Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekly Roundup, January 23-29, 2012

by Blueberry T

Tuesday, January 21, 2012
Sunnyjane gives a clever and astute review of the GOP’s responses to the State of the Union address during President Obama’s term: we the people have suffered through Jindal, McDonnell, Ryan and now Daniels (too bad it was Mitch instead of Jack). For a little background on Governor Daniels: During his tenure as head of the Office of Management and Budget, from 2001 to 2003, the federal budget went from an annual surplus of $236 billion to a deficit of $400 billion, and Daniels's projection of a return to surplus by 2005 proved to be inaccurate.” Sunnyjane reminds us that not long ago, Daniels espoused conciliatory positions regarding labor and social issues, but is now carrying out the Koch doctrine in Indiana with a vengeance, including defunding Planned Parenthood, reducing the corporate tax rate and pushing right to work legislation that just passed the Indiana House this week.

Wednesday, January 22, 2012
Nomad finally is able to make sense out of the endless stream of inane debates that the GOP has put on this fall and winter. [God is that all? It seems like it’s been going on for years. But I digress.] He argues that it makes much more sense, seen in the context of shows like American Idol and DWTS, where the contestants get eliminated week after week while others showcase their, ahem, talents. [Okay, I admit that the Republican candidates do sort of remind me of the farce when Bristol Palin was on DWTS, and for some reason I can’t shake an image of Newt wearing Bristol’s red vamp costume.] Nomad’s analysis of the talents of Newt, Mitt and Rick is really spot on. Newt’s talents are to “re-emerge from the scummy swamp over and over” along with “his ability to make a laughable position on nearly any issue seem perfectly sensible is indeed dazzling.” For Mitt, it’s his “masterful manipulation of capital and commerce – without the heavy burden of conscience…” Rick Santorum has “an ability to make fanaticism seem reasonable and clever and wholesome.”

Thursday-Friday, January 23-24, 2012
Nomad investigates the sordid story of sexual abuse of inmates at the West Texas School by the assistant superintendent and others. The “school” is a juvenile detention center run by the Texas Youth Commission; most of the inmates are there for non-violent crimes but once there, they are at serious risk of becoming the victims of violent crimes at the hands of the school administrators and other personnel, it appears. The story of the failure to stop this abuse of so many inmates touches upon many of those in power in Texas, including familiar names like Rick Perry and Alberto Gonzales. Thankfully, there were some actual “good guys” who also played roles in this sad story, one of those being Texas Ranger Brian Burzynski, who spent years investigating the crimes and trying to get officials to take appropriate action against the perpetrators. Predictably, his efforts were stonewalled for several years. Caseworker Nelina Garza also met with resistance when she tried to get action to stop the abuse. In part, the delays were apparently due to the desire NOT to have such an ugly scandal derail or inconvenience Rick Perry’s reelection campaign in 2006. After his reelection, the media began reporting the story and the corruption at TYC could no longer be ignored. According to a retired inspector general for TYC, Randal Chance, “The TYC has established a dynasty of corruption that condones the mistreatment of youth in its care…Staff are being paid your tax money to rape your children." It became clear that the agency’s problems were systemic and that thousands of cases of abuse had occurred [during Rick Perry’s administration, BTW]. The level of corruption was astonishing.

Saturday, January 28, 2012
Rick Santorum is, frankly, nuts. Kathleen’s post calls out his latest statement, that a woman who is raped and becomes pregnant should consider the child a gift from God and should not have an abortion. OMG; please, voters, spare us from these lunatics! WHY does someone like Rick Santorum have a platform to take these extreme positions? And does anyone truly believe that if Rick’s wife or daughter were raped, he would insist that she carry the baby to term and raise it and consider it a gift from God? Just as he now claims there should be no abortion even to save a mother’s life AFTER he chose to save Karen Santorum’s life rather than her unborn baby Gabriel’s life, I strongly believe that we would see another double standard if the Santorums had to actually face such an ugly decision about carrying the baby of a rapist. He should be called out for what he is – an extremist and zealot who wants to control women’s lives according to his own radical beliefs. [Trying not to scream, I’m so angry about this…]

Sunday, January 29, 2012
Kathleen and Patrick started this wonderful blog a year ago – that is so hard to believe, because it has accomplished so much, covering a wide range of topics and developing such a great team of contributors and commenters. It is wonderful to see that several of our most popular posts had nothing to do with Sarah Palin; I suspect that will continue to be the trend, as she will become even less relevant over time, unless of course Newt wins the Presidency and appoints her “Governor of the Moon” (H/T Azure Ghost). The post has a serious message, too, about the need to ensure that journalists, and particularly citizen journalists, can convey the truth about what is happening in this country, as we watch civil liberties being denied to peaceful Americans trying to exercise their constitutional rights. The post also reports that the U.S. has fallen 27 places in measures of its treatment of journalists; this is due to all the arrests of journalists covering the OWS protests. Wow, that’s pretty sobering. Finally, the post includes an attempt by the right wing to redefine dissent as terrorism, and concludes with a citizen journalist’s report of the Oakland protest and how far we are along the road to a police state.

