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Nov 212011
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Pepper Spraying Pike

There’s a lot of these going around.  By these, I mean Fun with Photoshop™ pictures of Pepper Spraying Pike – the UC Davis cop responsible for this piece of tragedy:

The chicken shit cop with the pepper spray is one UC Davis police Lt. John Pike – who reportedly makes a base salary of $116,454!  And you wonder why your tuition is so high.

Although the coward has been suspended pending an investigation into the matter,  he’s being mocked in quite creative ways by people armed with a peaceful tool known as Photoshop!  Some of my faves…

 

and many more can be found here and other places on the interwebs.

As embarrassed as Pike and his fellow “peace officers” should be, it’s nothing like what UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi must have felt on Saturday evening.  As Lee Fang (formerly of Think Progress, soon to be of United Republic, now blogging at The Second Alarm) wrote and told us about on the show this morning:

After the outrage of the Friday pepper spray attack by UC Davis police, who were acting on orders from the UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, a press conference was called this afternoon. I listened to the call, and heard Katehi claim that she was acting in the best “health” interests of the students. I heard her dismiss the calls by faculty for her resignation as “blog” talk. But then I witnessed the students amassing outside the press conference, demanding a voice in the matter.

What transpired was awe-inspiring. I wrote up an account and you can read it here. I just posted a new extended video, of a young man who was among the kids affected by pepper spray on Friday, and it shows him leading the 1,000-strong Davis students in an incredibly disciplined, surprisingly restrained, collective shaming of the chancellor as she walked to her car. There was no intimidation or ‘hostage taking,’ as I understand some in the Sacramento media are portraying it — not to be cliche, but it was pure nonviolent people power.

Incredible! As someone many years the senior of those disciplined college students, I’m in awe. I don’t know that I could have been so quiet in the face of what I consider to be evil. Chancellor Katehi will speak at this afternoon’s General Assembly. Lee Fang will be there, tweeting about it.  We’ll give you the post-script on tomorrows show.

The OWS protests aren’t the only scenes of unrest in the world.  No doubt inspired by the people who occupied Tahrir Square earlier this year – in what began as a peaceful, non-violent revolution – the occupiers here must be watching the events unfolding in Cairo today with a mix of sadness and fear.

Huffington Post foreign policy journalist Joshua Hersh flew to Cairo on Thursday to cover next week’s elections.  He was at Tahrir Square in February, witnessing the ousting of Hosni Mubarek, and thought he was returning to report on the final chapter of Egypt’s transition to a democracy.  Little did he know that on Friday he’d see the start of police attacks on the people who had once again taken to Tahrir, culminating with the military moving in and the  deathsof 35 protesters.

On today’s show, I mentioned to Joshua Hersh a piece I had seen on gawker - suggesting that the violent police crackdowns were likely at least partially responsible for the tough tactics now being used there:

Two people were killed in Cairo and Alexandria this weekend as Egyptian activists took the streets to protest the military’s attempts to maintain its grip on power. And guess how the state is justifying its deadly crackdown.

We saw the firm stance the US took against OWS people & the German govt against green protesters to secure the state,” an Egyptian state television anchor said yesterday (as translated by the indispensable Sultan Sooud al Qassemi; bold ours).

Yeah—it gets harder and harder to maintain a moral high ground when videos like this andpictures like this are unavoidable. But American police haven’t killed anyone! Indeed! That’s definitely something worth bragging about: so far, cops here have only sent a single person to the hospital with brain damage. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

Josh replied that he couldn’t say what was going on here at home was the cause of it, but he did note that tear gas canisters with “Made in the USA” on them were everywhere in Tahrir Square, and the police response to Occupy Wall Street encampments were a very frequent topic of discussion.  Follow his twitter feed for up to the minute reports from his balcony overlooking Tahrir Square.

After a news update from TRNS, it was time for our regular Monday morning dissection of the Sunday talking head shows.  Crooks & LiarsNicole Belle watches them so we don’t have to, and much of this week’s discussion was about the weirdness that is Newt Gingrich….

Sometimes, there’s only so much stupidity that one can take before resorts to just writing off the entire GOP field. I suspect that Paul Krugman has reached that point, because in discussing the current crop of presidential hopefuls, he tells the This Week panel—including the pearl-clutching Peggy Noonan– that “only fools and clowns” believe in Republican ideology. I have to give Krugman credit for the single best soundbyte description of Newt Gingrich: He’s a stupid man’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.

And as if to prove Krugman’s point, Newt Gingrich told an audience at Harvard University that child labors laws are stupid. No, seriously.

Amazingly enough, it’s not this latest insanity that makes the Fox News panel agree that Newt doesn’t have much of a chance of winning the nomination.

However, not all Republicans think that Newt is spouting off nonsense. Sen. Jon Kyl—invited on as a member of the Super Committee on deficit reduction—thinks that Newt’s comments at the evangelical faith debate this past Saturday (that OWS protestors should take a bath and get a job) are absolutely spot on.

Of course, there’s not going to be anything positive said about OWS on Fox News either. In a tangential comment over the Super Committee’s ability to come to some agreement, Juan Williams made the mistake of saying something good about OWS and host Chris Wallace had to jump in and cut him off.

And if we have time, on the subject of the Super Committee, member John Kerry made sure that David Gregory knows that if the committee does fail, it’s entirely because the Republicans absolutely refuse to give up the Bush tax cuts.

Tomorrow – the lastest from UC Davis, Cairo and the Super Committee (!), and a visit from @GottaLaff of The Political Carnival…

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