Monday, February 7, 2011

Politicalgates Weekly-and-a-half Roundup, January 28-February 6, 2011

By Blueberry Tart

Friday, January 28, 2011

Welcome to Politicalgates!

Welcome to Politicalgates! We are all very relieved that Patrick and Kathleen have opened this new blog. Patrick: We are very excited about this new venture, and hope to create a thriving community with lots of ideas and energy.” With H/T to many readers, this eggcellent new home is eggsactly what we needed!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Egypt’s Unrest and Killing the Internet

Graph from

Kathleen’s post is very timely, showing how Egypt’s government killed the internet in the early stages of civil unrest that has engulfed the country. The question is, could this happen in the U.S.? Senators Collins and Lieberman have introduced legislation that would provide broad powers to control the nation’s infrastructure during a crisis. Are the powers delegated to the government in an emergency strictly benign, as claimed, to keep the internet and other infrastructure functioning in an emergency? The vague language of the bill may allow for broader interpretation, which as I seem to recall, President Bush II abused systematically through his signing statements.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sarah and Mr. Caribou?


Just when you thought that the world of Sarah Palin could not possibly become any more bizarre, she comes out with some new mania. In her speech to the Safari Club in Reno last week, Palin fed them lots of fresh red meat (next to the mashed potatoes), including a new line about “Mr. Caribou taking one for the team.” Huh? In case that makes no sense to you, she apparently means that oil and gas drilling should be allowed in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [] because Palin sees it as a barren wasteland. So, her infamous episode of SPAK where she demonstrated her inexperience as a hunter was really a clever ruse, meant to show people that the area is not worth protecting. Never mind that many wildlife experts, who actually know something about the subject, have stated exactly the opposite; Palin is the world’s foremost authority on this and every other subject, or so she would have people believe. She also developed a whole series of new stories about the source of her children’s names, customized for the audience…kind of like the new stories that she keeps coming up with about Trig’s birth. None of it makes any sense, but as long as the MSM doesn’t call her on it, her nonsense and lies will continue to masquerade as news.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Politicalgates Team Takes Shape

Patrick announces the new starting lineup! The Politicalgates team is shaping up into a powerhouse, with Kathleen, Patrick, Leadfoot_LA, Ennealogic and yours truly signed up to provide regular posts. Leadfoot’s first post is already filled with her trademark wit, as she lists 10 things she’s learned from this community; here’s a snippet: “10. Always put lotion on your neck at night, so you don’t get a turkey neck like Sarah Palin’s...” ;-) She says, “I’m looking forward to a 2011 filled with humor, friendship and justice.”

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


This is quite a week for the new blog, now graced with our first eyewitness report, thanks to Kasha Knish! Patrick set the stage with his post about the Koch Brothers’ annual retreat, held at a luxury resort in Rancho Mirage, California. The Koch Brothers are among the master puppeteers who pull the strings and fund the Tea Party, allowing it to come out of nowhere to be a political force. These retreats are strategic planning sessions for the right wing, and are attended by major mucky-mucks, including many Republican leaders, titans of industry, and Supreme Court Justices (Scalia and Thomas; so much for objectivity in the judiciary). Common Cause organized a peaceful protest at the entrance to the resort, which Kasha Knish attended and photographed, but left before some arrests were made. (What was that about the right to peaceful assembly – do you looooove your freeeeedom?)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Bradley Manning: Tragic Hero or Shameful Traitor?


Ennealogic’s first post as a Poligater is a fascinating one about Bradley Manning, the Army PFC who provided classified information to Wikileaks. Whatever you may feel about Manning, this post gives a fuller picture of what motivated him to release the documents, knowingly putting himself at risk. Manning, an intelligence analyst, was assigned to investigate why the Iraqi Federal Police were not cooperating with the US Army after detaining 15 Iraqis who had published a political critique of PM Malaki. Manning found that the 15 detainees had written a well-researched piece that traced a trail of corruption to Malaki’s office. When Manning reported what he found to his superior officer, he was told to bury the information and instead help the Iraqis arrest more dissenters. Manning felt that this went against his personal convictions. This led to his actions providing classified information to Wikileaks. Unfortunately for Manning, he confided in a self-promoting hacker named Adrian Lamo, who reported him to the authorities. In another twist, apparently Manning is gay and might soon have been released under DADT. To be continued…

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Egypt: Christians Stand Together to Protect Muslims at Prayer

Photo: NevineZaki

Kathleen is keeping us informed about what is happening as the Egyptian people have risen up together in oppositionto the 30-year reign of President Mubarak. The post includes footage and photos from Cairo, where Egyptians seemed very positive and hopeful about their ability to effect change in their country. Nevine sent photos showing Christians creating a protective barrier around Muslims at prayer. The post reported on Mubarak’s announcement that he will not stand for reelection, but intends to remain in power until September. The protesters do not trust him to keep his word, and want him out now. During the next 24-48 hours, the situation deteriorated, with Mubarak supporters violently attacking the protesters, and an increasing number of deaths and injuries. Journalists are being systematically targeted to stop them from showing the world what is happening. Ironically, this suppression of the media is having the opposite effect, making the regime’s brutality all the more apparent to the world.

