Tuesday Night Open Thread

Tonight has to be the exit for Nancy Grace, on DWTS. If not, the show will have some serious credibility issues. She should have been sent packing weeks ago, but her TV fans kept her alive. There's no one left who even remotely is as poor a dancer. Last night Judge Len said:

"For me, you've had kind of a Cinderella story here," he told Ms. Grace. "But it's midnight and it's time to go home."

The only good thing about Ms. UnGrace being on DWTS is it's kept her from spouting her misguided and poisonous opinions on her talk show.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

Update: Nancy Grace got eliminated on DWTS. On Jimmy Kimmel Live afterwards, she said Dr. Conrad Murray should have been charged with murder 1 and sentenced to life in prison. And is anyone surprised that she keeps two nanny-cams going at all times on her desk to check on her two babysitters? (She has two sitters at the same time.) Her partner Tristan was on Kimmel as well. He seemed too petrified of her to speak other than a few sentences so heavily accented they were unintelligible. Her flattering goodbye speech to Tristan during the elimination was probably a charade. They didn't seem like best buddies on Kimmel. She treated him more like a pet.

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    Paterno may have fulfilled his (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by caseyOR on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:32:03 PM EST
    legal obligation, but what about his moral obligation? No one, not Paterno, not McQueary, and obviously not anyone above them, contacted police. How do you not make sure the police are called when a child is being sexually assaulted?

    This is hardly a panic response. Penn State should have acted years ago. If the trustees are doing their job, Spannier is on his way out, too. Anyone who had any knowledge of Sandusky's actions and failed to notify the police should be out the door.

    Penn State's initial response was to tell Sandusky he could no longer use Penn State athletic facilities for his youth program. Seems like they knew he was up to no good.

    People knew for more than a decade what Sandusky was doing. Maybe not every specific, but they knew. They chose to do nothing to protect those kids. Nothing.

    Agreed (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 02:01:48 AM EST
    I don't know how widely known it is just what Sandusky was doing, but I read some of the legal docs today, and McQueary walked in on Sandusky raping-- literally anally raping-- a 10-yo boy in the shower.  Instead of stepping in and stopping it, he slunk away and reported it the next day.

    Regardless, what McQueary told them all he saw wasn't ambiguous or subject to interpretation.  He says he saw McQueary energetically raping a 10-yo child.

    Penn State should have acted immediately to put Sandusky on leave, barred him from the campus, and reported it to police.


    Has anyone asked (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:00:13 AM EST
    McQueary why the he!! he didn't call the police?   He walked in on a felony being committed!  Would he have backed out and reported it the next day if he saw a woman being raped, or someone being murdered in the shower?
    Meanwhile, the Penn State Board of Trustees released a statement late last night.  It can be found here.  

    Why didn't he yell into the showers (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:01:35 AM EST
    to stop what was going on, and if nothing else, give the kid a chance to get away from Sandusky?

    Who just watches a man doing this to a child and does nothing?

    I cannot imagine being that child and finding out that someone saw what was happening and ran away without doing one single thing to help me.

    How do these people sleep at night?


    Exactly so (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:45:28 AM EST
    My first response would have been to scream "Hey, stop!  I'm calling the police!"  Then I would have called the police, as well as requesting an ambulance for the child.

    Donald, if he was (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:48:34 AM EST
    a "graduate assistant," presumably it meant that he was at least 21.  Heck, even an 18 year old high school graduate should know that this was not right and the police should be called.  It's not just a breath-taking lack of maturity, it's a breath-taking and complete lack of judgment.    

    He was 28, from the first account I read. (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 12:07:07 PM EST
    Not exactly a kid.

    Perhaps they meant he is 28 now, which makes more sense.


    I guess I get very agitated about this because I see it speaking to what I consider the glorification of athletics in our society. The harm to a football program was deemed more important than the harm to at least one child, and if any common sense was applied, they would have realized this was not the only child.

    I find it unforgivable.


    So do I, ruffian (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 12:40:05 PM EST
    So do I.

    Terms like accessory and criminal (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 02:35:28 PM EST
    are legalistic and I will leave it for the experts at ESPN to decide that.

    As a human being, I just don't get how you 'freeze' to the extent of not calling the police when you are witnessing an assault on a child, and there is not even any physical danger to yourself to prevent you. I just don't get it.

    Or at the very least, stop the assault and let the kid know he is protected.


    I know I am saying how I hope I would react (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 02:38:35 PM EST
    and am being judgmental. This just seems like a clear case of a good time to be judgmental.

    I can see freezing when he saw (none / 0) (#57)
    by brodie on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 03:08:36 PM EST
    it was Sandusky, probably the most important person associated with PSU football glory after Paterno.  He may have been fearful that his reporting it to police would mean the end of his own career at the university, along with his own name having to be made public and scrutiny of his own character.  Understandable reservations and all too common -- there is the well known tendency of people to want to not to get involved if they possibly can avoid it.  Especially perhaps when they are the sole witness to an ugly crime.

