Oh Good Grief

Via Radley Balko, the most obscene thing I’ve read in a while:

On Aug. 18, Ms. Moore and her boyfriend went to Police Headquarters to file a complaint with Internal Affairs about the officer who had talked to her alone. Ms. Moore said the officer had fondled her and left his personal telephone number, which she handed over to the investigators.

Ms. Moore said the investigators tried to talk her out of filing a complaint, saying the officer had a good record and that they could “guarantee” that he would not bother her again.

“They keep giving her the run-around, basically trying to discourage her from making a report,” Mr. Johnson said. “Finally, she decides to record them on her cellphone to show how they’re not helping her.”

The investigators discovered that she was recording them and she was arrested and charged with two counts of eavesdropping, Mr. Johnson said. But he added that the law contains a crucial exception. If citizens have “reasonable suspicion” that a crime is about to be committed against them, they may obtain evidence by recording it.

“I contend that the Internal Affairs investigators were committing the crime of official misconduct in preventing her from filing a complaint,” Mr. Johnson said. “She’s young. She had no idea what she was getting into when she went in there to make a simple complaint. It’s just a shame when the people watching the cops aren’t up to it.”

Days later, accompanied by Mr. Johnson, Ms. Moore returned to Internal Affairs and was able to file a full complaint. There is a continuing investigation of Ms. Moore’s charges against the officer, a Police Department spokesman said.

One of the things that shocks me the most about this kind of thing is how willing everyone seems to be to bend over and just take it. We’ll carry guns to rallies and have a genuine freak-out if someone suggests raising the top marginal rate a point, but there are honest to goodness abuses of authority and prosecutorial misconduct every single day, and only a few people really speak up about it. Hell, even at this website, where the commenters mainly identify as center to center-left, when allegations of misconduct and abuse by our government are put forward, the reaction among a fair number of people is to get their panties in a bunch about the blogger who mentioned it, or to simply swallow the government line. It’s insane. Wikileaks is a perfect case in point- I know when I find out that my government is lying to me, my first reaction is to get really mad at Julian Assange and Bradley Manning and Glenn Greenwald, and to spend several months talking about whether or not Assange’s ego is too big or if Glenn uses too many words.

Just craziness.

Conservatives Win Again

Thanks to commenter SpotWeld for this:

In the spring of 2009, a Republican strategist settled on a brilliant and powerful attack line for President Barack Obama’s ambitious plan to overhaul America’s health insurance system. Frank Luntz, a consultant famous for his phraseology, urged GOP leaders to call it a “government takeover.Takeovers are like coups,” Luntz wrote in a 28-page memo. “They both lead to dictators and a loss of freedom.”

PolitiFact editors and reporters have chosen “government takeover of health care” as the 2010 Lie of the Year. Uttered by dozens of politicians and pundits, it played an important role in shaping public opinion about the health care plan and was a significant factor in the Democrats’ shellacking in the November elections.

The phrase is simply not true. Said Jonathan Oberlander, a professor of health policy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: “The label ‘government takeover” has no basis in reality, but instead reflects a political dynamic where conservatives label any increase in government authority in health care as a ‘takeover.’ ”

We asked incoming House Speaker John Boehner’s office why Republican leaders repeat the phrase when it has repeatedly been shown to be incorrect. Michael Steel, Boehner’s spokesman, replied, “We believe that the job-killing ObamaCare law will result in a government takeover of health care. That’s why we have pledged to repeal it, and replace it with common-sense reforms that actually lower costs.”

It’s a belief, so not therefore not a lie. They never said it had a factual basis.

The phrase appears more than 90 times on Boehner’s website, GOPLeader.gov. It was mentioned eight times in the 48-page Republican campaign platform “A Pledge to America” as part of their plan to “repeal and replace the government takeover of health care.” The Republican National Committee’s website mentions a government takeover of health care more than 200 times. Conservative groups and tea party organizations joined the chorus. It was used by FreedomWorks, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute.

In 2010 alone, “government takeover” was mentioned 28 times in the Washington Post, 77 times in Politico and 79 times on CNN. In most transcripts we examined, Republican leaders used the phrase without being challenged by interviewers. For example, during Boehner’s Jan. 31 appearance on Meet the Press, Boehner said it five times. But not once was he challenged about it.

CNN beat Politico in shilling for the GOP in 2010, so that’s an upset right there. I had Politico as the favorite.

Last year Republicans (and allied organizations) won for “death panels”.

Any guesses on The Big Lie in 2011?

Tragically, This is Real

Oh, my:

Bless their hearts. I think you can hear Rich Lowry doing background vocals.

Decline and Fall Open Thread (Starbucks subvariant)

With the news that the new “Trenta”* size Starbucks will offer exceeds the average volume of the human stomach, I (a) gain the opportunity to say I’m not dead yet to this (very spiffy, suddenly) community…

…and more important, have an excuse to post a couple of really juicy bits of art appropriate to the news.

First, for all of you who may wish to revisit what might have been chemically aided visions of your youth, this:

(Next pic after the jump)

*I believe “Trenta” is Seattitalian for “Anti-Personnel Drink.”

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