Monday, February 14, 2011

Politicalgates Weekly Roundup, February 6-13, 2011

By Blueberry Tart

The world was rapt this week with the news from Egypt, and Politicalgates readers collectively expressed our admiration for the courage and persistence of the Egyptian people as they threw off the yoke of Mubarak’s dictatorship. So, speaking on behalf of our community, we salute Egypt's courageous people and send our hopes for the continuing evolution of a government that is based on and respects the will of the Egyptian people.

Sunday, February 06, 2011:

Bachmann’s Constitutional Seminars


We’ll start where I left off last Sunday, with Nomadicjoe’s excellent guest post on Michele Bachmann’s Constitutional Seminars for members of Congress. As a Daily Kos reporter found, these seminars are closed to the public and the media for security reasons. No, wait, they’re closed because there isn’t enough room. Err, no, that’s not it either. The truth seems to be that the seminars are closed because they don’t want people to know what is going on, paid for with taxpayer funds. [BBT: That’s just a wild guess on my part.] Supreme Court Justice Scalia kicked things off, once again raising red flags about his objectivity and ethics. The post also mentions others who are part of this effort to indoctrinate members of Congress, including the Koch Brothers, other SCOTUS Justices (Roberts and Thomas), and the increasingly influential wingnut David Barton. Later in the week, ThinkProgress had a good piece on the SCOTUS conflict of interest.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011:

Bristol shows off new house, new boyfriend and new chin!

Leadfoot has a gift for showing the inanity of the Palin’s celebrity cult in an entertaining way. Here, she reviews Bristol’s interview with E!News, showing off her new house in Arizona, where she lives with Tripp and the nanny and has occasional visits from her new Christian, family-guy, Gino. (This is not the guy from the band, in case you’re having trouble keeping her pseudo-abstinent love life straight.) I particularly love when Bristol announces on this TV interview that she’s not going to talk about her new guy publicly… perhaps she mistook this interview for a confidential chat with her minister? There is, of course, the obligatory put down of Levi. The biggest news is that her multiple chins have been reduced to one. [If you enjoy following Bristol’s soap-opera life, you MUST also read the comment that HopeforAmerica posted from IM from someone who worked in the cosmetic surgeon’s office where Bristol had her liposuction procedure. Juicy! (No, I’m not calling you, Sarah!)]

Wednesday, February 9, 2011:

Alaska Dispatch Admonishes Media to Report Truthfully about Palin


Kathleen’s post picks up on an important story from Alaska Dispatch. The Dispatch points out what so many of us have known for a long time – that the media often rewrites and “interprets” Sarah Palin’s typical word salad, rather than reporting the inane things she actually says. This puts “rewriting history” in a new light, where her idiotic ramblings, fractured syntax, malapropisms and ignorance are smoothed over, making her look more competent and credible than she is. This is strictly dishonest reporting, and our hats are off to the AK Dispatch for saying so. Now, let’s see if Sarah takes them up on their offer to have a sit-down interview. [Hint: don’t hold your breath.]

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pop Quiz!

Leadfoot is at it again, cleverly showing us how Sarah Palin is appropriate fodder for the tabloids, not for a position of power and responsibility. The pop quiz covers quite a lot of ground in the categories of “Sarah Palin trivia” and “Hollywood celebrities.” Lively open thread!

Friday, February 11, 2011

How did you do?

The envelope, please! Here are the answers. Okay, I confess: I only got 8 right. (Hangs head.) That’s probably my worst quiz grade in my whole life! I got most (but not all) of the questions where SP was the correct answer, but was HOPELESS at the rest. But it was fun anyway! How did you all do?

Happy Birthday, Sarah – we were all thinking of you (unfortunately)! Did anyone smash your face in a cake? We would love to see that on TV; pretty please? ;-)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Palin hires Chief-of-Staff

[Subtitle: She’s running.]

NomadicJoe offers us another fine guest post. This one reveals the shady past of SarahPAC’s new Chief-of-Staff, Michael Glassner, who worked for the McCain-Palin campaign as director of the VP operations. He was also a regional finance chairman and bundler of large contributions for the campaign. Glassner’s former company, IDT, was fined $1.3 million by the FCC for failing to file a contract for its telecom services in Haiti, and is currently under investigation by the Justice Department and SEC regarding kickbacks to former Haitian President Aristide. When this story broke, Glassner and IDT head Jim Courter disappeared from the campaign’s fundraising list. Since Palin is undoubtedly familiar with Glassner’s past, it is a good indication of the ethical standards (or lack thereof) that we can expect from Palin’s very likely run for president.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The joys of old and new technology

Patrick’s open thread is a real treat…a wonderful piece on the beautiful technology of books, along with visual feasts in time lapse photography. Enjoy!

