Category Archives: weekly round-up

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.


Weekly Roundup, November 28-December 4, 2011

by Blueberry T

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cain Denies He Had 13-Year Affair

As Patrick so eloquently put it, “Herman Cain is as guilty as a puppy sitting next to a pile of poo. His fifteen minutes are over.” [H/T “Blackadder”] Cain certainly is getting a lot of practice lying through his smiling teeth, though. As several readers commented, isn’t it remarkable that, when it comes to allegations of affairs, all those “family values” Republicans say that what happens behind their own closed doors is private and nobody’s else’s business?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Corporate Personhood, Part 3

This is the final part of Nomad’s outstanding series on how corporate personhood came into being; the earlier posts are here and here. He recounts the history of how the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of rights to all “persons” was extended to corporations, not through a decision of the Supreme Court but through a headnote appended to a decision in which the justices “avoided meeting the Constitutional question” about corporate personhood. While the Fourteenth Amendment explicitly refers to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” it makes no mention whatsoever of corporations. Nomad has put together a remarkable history, which has risen to huge importance due to the Citizens United decision, which expands corporate power exponentially. That the judicial interpretations are built upon such a shaky legal foundation needs to be better known, so thanks to Nomad for helping to educate us and others about this. I find it especially ironic that the same justices who have expanded corporate rights claim to be “strict constructionists,” yet these decisions are not based on the Constitution and go far beyond anything framed or intended by the Founders.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Calls to Drop “Aiding the Enemy” Charge Against Bradley Manning

Kathleen brings us up-to-date on the story of Bradley Manning, whose leak of information to Wikileaks led to his imprisonment and inhumane treatment, which went on for months until public pressure finally resulted in improved conditions for his incarceration. Now, his lawyer is seeking to have the most serious charge against him dropped. He is charged with “aiding the enemy,” although several agencies have now concluded that the information he passed on did not pose any threat to national security. The post includes links to Ennealogic’s earlier posts on this topic, as well as to a petition calling for the most serious charges to be dropped.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Amateur Hour at Cain Campaign

This was Herman Cain’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. Amid the swirling accusations from more and more women of sexual harassment and infidelity, his campaign dreamt up the brilliant idea of having a website called Women for Cain, highlighted with a photo of four cute young women signaling “thumbs up.” Only problem was that the four young women were German models and the photo was from a stock photo agency. When you can’t even get four real supporters to use for a testimonial, that kind of says it all… Patrick kept updating the post throughout the day, as things devolved into pure comedy including “Weasels for Cain” and Azure Ghost’s great poster of Sarah as Elmo. Good times!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Live-Streaming and Live-Blogging Herman Cain’s Quitting Speech

Saturday afternoon turned out to be very entertaining, with Kathleen setting up a live stream of Herman “Herb” Cain’s pomp and circumstances announcement, complete with hand-holding and cheering by his standing-by-his-side wife. After much hoopla, he made the anti-climactic announcement that he is aborting his campaign in favor of Plan B. (Great inside joke, Hermie, hahahahahaha…) He came to this decision because “politics is a dirty business” but of course the allegations are “false and unproven” – repeated at least 3 or 4 times, IMO a sure sign that they are in fact true. He claimed that he’ll still be influential through the Plan B website, and apparently closed with a poem from Pokemon (WTF? Rachel Maddow was right about the performance art, it seems). The parallels with Palin’s ignorance and incompetence and her Quitter Speech were not lost on any of our readers, of course.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Palin’s “Red Bathrobe”/Elmo Impersonator Interview

H/T Annes_123

It’s hard to imagine that Sarah Palin could one-up her own previous fashion disasters, but indeed she has outdone even the purple velvet boots and hooker jacket. She appeared on national TV wearing what appeared to be either a red bathrobe or an Elmo costume! As if that wasn’t bad enough, her wig was sliding backwards again so her own hair was visible under it, her eyebrows were so high that looked like they were trying to climb up under the wig, and all this was happening in front of a pitiful little Christmas tree that conveyed gloom rather than cheer. Wow! Combine this absurd appearance with the content of the interview, including more rambling word salad, and it seems that Palin is slipping farther into mental illness. Whoever was on the other side of that camera (presumably Todd) seems to want her to look like a fool on national TV – how else is it possible that anyone would let her go on looking so ridiculous? We’ve said it many times before, but it is truer than ever – she needs an intervention to get treatment for her mental illness.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Leadfoot’s Wake-Up Call to America

The graphics in Leadfoot’s post tell an AMAZING story of staggering income inequity that makes most of us “tiny dots” compared to the huge balloon representing the salary of a Fortune 500 CEO – a mere 269X the income of the average worker in America. And where does the federal budget go? Very small amounts of the discretionary spending budget go to HHS; at the same time, the Republicans have [IMO deliberately] built an enormous debt due to the unfunded costs of two wars, tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug program. BBT editorializing: this level of inequity is what leads to social revolutions, because the discrepancy between rich and everyone else is just too huge and the pathways to build a comfortable life through honest work are shut down or, to choose a more apt word, “foreclosed.”