    Also human nature to be harshly judgmental about these witnesses. I assign some blame to McQ for not reporting sooner and to the police but partially credit him for what I think was a detailed and accurate description to Paterno of the crime , the wildly celebrated head coach who was supposedly all about character and always doing the right thing and who as the biggest man on campus was in a position to unfreeze the situation presented by the "traumatized" grad asst


    "willing participant"? (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by brodie on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 02:40:00 PM EST
    Not sure how the seeming behavior of the very underage victim during the act is relevant to reporting what was clearly, by McQ's own testimony, a shocking felonious sexual assault.

    Donald, the main thing (none / 0) (#64)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 05:31:01 PM EST
    that seems clear to me is that there needs to be a total house-cleaning at Penn State.  This saddens me, because it's a great school, and we have very dear friends who work there (and are absolutely appalled and profoundly saddened by this).  But there were egregious lapses of judgment, all up and down the ladder, not just in the football program, but even higher.  No ten-year-old can give any kind of consent to sex of any kind, as you clarified.  Whether the child was trying to fight Sandusky off or not does not matter- sexual predators have ways of intimidating and coercing their victims.  

    Donald, one of our friends (none / 0) (#66)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 07:19:34 PM EST
    up there at PSU knows Gary Schultz well and at least used to consider him a friend, and he is devastated.  It is a crying shame that the "powers that be" seemed to have been way more concerned about Penn States' reputation than they were about the children.  This is, indeed, a "spectacular institutional failure."  My heart hurts for the children, the innocent victims in all of this.  

    Indeed (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 08:15:03 PM EST
    There is plenty of blame to throw around here.  I happen to think that child sexual abuse is one of the most heinous crimes around.  And I condemn anyone who tries to cover this up.  I can only think that they somehow thought that covering this up was "the greater good for the greater number."  Not at all my feeling, but I realize that many people make a whole lot of mistakes based on this.  A college football program is in no way a "greater good" in the global sense of the word- it's entertainment, not some hugely important thing for the good of humanity.  Their values got totally screwed up.

    Looks like that grad asst (none / 0) (#34)
    by brodie on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:13:37 AM EST
    was spooked by who he saw in the shower, what reporting it immediately to police authorities would do to PSU football and most likely by what would happen with his nifty position in the high profile program.

    So he decided to sleep on it then call his father for advice, then at least do the minimum and report it up the chain to Paterno.  But to his credit it appears that he gave a detailed unambiguous account to Joe.

    Paterno strikes me as the one more responsible here for initiating a cover up since he maintains McQueary only gave him some vague account re "inappropriate" behavior.  But the contemporary evidence including what McQ told others at the time contradicts the benign version of Paterno.


    Brodie, that certainly (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:52:32 AM EST
    would be an ugly motivation for the grad assistant, but you may well be right.  Or he didn't want to get directly "involved."  Not a nice picture, any way you look at it.

    That is what I have been wondering (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:34:28 AM EST
    How is it that your first call while witnessing a child being abused is not to 911, but to a coach on the same staff as the abuser?

    I don't understand people.


    even so. Unless his father is a 911 operator (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 12:02:03 PM EST
    something is very wrong here.

    The Harrisburg Patriot-News (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 03:25:39 PM EST
    on Tuesday notes that there is much more required for university officials than meeting miminum legal standards. The paper notes the illustrious background of the university president, the coach, etc. and concludes with the direct tone that they can claim no leadership without ethics. The Patriot-News stresses the absence of an ethical response by the top officials; and, calls for Spanier & Paterno to leave.

    As I note downthread (in a response to Donald), my feelings as a long-time devotee of my birth state of PA & of its flagship Penn State accord with the uncompromising editorial. And with your comments.


    Here's the link to the editorial: (none / 0) (#62)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 03:35:46 PM EST
    Thanks, Anne. Very thoughtful. (none / 0) (#63)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 03:38:56 PM EST
    The story gets weirder (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 07:33:50 AM EST
    The prosecutor who was investigating Sandusky in 1998 actually disappeared in 2005.

    Tuesday's editorial (none / 0) (#58)
    by christinep on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 03:15:48 PM EST
    in the Harrisburg Patriot-News is well-written, imo. The sum: It calls for the immediate resignation of PSU president Spanier and the leaving-at-season's-end of coach Paterno. Not mincing words in a paper not that far-removed from State College, the Harrisburg paper underscores the meaning of ethical leadership as well as meeting minimum legal standards.

