e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

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Video's gone but not forgotten

So somebody (we can guess who) intimidated the person who put the video of that hilarious song up and they took it down.

But you know, you seriously, really, do not want to elect someone who can't stand to be laughed at and who wants to hide his mistakes.

So while I encourage some filkwriter friends to come up with something even better, here's a little more about Perry and his approach to governance.    Or, "How much Perry likes the death penalty and how far he will go to hide the fact that  he's killed innocents."

Some of you may have seen this on a national TV program (don't remember which network, though...but certainly not Fox.)   There's an account of the case in the September 7, 2009 New Yorker (one of its big investigative pieces, by David Grann.)

A man named Cameron Todd Willingham was accused of murdering his three children by deliberately burning down his house with them in it.   The local fire investigator was sure he saw signs of arson--but he wasn't an expert, had no training.   He did call in a state investigator, but this was a man who said under oath that as far as he knew he never made mistakes...the very signature of "closed mind, ignore contrary evidence."   They immediately chose Willingham as the most likely suspect.  The local prosecutor found it easy to get a conviction.   Willingham was on death row over ten years...during which time more more evidence emerged that the fire was not arson and he had not murdered his children...and that both the state and local fire investigators had indeed made mistakes and were not as expert as the court had made them seem.

But Governor Perry refused to grant a stay of execution.   He has repeatedly refused to grant stays of execution when new evidence or expert testimony has been found, just as Texas courts are reluctant to allow appeals.   He vetoed a bill that would have kept mentally retarded individuals from being subject to the death penalty (on the grounds that there were already enough safeguards for them in place.  And how are those safeguards protecting them from execution under Gov. Perry?  Um...not very well at all.   Anyway, this is part of his "tough on criminals" stance (doesn't apply to corporations, of course.  Or their CEOs.  Though it wasn't Perry, it was one of his strongest supporters in the Texas legislature who apologized to BP for the criticism BP received after the disasterous oil leak in the Gulf.)   That's one part of Perry and the death penalty--he really likes that big tough stance looking down on the low-income criminals.   (It's pertinent that Willingham was unemployed at the time of the fire.)

But there's worse.  Five years after that execution,  an investigator from  the Texas Forensic Science Commission, looking at the evidence again,  decided that the fire could not have been arson.   Not "maybe wasn't" but "could not have been."   His testimony would have been heard before the Commission, but Perry fired and replaced three of the Commission's members...ensuring that there'd be no hearing on the case.  
So not only was he a pigheaded SOB about the evidence in the first place, now that there's expert testimony that's going to make it clear he goofed and had an innocent man executed, he uses his power as a governor to cover it up.   Couldn't just say "Damn, I was wrong, and I'm so sorry...and I'll learn from this that maybe I, too, am not God and do make mistakes."    No.  Like Bush before him, he can't stand to have anyone think he's less than gold-plated perfection.

But gold plated stupid mistakes are still stupid mistakes.  A man who can't admit error has no business in power.   As my engineer mother used to say "You can't fix a mistake if you don't admit you made it."

Tags: politics

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