Some Comments and Links:

Notafaux: You are not alone, zane1. Bill Clinton is simply unable to keep his mouth shut (I think he believes he IS “the Big Dog,” the smartest person in the room–a trait he shares with Newt Gingrich, btw). This is probably the best evidence that Hillary Clinton could not have been an effective president. He would be interfering in every policy decision and spouting off constantly. HRC would spend most of her time doing damage control.

Sunnyjane: Bill Clinton has a huge ego and is often a big blowhard. However, he’s not stupid. Just think about it: he made these statements to a RIGHT WING media outlet and he may be trying to subliminally suggest that Gingrich should be the GOP candidate for 2012. President Obama would slaughter Newt — he has too many skeletons and is too far right for most people in this country. He loves to come off as the elder statesman, but he’s nothing but a liar, a crook, and a less than stellar family values man.

Peacepax: I actually agree with something Cain said. “I have a feeling this is going to hurt my family more than my campaign.” Herb, your campaign only exists in your head.

Linda1961: Dear gop, please stop whining about family values.

Cheeriogirl: Do we give the Cain marriage nine months, nine weeks, or nine days?

Older_Wiser: LA worries about people camping on the lawn, when so much more damage has been done by the 1% to our natural resources and to us, to our health, the environment, the integrity of the planet. Grass grows back; those resources are gone forever, into the belly of the beast. We are a country more concerned about appearances–our rate of consumption proves that–than the rights and welfare of all of us, in spite of fancy rhetoric and feigned concern.

Toccaro: When my daughter found out Cain had Secret Service detail, she pondered aloud, “shouldn’t the Secret Service be guarding the women instead of Cain?”

JCos: How do government agencies assess aiding the enemy?
By how much it helped Bush and Cheney bankrupt the country?
By how many factories were built in China?
By how many foreign armies were armed and trained by the Pentagon?
Or, do they assess aiding the enemy by how many diplomats were embarrassed?

MadamDeal: Has anyone seen Elmo lately? I’m a little worried she borrowed that varmint gun and took five shots.

Peacpax: Oh, Sarah, Do you know what happens when you kiss a canary? You get a canarial disease called chirpies, And it’s untweetable.

ProChoiceGrandma: The GOPers and Teabaggers keep saying they want to take our country back, but what they mean is backwards to the good ol’ days of the 1930’s Great Depression.

Gaters send many ((())) to NYCgirl and CaliGirl22.

Marionetta pointed out this excellent video on OWS by Miley Cyrus. Who knew?

Found on Twitter: Matt Taibbi’s excellent article on Judge Rakoff’s decision holding the SEC to account for its sweetheart deals with Wall Street criminals.

Zane1 linked to this wonderful interview with Scott Olsen, the US Marine veteran who was shot in the head with a tear gas canister by Oakland PD.

MadamDeal pointed out this article in Politico on “Newt, Inc.”

Cheeriogirl and mmboucher posted this link to Forbes on the Bomb in Obamacare.

Patrick and others found this great article in Der Spiegel on the Republican ignoramuses (ignorami?).

Older_Wiser made an excellent comment on gender-bias in language and linked to this.

The Last Word: Scott Olsen, US Marine injured at Occupy Oakland: “Stay peaceful, because that’s what this is about. It’s about working with one another and it’s about being open with each other, and that’s how we can solve our problems.”

Weekly Roundup, November 21-27, 2011

by Blueberry T

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Birth of Corporate Personhood

Nomad offers us a primer on the rise of the corporation in the United States. Given the Founding Fathers’ deep distrust of abuses of power by the East India Company and its connections to British politicians, it is especially ironic that the GOP continues to base many of its claims on the Founders, and even more ironic that the Citizens United decision undoubtedly has those same Founders turning over in their graves. Originally, corporations were formed to carry out strictly limited public functions, and were barred from making any political contributions. Once the corporate purpose was fulfilled, the corporation disbanded. This model drastically changed in the 19th Century, especially with the rise of the railroads from which the modern corporation evolved. The First Transcontinental Railroad amassed tremendous wealth and power, not the least because it gained rights to public lands and destroyed the Native American culture that stood in the way of the railroad. This corporation was also a case study in corruption, including speculation to manipulate stock market prices. Hmm, that sounds almost like current events in the oil industry.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Corporate Personhood, Part 2