On the comment thread, sleuth1 linked to a video of an interesting exchange in Congress, with Rep. Anthony Weiner pointing out that the Republicans’ Protect Life Act violates their own rule because it does not cite the Constitutional authority for the proposed law. Note: long but very interesting.

The inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning

Ennealogic’s post reveals the deplorable, inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning, the Army soldier accused of sending classified information to Wikileaks. Manning has been held in solitary confinement at Quantico, VA since his arrest last year. Since he is considered a “Maximum Custody Detainee,” his treatment is especially severe and repressive. The legalities of this case are complex and beyond the scope of the post, except to say that the military’s strict requirement of obedience is trumped in cases where a soldier is ordered to do something illegal. No matter what you may think of Bradley Manning’s action – whether villain or hero – the actions of the United States in his case bring dishonor on this country. When the U.N. is investigating whether the U.S. is torturing him, and their special investigator implies that harsh treatment that is intended to break a person’s is torture, then this is something all citizens of the world should decry and deplore.

Comments and Links of the Week:

HighPeaks: …I cannot help but be moved by the courage and dignity of everyday people who simply want their voices to be heard and to be able to breathe free... We see so many people abroad who have paid with their precious lives for these cherished things that we are so very blessed with, yet which we choose to exercise so carelessly at times, if at all.

sunnyjane: To me, it is immoral to lie while you are supposedly seeking the truth.

465janedoeseeker: My summary of her speech: "It's all Obama's fault that I'm too lazy to do my own research about Egypt. It's Obama's fault that the CIA's secret information about Egypt (which puts agents' lives in ongoing danger, by definition) is not disclosed to the American public. Assange should be imprisoned for spilling the facts. Obama should be impeached for not telling the facts." Oh, "and look how smarty-pants I am NOW, because I can talk about a new thing (Egypt); and look how intellectual I am when I push up my glasses."

JCos: "She grew up really independent and fearless, so she isn't afraid to be on her own." Perjury, anyone?

Toccaro: …Delusions of grandeur, grifting and narcissism must be an inherited trait in that family.

TripleMoon: She loves the swirl of speculation that surrounds her, loves how the media hangs on her every word, and loves that she has a rabid cult that would do anything for her. She's addicted to it… Her problem is how long can she milk the "will she run or not" speculation. It can't last too much longer.

Skye: So Sarah calls the White House to find out who the next leader of Egypt will be at 3 A.M... and she gets booted to a answering machine and is ticked off enough to make a fuss? Someone should have told her to take two aspirins and call back if she is still nuts in the morning.

Louiecypher: …now to figure out how to be, un-wed, pregnant, woman (ok this is too hard already), un-educated, and aspiring to higher political office.

Bja: I wish these people would stop translating what she says into what they think are deep, philosophical thoughts. They act as though it's some kind of divine message from the maharaji that they need to translate for the great unwashed. What she said was what she said. It was simple, stupid and incredibly confused. There is no higher meaning ... except that someone that whacked out should not hold public office.

Sally: She tried, she really tried, to find someone with some morals to work with her, but they all said, "No, thanks, Sarah." To which Nefer replied: Or maybe, "Thanks, but no thanks, Sarah"?

Aview999 linked to this powerful anti-war statement.

Patrick pointed out this excellent article in Salon on Wikileaks.

The NYT article on the intimidation of journalists is excellent.

Think Progress posted this in honor of Reagan birth centennial.

Later JCos found this on thefirstpost on RR.

It’s not often I put up my own link ;-), but I want you all to see this article in the LA Times on the Koch Brothers influence in Congress.

Owlwolf pointed out this excellent opinion piece from the Denver Post.

BellPeppery and cheeriogirl found this – it is hilarious!

The Last Word:

Linda1961 posted some excellent quotes from Abraham Lincoln in honor of his birthday; this one seems particularly apt for Politicalgates:

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

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