    As one born in PSU land who still cheers on Penn State and considered Paterno to be Coach Exemplar, I almost cried at first hearing. My husband, who lived in Pennsylvania thru high-school and had met Paterno when he visited husband's H.S. to give a motivational talk, felt the same pangs...and, it was a prime subject of conjecture by us over the week-end. We felt that the state insitutions would be protective of the Penn State officials in view of the pervasive football & other admiration. We have been pleasantly surprised to see (and hear via cousins) that institutions like the Harrisburg paper are not hiding nor in denial.

    It is sad; but what appears to have happened to those young boys goes beyond sad.


    CA statutes re mandatory reporting (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 03:29:53 PM EST
    are much more comprehensive than those of PA.  But it doesn't appear that even in CA Paterno was mandated to report.  CA Penal Code

    Cain ad at top of DK diary!!! (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:50:38 PM EST
    How funny! (none / 0) (#17)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 02:03:18 AM EST
    His political (and legal) advice has been completely incompetent.

    Cannot believe I had to google to find (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:54:40 PM EST
    out if Nancy went home.  Come on people!

    No, that's good! (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by sj on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:02:04 AM EST
    I almost got a Project Runway spoiler when I wasn't able to watch the finale on Thursday night and had it on DVR.  I had to actually stay out of an open thread!

    Tragic, that was. lol


    so, did she? dont make me google it! (none / 0) (#24)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:32:55 AM EST
    See update above... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:41:31 AM EST
    Let the joyous news be spread, the wicked old witch at last is dead.

    Back to her regularly scheduled chain and cage sermonizing.


    OMG (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 08:28:16 AM EST

    ...but her TV fans kept her alive.

    There are Nancy Grace fans?  You can learn many strange things on this blog.


    Meanwhile, ballot measure to (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 08:23:38 PM EST
    change city employee retirement system just qualified for the ballot. Would apply to all new-hires except police department.

    PA statute did not require Paterno (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 09:40:29 PM EST
    to report suspected child abuse to any public entity.  Why should he be the administration's scapegoat considering he apparently followed Penn State's procedures.  

    PA statute: (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 09:41:03 PM EST
    Federal stimulus: Northup Grumman (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 09:43:39 PM EST
    to mfg. drone helicopters capable of returning to ship after firing.  LAT

    How to stop junk mail: (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 09:49:13 PM EST

    don't watch a lot of tv (none / 0) (#9)
    by desmoinesdem on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:45:37 PM EST
    but I did see The Next Iron Chef on Sunday. Robert Irvine got shafted--he should not have been in the bottom two, and then of the bottom two he should not have been the person eliminated.

    I missed this and my husband accidentally put the (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Amiss on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 12:40:46 AM EST
    TiVo in our storage!

    Oh! Who else (none / 0) (#14)
    by Amiss on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 12:45:53 AM EST
    was in bottom 2?

    Chiarello (none / 0) (#74)
    by desmoinesdem on Thu Nov 10, 2011 at 10:24:59 PM EST
    Who is a great chef in my opinion, but I don't think he outcooked Irvine in that 30-minute challenge.

    Coach Paterno (none / 0) (#12)
    by NYShooter on Tue Nov 08, 2011 at 11:59:43 PM EST
    I don't know all the facts (not does anyone else) regarding this unfortunate & lurid situation, but one thing I do know. When it comes to class coaches, and class humans, Joe Paterno wrote the book.

    If ever there was a case of giving someone the benefit of the doubt, especially in light of a lifetime of exemplary devotion to his students (as opposed to just his "athletes") this is it. Whatever it is that Coach/Teacher Paterno should, or shouldn't, have done, I'll stand by Joe every time.

    Something tells me you wouldn't be (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Anne on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 10:32:30 AM EST
    trying to balance Paterno's involvement in this mess against his many years of good works if someone you knew, a child, for God's sake, had been one of Sandusky's victims.

    Not even if Paterno was on the short list for sainthood should his failure to follow through - even if he wasn't legally required to do so - be glossed over.

    Isn't this the man who built a career on doing the right thing?  Does it seem like he did enough in this case to make sure the right thing was being done?

    Does this sound like a man who did the right thing?

    "If true, the nature and amount of charges made are very shocking to me and all Penn Staters. While I did what I was supposed to with the one charge brought to my attention, like anyone else involved I can't help but be deeply saddened these matters are alleged to have occurred....

    "As my grand jury testimony stated, I was informed in 2002 by an assistant coach that he had witnessed an incident in the shower of our locker room facility. It was obvious that the witness was distraught over what he saw, but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the Grand Jury report. Regardless, it was clear that the witness saw something inappropriate involving Mr. Sandusky. As Coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at that time, I referred the matter to university administrators."

    So, Sandusky was "retired" and what, Paterno just hands it off to the administration?  Why not the cops if Sandusky wasn't a university employee anymore?  Why not Child Protective Services?  The incident Paterno was told about occurred in 2002 - nine freaking years ago!  Nine!