Nomad continues his excellent report on the rise of corporations. The industrialization of America concentrated people, and poverty, in the Northern cities, with a huge disparity in wealth between workers and the railroad barons and bankers. At the same time, the South’s economy was dominated by cotton produced by slave labor – a huge competitive advantage – and included direct trade with Britain, leaving Northern manufacturers and merchants with limited access to this profitable enterprise. In the midst of growing tension, the Supreme Court issued one of the worst decisions in U.S. history, the Dred Scott decision, which foreclosed any possibility of a political settlement of the growing rift between North and South. The Civil War allowed for the rise of corporate financiers and its aftermath, with the destruction of the South, led to further consolidation of power among the Northern industrialists. This set the stage for further expansion of corporate influence in government.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Patrick put together quite an interesting potpourri for the U.S. holiday, starting with some amazing photos and video of polar bears playing with dogs! (I am thankful that this does not appear to be analogous to cats playing with mice…) More treats: Leonard Cohen’s new song, Kristan Cole’s new breast implants (now we know where the Dairygate $ went), a bizarre Thanksgiving missive from Sarah Palin, and some comraderie at OWS on Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Police Abuse vs. “You are free. You will live free. You will die free.”

After reading this post from guest Mike Czech, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The video clip of Danny Shine with his megaphone brilliantly shows how utterly ridiculous and hypocritical these police actions are that we are witnessing daily – he is really articulate and spot on. The quote that’s highlighted is inspiring, and he also points out the continual barrage of messages in favor of commercialism and stirring up fear. Then, of course, we witness more scenes of protesters in the U.S. being punched, shoved, pulled by their hair and otherwise assaulted – by the police. The police are our own worst enemies, and eventually they will find out that they are their own worst enemies, as well. Capping it off, based on its recent decision regarding police entry into private homes without a warrant, it sounds like three of the five justices on the Indiana Supreme Court failed their courses in constitutional law. Hopefully this decision was appealed.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Occupy Anthem, Plus Emma Sullivan’s Right to Free Speech

This rollercoaster week continues, with inspiring music and video counterbalanced by yet another attack on free speech, this time by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s office. Chloe Cornelius is a new talent with a great voice, a great message and the savvy to put them together on youtube – very inspiring! The Brownback blowback will hopefully make him look like a petty fool, as his office tries to limit the free speech rights of a high school student. For those who thought the Republicans liked the First Amendment, they do when they are the ones speaking, but not so much for those who disagree. Patrick does a great rundown of key SCOTUS rulings on this topic. Let’s give Emma the support she’ll need to hold strong amid all the pressure she will undoubtedly feel in the coming days.

Some Comments and Links:

Leadfoot (on cancellation of Bristol’s “reality TV” show): Shocker. You mean nobody wants to watch a racist, homophobic, tragically plastic, teenage mother of 2 pretend to be normal on TV?

Sunnyjane shared this pearl of wisdom: If both of us were the same, one of us would be unnecessary.

[And this] I’ve created a new and exciting dish for your Thanksgiving menu.
Presidential Candidate Soufflé, GOP Style
Into two cups of Bachmann’s Chopped History and Wifely Submission, stir a generous tablespoon of Santorum Sauce (Google it if you have to) and sauté until translucent. Add half a cup of Romney’s Flip-Flop or Lie Seasoning and three tablespoons of Gingrich’s Family Values Special Sauce. Whisk vigorously until you’re ready to scream.
Toss together with two teaspoons of Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan & Sexual Harassment goop, three teaspoons of (no, use two…forget the third one) Perry’s Smaller Government Spices, a quarter cup of Paul’s Libertarian Logic (paying taxes is voluntary), and just a dash of Huntsman’s Common Sense (any more than that and the whole thing might explode).
Pour a generous amount of Failed Reaganomics into the whole thing and top it off with a healthy spritz of Lt. Pike’s Essentially a Food Product Pepper Spray.
Cook in a hot oven until you can no longer stand the stench, take it out and throw the whole thing in the trash. Warning: Do not pour it down the garbage disposal, as it has a tendency to corrode home plumbing.

JCos: Palin, who again mentions Tri-G’s birth in her Thanksgiving message, as if it happened last week, fails to point out that in the hours prior to the announcement of Tri-G’s birth, if you believe she gave birth at all, she did everything in her power to murder him. Pardon me, if I’m being too subtle.

Psalm023: It’s a See-See-See the wonderfulness of me. Very disturbing and sad. Who keeps harping about what someone may or may not have said in regards to “he never should have been born”. In all my life, I have never heard anyone say such a thing to any mom, ever. It appears that she is projecting her own feelings on to anonymous others.

