Patterico's Pontifications


L.A. Times: Rick Perry Indicted for . . . Abusing His Power and Shutting Down Ethics Investigations??

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:23 pm

Wait, what?

Yeah, not quite. More like he’s being indicted for withholding money from an belligerent, drunken, power-abusing District Attorney. Not that you would know this from reading the L.A. Times. Just listen to how they portray this story:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was indicted by a grand jury Friday, accused of two felony counts of abusing his power by eliminating funds for the state’s ethics watchdog.

The byzantine case involves the drunk-driving conviction of a Democratic prosecutor, deep-seated partisan tensions and a test of Perry’s powers as the longest-serving chief executive in Texas history. It comes as Perry attempts to resurrect his image and renew his presidential ambitions after a disastrous 2012 run.

With the governor already planning to step down at the end of his term in January, the impact is likely to be greatest outside his home state, where Perry is probably still best known for the pratfalls of his unsuccessful White House bid.

“It’s a red light,” said Matt Mackowiak, a GOP strategist in Austin, Texas, who believes Perry had done much to repair his reputation among Republicans, especially with his recent tough stance on immigration issues. “It stops a lot of the momentum.”

It’s all about Perry trying to shut down a corruption investigation, according to the L.A. Times. It takes until the 14th paragraph to get the explanation of how the indictment relates to drunken, abusive Travis County D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg:

Against that backdrop, Travis County Dist. Atty. Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested last year on drunken-driving charges. She turned belligerent after police stopped her, and a videotape of her aggressive behavior in custody was widely circulated in the Texas media.

Rosemary Lehmberg’s drunken driving is bad enough. Her belligerence is worse. But the L.A. Times never mentions once the most important point of all: Lehmberg’s attempted abuse of power when arrested.

I discussed this when the investigation was first announced in April. Why did Perry threaten to withhold funding from a public integrity unit run by the D.A. of Travis County? Yes, part of it was because she had been arrested for DWI, with a .23 blood alcohol level:

And part of the problem were that she had been belligerent with police, to the point where she needed to be restrained:

But the real problem is much worse: she demanded repeatedly to talk to the sheriff, and refused to resign. Here she is being belligerent and repeatedly asking deputies if they have called “Greg” — Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton.

Watch that video. She is attempting to use her power and influence to get out of jail.

I see a lot of attacks on Rosemary Lehmberg for being a drunk tonight. Those are cute — but miss the more important point: her attempted abuse of power when arrested. Rick Perry was right to object to a government corruption prosecution unit being run by someone who tried to use her power to avoid jail. Now, he is being indicted and charged with a felony — for doing his job. Perry vetoed public funding for an organization whose leader showed she can’t be trusted. Apparently, to avoid prosecution, he needed to keep the money flowing.

A veto — a veto! — was a prosecutable offense.

This is America?

And the damned L.A. Times won’t even tell readers what the real problem is.

Videos Show Michael Brown Robbing Store

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:36 pm

Well, well. So much for another media narrative of the innocent young man being gunned down for no reason:

Some people on Twitter are claiming this doesn’t matter, at least not if the cop who shot Brown didn’t know he was a robbery suspect (although this is unclear). Others say ridiculous things like “he did not deserve to be killed for a robbery” as if that was the issue. Holy strawman nonsense, Batman!

A guy who just did a robbery is not going to behave like a gentleman when he is approached by police soon after the robbery. That’s the issue! What’s more, one of the witnesses to the shooting turns out to be the robbery accomplice. Now there’s a credible witness!

As so often happens, people have taken their preconceived notions of how things work based on racial stereotypes, and have applied them to a situation where the facts are not known.

Isn’t that what we used to call racism??

Does Police Militarization Result in Most “Needless” Deaths at the Hands of Police?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am

Patrick from Popehat had the following comment this morning:

I have not followed events in Ferguson too closely, having been snowed under with work. I don’t agree with arresting journalists for sitting at a McDonald’s, or threatening to arrest them for going into an area of unrest to cover it. That said, I don’t agree with looting, attacking all cops because of the actions of one, or disobeying lawful orders of police. (Disobeying unlawful ones is legally distinct, but you don’t always know what they know, and disobeying any order is risky.) The following brief comment is not a full-blown defense of use of any military weaponry or tactics in any situation. I guarantee that I have just said will be roundly ignored, but that’s not my fault. I said it. See? It’s right there in this paragraph.

However: I submit that most “needless” deaths caused by police are caused by the simple semi-automatic handgun. And the most prominent feature of the military is firearms. So unless you’re planning to totally disarm police, there is going to be some resemblance between police and the military — and most “needless” deaths by police will result from firearms that cops simply need to carry to do their job. The answer to police misconduct is not always to take from competent and level-headed police the tools that were misused by incompetent or abusive police officers.

We have police for a reason. They carry guns for a reason. And looting is not permitted in this country, yet. (Give Obama two more years.) This is not to defend all actions of police in Ferguson; again, I know little about the facts there. But I caution people not to overreact.

Patterico: saying the things it’s unpopular to say!

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