Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekly Roundup, December 6-11, 2011

By Blueberry T

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mitt Romney, The Man Who Couldn’t Stop Flipping

This guest post by Mike Czech (haha) exposes Mitt Romney’s reversal of his position on abortion. During the 1994 Senate debate against Ted Kennedy, Romney said (and I quote): “I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country…Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for 20 years…I sustain and support that law and the right of a woman to make that choice.” Seems pretty clear, yet here is what he said in 2008 (and I quote): “I will be a pro-life president… being a pro-life president also means promoting policies that respect life and its sanctity. I’ll oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. I’ll oppose partial birth abortion. I’ll oppose abortion in military clinics…” Ted Kennedy was right: Mitt Romney is “multiple-choice.” He gives flip-flops a bad name.

Another Reason John McCain Should be Tried for Treason

JulaUSA relates the gripping story of the coverup of pre-9/11 intelligence warnings and the subsequent efforts to silence CIA “Asset” Susan Lindauer. In her book, Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq, Lindauer retells how the likelihood of an attack on the U.S. was known in the international intelligence community, and she personally warned every Congressman, Senator and other officials. The Bush Administration silenced her so that she could not impede plans to invade Iraq. She tried to testify to head off the march to war, and instead was arrested and threatened with indefinite detention under the misnamed Patriot Act. The charges against her were finally dropped at the end of the Bush Administration, although the efforts to discredit her continued. McCain apparently played a role in preventing her original testimony to Congress prior to the Iraq invasion, and in an interesting twist, Jula reports that the federal prosecutor who handled her case was hired by the McCain-Palin campaign to squelch the Troopergate investigation. Fascinating story.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Culture of Exploiting Children, Part 1

Nomad tackles a horrifying story that is altogether too common – the sexual exploitation of children, and the failure of adults to stop the abuse and punish the abusers. The story of repeated rape of boys by Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is a recent example that hit the news YEARS after it occurred, revealing (like in the Catholic Church scandals) that many adults knew about the abuse, but no one took action to stop it and protect the children. The predictable result was many more victims over many more years.

Nomad investigates an even more horrific story, the Franklin Credit Union scandal. This is an ugly story centered in Omaha, Nebraska, but with close connections to Washington, D.C. and elsewhere. In brief: bankers, politicians, businessmen, university heads, diplomats, police chiefs and other power brokers were allegedly part of a widespread ring that kidnapped children (from off the street, Boys Town, orphanages) and sold them as sex slaves. The enterprise included sex parties at the Reagan/Bush White House and the clientele allegedly included then-VP George H.W. Bush. One of the tactics used against those who testified about the abuse was to charge them with perjury and imprison them; this effectively silenced many who had alleged sexual abuse. Another was to discredit them in the press (owned by someone implicated in the scandal) and declare the whole thing to be a hoax. A third tactic is, apparently, to kill off investigators who were finding out too much. There is much more – this is a disturbing, sick story of sexual abuse of children at the heart of our government and society, interwoven with “crony capitalism” on steroids.

Children Under Attack, Part 2

Photo: The Justice Project

In the second part of his expose of sexual abuse of children, Nomad focuses on DynCorp International, a major U.S. contractor in crisis and war zones. DynCorp employees were accused of kidnapping 12-15 year old girls from Russia, Romania and elsewhere, and selling them as sex slaves in Bosnia. Several whisteblowers came forward; the result was that a handful of DynCorp employees were fired, but not prosecuted. Later, legal actions in TX and the UK led to a decision that DynCorp acted wrongfully in firing one of the whisteblowers; damages are pending. Nomad’s post includes a revealing exchange in which then-Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney directly challenged Defense Secretary Rumsfeld on why the Defense Department was rewarding DynCorp with additional contracts, despite knowing that they were involved in the sex slave trade. No wonder McKinney was targeted. It appears that DynCorp may also be involved in sex slavery in Afghanistan, including a party in which bacha bazi or male rape took place. The response was gloss-it-over PR and nothing substantive changed; DynCorp continues to be rewarded with extremely lucrative government contracts.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Spoofs of Rick Perry’s Anti-Gay Video – Priceless!