NomadicView: Seems like she is trying to create a strawman thing. Nobody every said TriG shouldn’t have been born- but a lot of people have said that TriG couldn’t have been born the way Palin claims… The great tragedy, as far as I can see, is Sarah Palin is apparently surrounded by crowds of people who claim they love her, but not one them love her enough to tell her the truth that she need to find a therapist and commit to weekly sessions hashing whatever issues she has about needing attention.

Here is a good article picked up from Twitter:

The Last Word (with H/T to wooljunkie): Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen, leading the crowd singing “This Land is Your Land” at President Obama’s inauguration.

Weekly Roundup, November 14-20, 2011: Will History Call This The Week of Pepper Spray, or Maybe The Tipping Point?

by Blueberry T

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Friends of Rick Perry: Dr. Wendy Gramm

Nomad completes his brilliant series on Phil and Wendy Gramm and their many influential connections. This is a really important post, revealing how incestuous the relationships are amidst Republican power-brokers. We learn about Wendy Gramm’s role at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, which has devolved into a “think-tank” of deregulation primarily supported by the Koch Brothers. Nomad uncovered Wendy Gramm’s long ties to the Kochs, including her key role deregulating the oil industry and allowing speculation that accounts for more than a quarter, and perhaps a half, of the current cost of oil. Mercatus is also deeply involved in work to undermine the regulatory authority of EPA, at the same time that Koch Industries is deeply involved in illegally discharging pollutants into the waters of the United States, in violation of the Clean Water Act. It’s no surprise nor coincidence that EPA is under attack. Another key player in this web is Dr. James Leininger, whose Texas Public Policy Foundation and many other groups are behind the right-wing attempts to take over the Texas public schools and state government.

I can’t do justice to the work that Nomad has done in these posts; please read all four and you will see a disturbing picture of “…how much harm two people can do to the country. One would think that our system would be stronger than that. That our long established system of checks and balances would prevent people like the Gramms from ever inflicting too great a harm to the nation. But then the underlying purpose of all the de-regulation that the Republicans have called for (and have achieved) is really just a means to an end, a method of abolishing the safety checks that had, for the most part, protected our institutions. Once those have been removed, anything is possible.”

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Immortal Technique/Ultimas Palabras, and Pepper Spray

This post runs the gamut, from a powerful political rap by Immortal Technique to the pitiful pepper-spraying of non-violent protesters. When the police in Seattle, WA – not exactly a right-wing bastion – use chemicals to attack peaceful protesters, including an 84-year old woman, you know this country is heading in the wrong direction. When the campus police at UC Berkeley beat peaceful protesters with billy clubs and drag them by the hair, something is seriously wrong in America. You say we have a Democratic President and Senate and these incidents took place in progressive cities? Wow, you could have fooled me. You say President Obama has spoken out about repression against protesters abroad, but not here? Wow, what is he waiting for?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dusty’s Corner

Dusty gives us the first glimpse of Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope, by Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. This is a warm and inspiring story of two people facing enormous challenges with love, grace and humor. I guess if they can be so positive after what they’ve been through, I’ll try to do the same… Dusty then reviews the week’s developments on the GOOP (was that a typo or subliminal message?) campaign trail. Dusty captured more idiocy, as Herman Cain blinked his way through another lying, inane interview, reminding her of McCain at his lying best. Cain, McCain, probably more brothers of different mothers. Rick Perry continued his buffoonery. Dusty closes with Sarah Palin spewing more brash, violent, hateful talk. Nothing new there; same old same old angry harpy.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Jackboots Pepper-Spray Peaceful Protesters at UC Davis

Patrick’s post covers police at UC Davis illegally pepper-spraying peaceful, non-threatening protesters. Let’s be absolutely clear here – there was no threat to the police and no conditions that would warrant the use of pepper spray. The police were not protecting the public – they were abusing their power, endangering the public and acting as thugs for their masters. (I keep picturing May 4, 1970 at Kent State and hearing “four dead in O-hi-O” running through my head.) The UC Faculty Association and individual faculty members have courageously called for the resignation or dismissal of UC Chancellor Linda Katehdi, who is shown in the video on her “walk of shame” amidst the silent, peaceful students she put at risk. You say we have a Democratic President and Senate and this took place in a progressive state? Wow, you could have fooled me. You say President Obama has spoken out about repression against protesters abroad, but not here? Wow, what is he waiting for? Another Kent State?