Some comments and links:

AKRNC: …Recalling Newt Gingrich's efforts to divide the country further into the "right vs. the left" and at the same time casting judgments on others when his own personal life was in a shambles, it brings to light the hypocrisy of the current GOP as they push this ignoramus to the forefront for the privilege of serving as the nominee for President for their party. There really are no words that can describe the depths to which this man will sink to attain the power he craves.
In contrast, we see a true hero of the House of Representatives and of our country… What an inspiration Gabrielle Giffords is…
Jolly Roger: Newt is compelled, somewhere deep inside him, to destroy himself periodically. We almost have to be at that end of his cycle now. I'm stunned that he hasn't done it yet…
Nomad: How many chances have the Republican party elites given people like Newt Gingrich? Each time Newt is allowed back into the political forum, he is treated more and more like an elder statesmen by the media and by colleagues, instead of the self-serving loudmouth woman-hating hack that he actually is.
Linda1961: Seems that the gop "grand strategy" of blaming President Obama for everything wrong and giving him no credit for anything good, plus being nasty and mean to the rest of us, in order to gain the WH, the Senate and keep the House this year, is backfiring big time. The endless gop debates, which has showcased how vindictive and mean-spirited they are, and now Newt and Mittens at each others' throats have no doubt helped sink the gop 's prospects.
Didn't the gopers in Congress look like a bunch of sourpusses last night? Bet their reaction will be to double down on the obstruction and meanness ("that boy can't tell us what to do!) rather than working with the rest of us to rebuild America and get those still unemployed working again.
indy_girl: OT, Sarah trying to get her 5 seconds of news time by claiming Gingrich is being "crucified" by the media. Wasn't it was nice of her to get down off the cross for a change so someone else could have a turn? best post on HP article by poster Realmystical: "We have a national bird, a national seal, a national song, and Sarah has established herself as our national joke."
KatieAnnieOakley: Po'gates is a daily sanity stop for me, an island of progressive calm in my GOP ocean. I think of all of you as friends and more, and the get-together(s) with Chicago-area (and LEADFOOT!) gators makes it more than just a blog. My life is so much better with politicalgates and you, each and every reader / contributor in it. I find myself looking back with fondness, and looking forward with anticipation. Thank God I'm a Po'Gator!
Nomad found this article on Republican voter fraud; the article includes a link to another article focusing on Mitt and Ann Romney’s claim that their residence was in the basement of their son’s Massachusetts home, and how they voted in the special election for Scott Brown when they were actually living in California.
Older_Wiser linked to this Daily Kos piece reminding us of the anniversary of the constitutional amendment prohibiting poll taxes – only ratified in 1964.
Cheeriogirl found this on the Romneys’ investments in Iran and Nomad had a comment about Bain Capital’s investments in Iran; Nomad wondered if this is why Romney doesn’t want to release his tax returns. Cheeriogirl also found this in WSJ: The GOP Deserves to Lose and this on whether Newt is a lobbyist.
indy_girl: OT, Sarah trying to get her 5 seconds of news time by claiming Gingrich is being "crucified" by the media. Wasn't it was nice of her to get down off the cross for a change so someone else could have a turn?
best post on HP article by poster Realmystical: "We have a national bird, a national seal, a national song, and Sarah has established herself as our national joke."
Mmboucher found this on Alternet; here’s part: But her appeal to commonsense constitutional conservatism is a fraud. It's opportunistic bullcrap. It's her way of appealing to the ideology of the moment, It might be hard to believe but Alaska is the most socialist state in the Union. Alaska citizens receive checks from the oil companies. The largest dividend ever paid ($3,269 per citizen) was in 2008, while Sarah Palin was governor. That was because Governor Palin supported a one-time $1,200 Alaska Resource Rebate. Imagine what Republicans in Washington would say if the Democrats tried to force the oil companies to give a $3,000 check to every citizen of the country. How is that for redistribution of wealth, for meddling with business, for pure socialism
Carriesblank linked to Andrew Sullivan on the possible return of Queen Esther.
Older_Wiser pointed out this from Thom Hartmann on Scott Walker’s troubles in WI.
The Last Word:
EbbtideMB: I love this site… Politicalgates takes on so many important issues, and does a thorough, well-written documentation and exposure of many of them.
Thanks to all who have researched and written so many brilliant posts.
Thanks to Patrick and Kathleen for keeping it all going.
Thanks to the many comments that provide illuminating points of view, informative links, and smile-inducing snark (I'm looking at you JCos!)
The "rising tide lifts all ships" theory really works here, as I think the comments and the posts bring out the best in everyone involved.

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