this year, which could make for an uncomfortable time for Michele Bachmann, because in her letter of support for a pardon, she indicated she had a very close personal relationship with Frank Vennes and was quite familiar with his personal finances. She has, of course, never returned my calls regarding Frank Vennes, and she’s really never explained fully her relationship with this convicted money launderer.

Vennes’ trial is set to start roundabout the time the GOP primary season begins in earnest. (By the way: Republicans are trying to deflect this scandal by pointing out that Vetters gave money to Amy Klobuchar as well as to Norm, Timmy and Michele. What they don’t point out is that, unlike Norm, Timmy and especially Michele, Amy Klobuchar didn’t work to get Vetters pardoned.)

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Arne Carlson: Pawlenty Caused Minnesota Budget Woes

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 3, 2011

Just to remind everyone:

Carlson contends that his administration didn’t just point out the long-term structural problems in the 1995 report that Downey was referring to. Rather, it made the “reforms” necessary to correct the problems.

Carlson also contends that Tim Pawlenty, as majority leader of the House and then as governor, undid most of the changes the Carlson administration instituted. Along the way, Pawlenty got a little help from Gov. Jesse Ventura and some DFLers.

But mostly Carlson blames Pawlenty.

He says that Pawlenty closed the very department, Planning, that created the report Republicans now are citing.

He also says that Pawlenty, as House majority leader, was responsible, along with Ventura, for a disastrous change in the relationship between school funding and property taxes.

And he also says that Pawlenty showed that he wasn’t serious about budgeting because he never pushed for inflation to be considered a factor in out-year spending, only in out-year income.

[…]

Gimmicks replaced the reforms of the Carlson years, Carlson said. Tobacco settlement money was used as a one-time budget-balancing fix. School funding aid was shifted. Federal stimulus money was used.

“Under Tim Pawlenty, it became deficit heaven,” said Carlson. “All the things we did were undone. Now, what bothers me is you get these holier-than-thou attitudes. Oh, we’re all to blame. But that’s just not true. There’s one person who has the power to insist on a balanced budget. That’s the chief executive officer, the governor.”

Carlson’s words were borne out back in 2005 by Britt Robson in his excellent City Pages piece “Minnesota Eats Itself“.

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