Patrick also includes information first revealed by Chris Hayes on MSNBC about a high-power PR firm orchestrating a smear campaign against the Ocupados; we’ve already seen some of this from Fox News and the GOP (including Sarah Palin). These are the very same people who, if I recall correctly, fell over themselves extolling the virtues of the Tea Party despite the anger, violent rhetoric, weaponry etc. that characterized Tea Party rallies. It was pure manipulation that led the Tea Party to its disproportionate political influence, and it is another side of the same manipulation that is attempting to discredit and weaken the Occupy movement. Patrick’s post also covers how new technologies will make personal surveillance routine in the future. It gives me chills to see how close we are to , but also inspires me to take a more active role in the Occupy movement. What a world our children and grandchildren are inheriting!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Will President Obama Speak Out Against Police Violence

Outrage over police violence against protesters is growing. Patrick asks the burning question that many of us are feeling: will President Obama speak out about the violence against Occupy protesters who are exercising their human rights? (I would go farther and say, WTF is he waiting for?) President Obama has sternly rebuked regimes in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere for repressive actions against their people, but remains strangely silent in the face of violence against the American people – students and faculty, workers and the unemployed, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, women, men, elderly and young – all have been subject to beatings, pepper-spray and other violence. These repressive police state tactics have now taken place in Oakland, Berkeley and Davis, California, as well as in Seattle and Portland – these are not right-wing areas, folks. WTF is going on? Come on, President Obama – your silence is becoming deafening! It is past time to speak out in favor of the right of the American people to peacefully assemble, protest and petition the government for redress of our grievances. You and the Democrats do yourselves no favors by hiding and cowering at a time like this. Just think, two years ago the Republicans embraced the Tea Party, a movement orchestrated with corporate dollars, and this led them to regain political power – and yet you cannot bring yourselves to even support the constitutional rights of a true grassroots movement? How cowardly can you be? I’m one of the biggest Obama supporters you could find, and I find this silence appalling.

Some Comments and Links:

Maddie’s_Mom: So I guess the people of Egypt, Tunisia & Libya have more rights than americans do….. grrreeeaaat.

JCos: Gabby may have been the one who got shot in the head, but her eyes are bright and focused. Palin, with her usual doper/slacker, ‘sleepy lizard’ eyes, appears to be the one who suffered severe head trauma.

Older_Wiser (in response to the WSJ piece purportedly authored by Palin): Quitler wrote this like I wrote the Constitution. You know Peter Schweizer just had to write his own publicity piece.

Emily Peacock: Perhaps it would be a good thing to remind the mayors of our cities that their police departments are employed by the citizens who pay their salaries and not the corporations or the Federal Government.

Linda 1961: It seems to me that our current crop of leaders are clueless about what most Americans are going through. And they don’t care to find out either. There are some exceptions, but they are a small minority. Most Americans could care less about the deficit or national debt. They want jobs – good jobs and affordable health care, not to mention guarantees that what they and their employers have put into the system for retirement will be available when they retire… [Later, on Gingrich] His snide “Get a job” to people who can’t get one because of crappy policies that HE implemented and supports is the same as telling hungry people who can’t afford bread to eat cake.

ProChoiceGrandma: The magnificent NYPD who died on 9/11/01 SERVING their citizens are rolling in their graves at the current crop of NYPD who are now BEATING their citizens.

Karen Collins: This is no longer about the OWS goal of a voice for the people, it is now a Civil Rights fight. If we lose this one, the corporate state is officially our government.

Maelewis (from a longer comment): I am still trying to figure out why the Tea Party rallies attracted no police brutality, and the Occupy Movement did.

Older_Wiser, Linda1961 and Buffalogal posted links to the amazing Herman Cain interview where he flubbed the question on Libya – comedy gold! (It would be funnier if he weren’t running for President.)

ProChoiceGrandma had this antidote to the depressing news about police actions against the Ocupados – Karl Rove being mic checked!

Sunnyjane found this at thepoliticalcarnival: Mitt Romney is just lying.

Emily Peacock pointed out this article on how the Ocupados want to solve our economic problems.

Game of Life posted this link to the OWS Mission Statement (dated 9/30/11, BTW).

Linda1961 linked to politicususa and commented: as OWS demonstrates, Americans are getting the message – the gop doesn’t care about the 99%, hell, the gop doesn’t care about America at all! I don’t care how many flag pins the traitors wear, or how many pocket copies of the Constitution they carry, the gop only cares about the 1%.

ProChoiceGrandma let us know about this fantastic letter from UC Davis professor Nathan Brown, calling for UC Chancellor Linda Katehi to step down because of the violence against peacefully protesting faculty and students.

Patrick posted this link to another UC Davis faculty member, writing at HuffPo on the potentially serious health effects of pepper spray and protocols that it cannot be used (in prisons) if a prisoner is seated.