    But, the show must go on.  Strong moral, ethical and academic values must be instilled in the young men Paterno coached, right?  How in the name of God does someone hold himself out as a role model for morals and ethics and do only what he was legally required to do, and no more?

    The more I hear people bringing up what a swell guy Paterno is, the more I am reminded of how the Catholic Church handled reports of abuse by priests; in this allegory, Paterno's not the one who committed the acts, but he's part of the hierarchy that failed those who had been victimized up to that point, and all those who were harmed from that point forward.

    And there is no excuse for any of them.


    My cube mate and I, both recovering Catholics, (none / 0) (#53)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 02:43:22 PM EST
    have also been talking about the comparisons to the church abuse cases. And the merging of religion and sports, especially football, come to think of it, is longstanding.

    Brady material... Innocence Project (none / 0) (#15)
    by Rojas on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 01:02:54 AM EST
    God what a train wreak.
    Michael Morton was falsely convicted of murdering his wife in 87. After a long struggle, with help from the Innocence Project, he finally was exonerated after DNA testing blew apart the states case.

    John Bradley, who some may remember from the Cameron Todd Willigham fiasco, did not try the case but he fought the testing for six years.

    One of his mentors, now a district judge, was the lead prosecutor. Looks like he played hide the ball and withheld evidence from the defense. Not just a little bit, but allot. Anyways, some of the key players have been ordered to give depositions.

    The Wilco Watchdog has excellent coverage with background and links to the depositions.

    Arrest made in Texas wrongful conviction case (none / 0) (#73)
    by Rojas on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:43:13 PM EST
    25 years later.
    They claim a DNA match to another murder conducted after Morton was convicted.

    Every few weeks (none / 0) (#32)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:12:23 AM EST
    I mention here that we are not going to know what hit us if Greece or Italy goes into default.

    The bond yield numbers today says that without immediate intervention, Greece is going into default.  If you were planning to drop any money into the stock market, you probably want to wait a few days. The market is about to get kicked in the teeth.

    As I said 6 months ago, while we are debating about a few hundred million in stimulus spending here or a few hundred million there, the collapse of the 3rd largest economy in the EU will make the dream billion in additional spending that Krugman wanted completely irrelevant.

    If Italy goes and the EU doesn't save them, there is no amount of stimulus that would reverse the hit to employment that we are likely to see.

    I really, really hope that I am not right about my predictions, because it really is disaster.

    Perspective: The exposure of Goldman, one of our biggest banks, to an Italian collapse is between 1-2 billion.  That's just one bank.  The overall amounts that might go up in smoke held by US banks could be in the tens of billions.

    The amounts of stimulus we are fighting about across the aisle are peanuts compared to this crisis.

    dress rehearsal (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 12:00:57 PM EST
    ...what's happening in Greece is a dress rehearsal for what's going on in the United States.


    ...you have an identical strategy being used between Greece and the United States. Greece is the first domino since Iceland. And the financial interests that are looking at this post-2008 debt crisis as a grab bag think now is the chance for us to make our move. Now we can take all this debt that we've built up and we can get out of the financial system, we can turn it into direct ownership of property. We can own the Greek islands, we can own the Greek public domain, just like we can own what Minnesota, Chicago, Wisconsin, and California own. And all of a sudden you have a huge virtual foreclosure process.
    You can look at what's happening in Greece when it says cut back your pensions, cut back your Social Security, cut back your medical care. This is exactly what we're going to see done ... by the Obama administration here.


    ...former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinskiz warned that the growing wealth imbalance in America - now reaching levels not seen since the Great Depression - could lead to civil unrest in the streets. As the middle-class in America falls deeper and deeper into desperation - Brzezisnki said, "we're going to slide into intensified social conflicts, social hostility, some forms of radicalism, there is just going to be a sense that this is not a just society." We have a society in which 400 Americans own more wealth that 150 million other Americans. We have a society in which 50% of all the children in America will depend on food stamps at some point in their life before they are 18 - and among African American children that number is 90%. We no longer live in a just society - and if Brzezinski is right - turbulent times could be ahead for America.

    -- US Gov. Spending Cuts: What's On The Table? You're On The Table


    I meant Italy (none / 0) (#33)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:13:01 AM EST
    Italy's default would be 4-5 times more devastating that Greece's default would be.

    About Murray's credentials: (none / 0) (#35)
    by observed on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 11:15:45 AM EST
    I thought a friend of mine told me that Murray didn't have hospital priviledges. I emailed the friend and asked him to look this up.
    IN fact, it's worse.
    "According to the New York Times 6/27/09 Murray has no board certifications in either Internal Medicine or Cardiology"

    Not to mention anesthesiology. (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 12:38:30 PM EST
    I think this gives some justification (none / 0) (#56)
    by observed on Wed Nov 09, 2011 at 03:07:11 PM EST
    for using the "charl.." word which got me a little swat.