H/T Leadfoot_LA

A little comic relief is at hand, thanks to Rick Perry (or more aptly, at his expense). His now-viral, infamous ad that deliberately links the end of DADT with the absurd claims of a war on Christmas makes excellent fodder for many talented spoofers. Even better, he is wearing a jacket just like the one that Heath Ledger wore in his brilliant performance in Brokeback Mountain – hahahahaha!! Adding to the absurdity is Newt The Gingrich who Stole Christmas (H/T Azure Ghost). If you missed the link that alwaysthink posted late in the comment thread, enjoy “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Gingrich.”

H/T Azure Ghost

Citigroup Memos on Plutonomy: Government of the Rich, by the Rich and for the Rich

Citigroup lawyers have tried to quash several memos to their wealthy investors that spell out with bold and brazen clarity the strategy of the rich becoming richer, abetted by the government, without regard for the damaging consequences to the other 90-99% of Americans. The memos unapologetically – indeed gloatingly – present a cold and calculating scheme for the wealthiest in society to be able to amass previously unimaginable fortunes, on the backs of labor and the poor and middle class. Bill Moyers and Michael Moore both exposed these memos as a cynical announcement of the end of democracy and the rising up of a new aristocracy that Citigroup explicitly compares to prior “gilded ages.” Citigroup's statement on “What could go wrong?” is particularly ironic: “Beyond war, inflation, the end of the technology/productivity wave, and financial collapse, we think the most potent and short-term threat would be societies demanding a more ‘equitable’ share of wealth.” Powerful post, Patrick! [BBT: these memos lead me to suspect that the collapse of the financial system, and Wall Street bailout, was foreseen and evolved into a strategy to siphon even more wealth from those who lost their homes and livelihoods.]

Some comments and links:

Maelewis: Not only was Cain running for President, he ran with the party that preaches family values, while they practice something else. What consenting adults want to do in private is their business. It becomes our business when they try to tell us how we should act and want to pass laws that intrude in our private lives.

Psalm023: GOP Trifle - throw in half cup of "Cain" sugar. Assorted nuts and flakes. Tablespoon of Bailey's. Whipped-up frenzy Bachmann cream. Straw-poll berries. Sin-a-mon. Wild oats(sown). Rick's maple syrup. Crushed Leslie Graham crackers. Stir. Don't put in oven, but if you must and it's too hot to handle, use an oven "Mitt". A political recipe from Psalm 023.

Redwood Palinizer: Wow. Shocking and interesting post. I don't know what planet I have been on but I had no idea this kind of thing was going on. I am thoroughly disgusted and so, so ashamed of some of my fellow human beings. Thanks for writing this, everyone should know what is going on outside of their own little world.

Mrsgunka: Remember when we thought the Babygate hoax was earth shattering?

CracklinCharlie: One of the reasons this information is so devastating to the plutocrats, is that it was generated by them, and was distributed to their clients, so that they could prepare for the possibility that they had gone too far. It's not like this was written by Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, Alan Grayson, or Michael Moore, any one of whom they are used to discrediting. I think it would be much harder to try to discredit something they themselves produced. I think this could be big trouble for the 1%. If we could only get some help from someone on the airwaves...

Sunnyjane: Yep, McCain picked up a hitch-hiker and she hit him over the head with a baseball bat and hijacked the clown car.

IWanttheTruth: I hate it when laws are so overreaching that they can't be applied across the board. That leaves it as a tool to be selectively applied.

Alwaysthink linked to Steve Kroft on 60 minutes on prosecuting Wall Street and also found this excellent article on Bradley Foundation and ultra-conservative infiltration of society.

Juicyfruityy linked to the Political Carnival on the “Let them eat cake!” tax plan and also pointed this out on “the Palin plunge.”

HopeforAmerica pointed out 10 things conservatives don’t want you to know about Ronald Reagan.

Occupy_USA linked to this site which then links to the Citigroup memos.

The Last Word – Patrick: We are not taking anything down, we take up the fight against the people who believe that they have the right to be the unelected leaders of the world.

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