He also pointed out this excellent article by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone and one from Glenn Greenwald at Salon.

The Last Word: Gabby Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly (describing what he had decided to say to Sarah Palin, if she had called): “You are not responsible,” I planned to tell Sarah Palin, “But you are irresponsible.”



Amazing new video – The UC Davis pepper spray incident, from four perspectives at the same time.

This is a terrific effort by a youtube-user. The infamous incident from four different perspectives at the same time provides a completely new picture.

Best viewed fullscreen in HD – go to original video and click on “720p.”

Weekly Roundup, October 30-November 6, 2011

By BlueberryT

Many thanks to sunnyjane for last week’s excellent roundup!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rick Perry is a Joke

This post is both hilarious post and sobering (pun intended) — this guy is running for the Republican nomination for President, for Chrissake!! Patrick scooped Rick Perry’s drunken performance in NH, showing what a buffoon and imbecile Perry is. The guy was higher than a kite. SNL could run this exact tape, without any embellishments – no need to spoof it, because Perry was an absolute joke. Jon Stewart had some fun at Perry’s expense (at end of piece having fun at Herman Cain’s expense). Rachel Maddow took the speech apart and said it will destroy any chance he had to become the presidential nominee. Even the MSM said that that Perry was: a cartoon version of himself; a clown; really loopy; like an SNL spoof of George W. Bush; and suggested that he was using drugs/alchohol. H/T to Patrick for the connection with The Daily Show to provide the Perry tape.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

AnneS Channels the Republican Debate

We all enjoy AnneS’ knack for capturing the most revealing and often the most comical screenshots of a once-promising Alaskan former half-term governor – and matching them with pitch-perfect “commentary” channeling the aforementioned has-been politician. In this guest post, Anne uses these same talents to “transcribe” and illustrate a GOP debate. She channels each of the candidates brilliantly. Empty catch phrases abound. As several readers pointed out this week, SNL doesn’t need to write any new material this week – between Rick Perry’s antics and Anne’s rendition of the debate, it’s already all here on Politicalgates.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dusty’s Corner

(Insert head of gop candidate of your choice)

Dusty again covers the cream of the gop-crop. Michele Bachmann wins first mention again, as even hard-core Republicans say that it is time for her to exit stage right. Dusty ridicules Perry’s drunken performance, which doesn’t measure up to his “tough cowboy” image. She spares herself (and us) dealing with the craziness emanating from the Cain and Romney campaigns, and instead looks at Steve Jobs (not such a saint after all), Kim Karda$hian (the tweet is priceless) and others. Don’t miss her Politicalgates foodie blog!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tornadoes and the Koch Brothers

What do tornadoes have to do with the Koch Brothers and Republican politics? Nomad takes a look at the increase in frequency and severity of extreme weather events, including the tornadoes that flattened communities in Mississippi, Missouri and elsewhere this past spring. Although causation of any weather event is difficult to pinpoint, these increasingly common extreme storms conform with climate model predictions. The Koch Brothers enter into the picture through their aggressive lobbying against constraints on their petro-chemical businesses (a source of heat-trapping gases), which provide the money that funds Americans for Prosperity, the Tea Party and right-wing politicians like Haley Barbour. Barbour himself rails against government handouts on the one hand while the other hand is out waiting for government disaster relief money, a large amount of which just so happens to go to a business headed by one of his relatives.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Anonymous Goes After Fox News

It comes as no surprise that Fox News takes almost every opportunity to smear the Ocupados and the Occupy movement. Their coverage has little to do with issues or politics; as Kathleen points out, “The Fox besmirching of the Occupy protesters went further than accusations of ‘dirty’, ‘disgusting’ and ‘indecent’ when mud slinger Ann Coulter claimed that protesters are ‘embracing their demonic aspects’ and that they are a mob ‘without cause’.” The photos of demonstrations in Germany are inspiring as is the video message by Anonymous.

Some Comments and Links (I got behind, so there are just a few this week):

Inmylife: “A hooker, a grifter and a con artist walk into a bar, and the bartender says, what will you have, Sarah?” [In comments: H/T Hit_the_Road!]

Dusty17 pointed out this excellent video about Mitt Romney’s America.

Cheeriogirl: Best discovery ever! Herman Cain’s settlement to one of the women was dated 9/99!

