Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for April 24th, 2012

The Vulture Secretary: Murdoch’s control of Cameron government

Posted by Charles II on April 24, 2012

(Image via Nick Sutton, Twitpic from Daily Mirror)

Patrick Wintour and Dan Sabbagh, The Guardian:

Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, has begged the Leveson inquiry to give him a chance to salvage his reputation after emails released by News Corp appeared to show that Hunt and his office passed confidential and market-sensitive information to the Murdoch empire to support its takeover of BSkyB.

In the most dramatic day of hearings at Leveson yet, the inquiry was shown emails written by James Murdoch’s chief lobbyist, Frédéric Michel, written the day before Hunt was due to make a market-sensitive statement to parliament…

Michel told Murdoch at 3.21pm on Monday 24 January, with stock markets in London and New York open, that he had “managed to get some infos [sic] on the plans for tomorrow (although absolutely illegal!)” which set out the timetable of Hunt’s announcement due next morning and quoted from the planned announcement. Hunt said that he wanted to negotiate with News Corp over potential undertakings in lieu (UIL) of a referral to the Competition Commission. Murdoch said on Tuesday that the reference to “illegal” material was a joke.

[Michel said] He [Jeremy Hunt] very specifically said he was keen to get to the same outcome and wanted JRM [James Murdoch] to understand he needs to build some political cover on the process.”

The e-mails show a high level of coordination between Hunt and Murdoch’s team.

The Guardian editorialized:

The meaning of “quasi-judicial” is simple enough. A public servant is required to behave like a judge – setting aside all personal prejudices and behaving with such transparency, candour and integrity that people can have total faith in his or her rulings. Judges don’t book private meetings with one side in the cases they or their colleagues on the bench are hearing. They don’t offer inside information, or appeal for private help in formulating their decisions or covertly demolishing the other side’s arguments. They don’t suggest PR strategies or brief one side what the other’s been saying in confidence. They don’t offer winked assurances that they share one party’s aims or outcomes. They don’t have private chats on their mobile phones to get round official scrutiny or slip confidential information through back channels. Any judge who behaved like that would not command public confidence and would be forced to resign.


Posted in abuse of power, Media machine, Rupert Murdoch | 5 Comments »

He’s nothing if not persistent: Limbaugh attacks Fluke again

Posted by Charles II on April 24, 2012

Puffington Host:

Rush Limbaugh went after Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke again on Tuesday for what he called “coordinating” with President Obama to “scare students about the interest rates on their loans.”

During his Tuesday radio show, Limbaugh read a tweet Fluke sent, which said, “#DontDoubleMyRate. Many students will see the interest rate on Fed #StudentLoans increase if Congress doesn’t act by 7/1.”

Per Rush, someone faced with an overnight doubling of their loan rate has to be instructed by the president to protest it before she can act.

According to Media Matters, as of a couple of weeks ago, he still has three advertisers: Amberen (OTC meonopause treatment), Grasshopper (Mowers), and Law Offices of Robert L. Steinberg (what Limbaugh would call an ambulance chaser). That’s nowhere near enough to pay for the radio time. So he wants stations to pay to present his program for free.

Posted in Rush Limbaugh | 8 Comments »

A legal lynching: the murder of Anastasio Hernández-Rojas by DHS

Posted by Charles II on April 24, 2012

From DemocracyNow

AMY GOODMAN: …In May 2010, 32-year-old Anastasio Hernández-Rojas was caught trying to enter the United States from Mexico near San Diego. Hernández-Rojas had previously lived in the United States for 25 years, from the age of 15. He was the father of five U.S. born-children.

But instead of deportation, Hernández-Rojas’s detention ended in his death. A number of officers were seen beating him, before one tasered him at least five times. During the incident, Hernández-Rojas was handcuffed and hogtied. He died shortly after. The agents say they confronted Hernández-Rojas because he became hostile and resisted arrest. But new video recorded by eyewitnesses on their cell phones show a different story. The footage was obtained by reporter John Carlos Frey and aired in a national special Friday night as part of a joint investigation by the PBS broadcast Need to Know and the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute.

JOHN CARLOS FREY: … The Border Patrol agents, via their own press release and documents, say that he was combative, Hernández-Rojas was combative. They removed his handcuffs—this is actually the document—they removed his handcuffs and applied the use of a taser. He fell to the ground, suffered a heart attack and subsequently died. That is what is actually in the police report.

What the video shows is about 25 agents standing around a man on the ground. The man is handcuffed and hogtied, not resisting at all. He is Tasered repeatedly, kicked and beaten. At one point, after he has gone into convulsions, an officer kneels on his neck.

Who is in charge of the Department of Homeland Security? No one, it turns out. Since they have decided to accept the obviously fraudulent report of the San Diego Police Department and because the Department of Justice has declined to interview any witnesses, there is no accountability whatsoever. Indeed, DHS has been asked to release their guidelines for when Tasers may be used. Evidently, there are none. And there are other cases in which agents of the federal government have shot to death unarmed Mexicans on Mexican soil.

This is a case far worse than the Trayvon Martin case, as horrific as that was. There, a small police department was remarkably incurious about the violence committed by one individual against another. In this case, a metropolitan police department has covered up a murder committed by their officers in collusion with perhaps 25 agents of a completely unaccountable federal agency. The pinnacle of the federal justice system, the Department of Justice, has averted its eyes. This is corruption from the bottom of the system all the way to the top.

It should be noted that, at least as of fairly recently (and I think still), unlawful presence in the US is not a crime, though unlawful entry is a misdemeanor. So Hernandez-Rojas had done the equivalent of, say, shoplifting. If he had come in on a tourist visa and overstayed it, it would not have been a crime.

The full PBS program can be seen here.

Posted in DHS, immigration, impunity, Latin America, Mexico | 7 Comments »

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