Friday, February 04, 2011

No Means No


This is a very personal post by Leadfoot, whose close friend Nickels was date-raped as a teenager. The two bravely consented to sharing that story in the context of the Republicans’ recent attempt to redefine rape. Nickels, who leans Republican-conservative, feels that rape is, by definition, forcible, but that this is an issue that many people are not sensitive to because they have not personally experienced rape. She does not conflate it with other Republican policies. Leadfoot also commented on other anti-choice provisions of H.R.3 and ended with: The provision in H.R. 3 was morally wrong. We stood against it. And we won.”

Live-blogging Sarah Palin speech

Photo: Spencer Weiner/Associated Press

Next up, Ennealogic entertained us by live-blogging Sarah’s speech at the Reagan Ranch, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth. The speech for the Young America Foundation was to Old Americans who tepidly responded to a lot of Sarah’s old lines and a few new ones. The boring intro was almost as long as boring speech. Red jacket, check. Flag pin, check. In a nutshell: “RRR hallowed ground, swamps to stars, Bristol and riding (oopsie!), Big Bad Government, Obamacare is evil, green investment is road to ruin, hard work, tax shackles, David and Goliath, don’t tread on me, faith in God not government.” That will be $100,000, please. It was apparently a lackluster performance, with a lot of looking down reading from notes. The blogging was more entertaining than the speech, that’s for sure!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Suppression of the Media


Last but not least ;-) is my own post on the suppression of the media in Egypt – but not just in Egypt. We are able to witness the intimidation and brutality against journalists in Egypt through the internet, FB and Twitter postings and the MSM, but such visibility for these tactics is actually quite unusual. Typically, the coverage is spotty – who knew that 300 journalists have been killed or disappeared in Russia since 1993, for example? This overt brutality is effective in its own way, as Anderson Cooper’s report shows, acknowledging that they cannot report openly or even disclose their location. But the more subtle intimidation of the media, including increasingly pervasive tactics like ridicule and disinformation, are often very effective. This all highlights the importance of blogs like Politicalgates.

Comments and Links (I can only do a few):

Aview999: I'm still in shock we're still talking about her! It defies belief, when you think about it. I mean, there are so many LIES that can be proven...yet she's still here!!

Sjk: In other news... With so much respect for President Reagan's upcoming 100th birthday $arah paylin announces plans to launch potato based donut into space in hopes of crippling the former soviet union again.

Linda1961: If is greatly offensive that Sarah talks so flippantly of sacrifice and taking one for the team if you know anything about history and those who have sacrificed. Although she never mentions Jesus, nor acts like him, some claim that she is a Christian. He sacrificed himself for all mankind, as a Christian and a history buff, I take deep offense to this woman, who will not sacrifice for anything, being so flippant about sacrifice. And I hate the way she distorts history and the founding of our nation to score cheap political points.

Event Horizon: What should be most troubling to anyone hearing this remark are the historical echoes underlying her attitude -- that smug entitlement of unilaterally deciding what should be prioritized, and what should be sacrificed.

Nomadicjoe: I would suppose that her insincerity…comes from knowing in her own mind, that she lacks the qualities that make her qualified for anything. "It's all pretend and so I have to keep up the appearance at all costs because if anybody starts to doubt the facade-even in the slightest- then the whole house of cards will come crashing down." Later: Why tell the truth when a lie sounds so much better and everybody swallows whatever baloney you peddle anyway?

Sunnyjane (from Jack Cafferty): An uneducated public is a dictator’s best friend.

Jk: The photos of the Christians protecting the Muslims as they pray are particularly inspiring even to this completely areligious poster. That amazing event had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with respect and humanity.

Aussiegal77: The Muslim community in Egypt did the same loving thing for Coptic Christians in Egypt in early January after bombings by extremists at a Coptic church that killed the Christians worshipping there. The Muslims showed up to protect the Christians while they went to church service, saying they were forming a human shield for their fellow Egyptians.

BfromC: I think the saddest thing is that she was going on about a man, long gone, who probably would be repulsed by her. And she brags on him like he is her favorite, living uncle. But she is just using him.

From Nomadicjoe’s site this on Glenn Beck and the right-wing media

Mmboucher and others linked to this interesting letter to the editor.

Cheeriogirl found this on how the Senate Resolution on Egypt died.

Marieke02 pointed out this very interesting piece on Egypt.

PCG had this on the Reagan Myth vs. Reality.

I think we can probably all use a laugh to close out this eventful week+1/2:

Bluerinse found this brilliant piece from Jon Stewart.

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