Patrick posted this link to Jon Stewart at his best:

The Last Word (with H/T to sunnyjane):

All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms labor is treason. If a man tells you he loves America, yet he hates labor, he is a liar. There is no America without labor, and to rob one is to fleece the other. ~Abraham Lincoln

Weekly Roundup, October 24-30, 2011

By Sunnyjane

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dusty’s Corner

A lion, a tigress, a bear, (Romney, Bachmann, Cain) and OH NO, a special appearance by the Grizzly Mama! Declaring that she will not dignify republicans or the gop with capital letters until they have earned them, Dusty presents with much-needed humor the mean, the hate, the flip-flopping, the hypocrisy, and the general absurdity of just a few of the current conservative candidates, and one loud-mouthed, bewigged, pelvic-goitered, money-grubbing non-candidate.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In Part Two of Nomad’s excellent post, he describes how the dreams and expectations of working-class Americans began to crumble after Ronald Reagan’s attack on unionized labor, and who profited from those policies. Spoiler: it was not the ninety-nine percent.

Friday, October 28, 2011

by Nomad

Of Friends, Funerals, and FEMA – Rick Perry’s New Guru

Newly recruited Joseph (can we call him Joe?) Allbaugh has been handed the reins of Rick Perry’s presidential nomination campaign. As one-time Chief of Staff to then-Governor George W. Bush, old Joe was involved in some rather dicey doings with the funeral business. But after W was elected president in 2000, Allbaugh was nominated to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), where he did nothing to repair his reputation. He left that position in 2003, and had managed to weaken FEMA so badly that when Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of New Orleans in 2005, the agency was virtually powerless to respond to the horrific needs of that city’s citizens.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

by Anne s

A Special Sparkling Sarah Spoof

In an it-could-easily-have-happened-this-way parody of Sarah Palin illustrating her political expertise with Fox’s Sean Hannity, Anne s has it all: balls in shackles, flavors of the month, tripping out to the garage in her flimsy robe to find a book, etc.

Some comments and links:

Following the brutal use of force engaged in by the Oakland, CA, police toward the Occupy Oakland protesters on October 25, Cheeriogirl found this from the Oakland Police TRAINING BULLETIN: • uphold constitutional rights of free speech and assembly while relying on the minimum use of physical force and authority required to address a crowd management or crowd control issue.

Dusty17: Report : Health reform will mean savings for Ohio families

Older_Wiser posted this great video clip: Jake Lamar: Not Disappointed by President Obama

RockyMissouri: Don’t the republicans and everyone at Fox News, especially, look very SMALL when compared to our president……..? His very graciousness and kindness only makes the meanness of the right more apparent…….. He has borne the insults with dignity and unbelievable grace, and I respect and admire him immensely…..

CaliGirl22: Sad, that in American you are dumber after watching a MSM news program. I had to stop watching Joe and Mika cause they REALLY made me ill. Of course you all know I have a running twitter war going on with CNN, I mean TeaNN. I watch maybe 5 minutes then spend the rest of the morning tweeting them for their lies. Send your comments to @ TeamCNN, they do read that account.

Kevin: I think what is scarier than Bachmann running for president is that she CURRENTLY sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence… and Nomad responded: Having Bachmann on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is like when Libya was asked by the UN to head the commission on Human Rights.

BanditBasheert: Oakland “police” are teargassing protestors – live now…can also follow and retweet on their live twitter feed. Welcome to Somalia…

Blueberry T: Okay, I’m officially totally in love with Matt Tiabbi.

Referring to Mitt Romney, Jolly Roger said: Willard is a sad frigging joke. Doubly sad because he wasn’t the worst Rushpubliscum there ever was, by a long shot. He had to work to make himself into purified scum, and he damn sure worked HARD to get there.

Bluerinse, commenting on Dusty’s post: Dusty – I do like the sound of snark in the morning.

Leadfoot_LA: Here is a Leadfoot Recipe: Upon leaving office, open glovebox and flip through carry-out menus. Decide which restaurant sounds best and browse menu at traffic lights. Call from cell phone to place order. Pick up child. Drive with child to restaurant and pick up carry out order. Drive home and eat it.

Anon in MI shared this fortune from a Chinese take-out meal: “It is hope, not despair, which makes successful revolutions.”

MadamDeal: Just popped in to report the sputtering of the eternal flame of St. Sarah. Sheya of PalinTV and Josh Painter of Texans for Sarah Palin have endorsed: Eye of Newt Gangrenerich.

Maddies_Mom: Another fantastic post, Nomad. This is something I’ve been arguing about with my right-leaning friends for a long time. They say ‘government can’t do anything right’, and I always argue that it depends on who’s running the government. I think FEMA is one of the most obvious examples. Of course, there’s also the Justice Dept., the FDA, the Interior Dept., etc., etc., etc.

To which Linda1961 responded: FEMA worked very well under Clinton, and has improved under Obama (in spite of W’s deliberate sabotage of the agency).

Eclecticsandra: The theme of these is to diminish federal government. They seem to think that appointing incompetent friends is the way to do it. Why not appoint people who know how to streamline rather than privatize. No bidding for contracts undermines responsible capitalists. This just seems like stupidity and greed, not conservatism.

When Cheeriogirl wondered if Sarah Palin would respond to the tens of thousands of Israelis marching in solidarity with the 99% movement, Sassy responded: Not coherently…

Moseyon suggested that we all take a look at Rick Perry’s speech in New Hampshire. It’s pretty, um, bizarre.

The Last Word – Brown_Fox: Here’s wishing P&K, contributors, and all friends a happy Diwali – Festival of lights and joy!!! May the coming year bring in prosperity and good times to you all, and Let us kick the sorry tush of the loony R nominee to reelect Obama 2012!!

JCos: Somebody should alter those AARP ads, where the retired folks essentially say “don’t mess with my benefits or I’ll vote you out”. They should say, “don’t mess with my benefits or I’ll vote for someone who wants to hand administration of my benefits to a private firm that will squeeze my balls dry to improve the company’s profits”.

After Honestyingov commented on the Business Insider story that The US Just Found $6.6 Billion Thought To Be Lost During Iraqi Reconstruction, mmboucher said: Do you have a link, I want to find $6.6 Billion also too???

Weekly Roundup, October 17-23, 2011

by BlueberryT

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dusty’s Corner

I can see we are going to have lots of fun in “Dusty’s Corner”! Her first post as a PoliticalGates regular is a wonderful mix of delicious snark, level-headed “advice” and astute political commentary. She roasts Michele Bachmann, Herman “Herb” Cain, the GOP debtors Huntsman and Gingrich, and, last but not least, Sarah Palin aka shifty-butt. The GOP obsession with anti-woman and anti-abortion legislation is happily balanced with kudos to the “Occupy” movement sweeping the globe. Great post, Dusty — you have a nice way of showing that the GOP is all absurdity, all the time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Themes from Joe McGinniss’ Work

Joe McGinniss wasn’t born yesterday, nor did his career as a writer begin with the publication of The Rogue, nor is Sarah Palin the first pathological narcissist that he has portrayed. I revisited his earlier work and found threads, themes and topics from his earlier works, seen through the lens of the “search for the real Sarah Palin.” He again brings astute observations together with wit and wonderful storytelling skills. He again explores politics as a con game, Alaska and its fascinating characters, and salt of the earth people and those who are corrupt or dysfunctional. Most surprising to me is that none of the reviewers of The Rogue have shown the least bit of interest in viewing this book within the context of his earlier work; this seems like “book review skills 101.” But I guess if you get paid to review a book, the current mode is to do so without even reading it, let alone reading the author’s earlier work.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bristol’s baby bump revealed (which, when?)

Thanks to a tip from a trusted source, Kathleen discovered photos revealing Bristol in a “semi-Demi” pose, showing some baby-bump skin. The research team compared Bristol’s appearance to what she looked like during various timeframes, and concluded that these photos were taken during the fall, after the RNC; we don’t know exactly when, but possibly October. Is she 32 weeks? Hard to say for sure, but it’s plausible. Were they retouched? Most likely, but the baby bump seems pretty realistic and believable. The bigger message here is to try to get back to basics, focusing on what we know and facts that we can establish with a high degree of certainty. It doesn’t mean don’t think outside the box, but we do need to separate facts from opinions or theories.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Professor Brad Scharlott’s Ear Analysis

Brad Scharlott applied his skills in digital photography to analyze the ear photos of “Ruffles” and Trig, providing a convincing case that the interior “architecture” of the outer ear is the same and thus they are the same baby. Several readers provided additional photos and analytical approaches with similar conclusions, but some disagreed. Keeping an open mind, many of us also appreciated the informed comments of mrsgunka, Kali and several others who provided additional information, photos, analysis or insights.

Here’s my vote that if we can all stay calm and rational, we can deal with ideas that may differ from our own conclusions in some ways. (This happens within the research team occasionally, and we all still respect each other and don’t take it personally when we disagree; in fact, this has happened to me recently regarding a theory that I recognize might be a rabbit hole!) We are all gradually fitting together the pieces of a very complex puzzle (with some deliberately false leads thrown in for good measure). Eventually we’ll see the finished product of our collective work. Maybe we should all stand up, stretch, take a deep breath, and smile at what we’ve accomplished. 😉

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nomad’s Father, the American Dream and its Unraveling

Here is another wonderful post by Nomad, whose father lived the American Dream, growing up in poverty and building a modest and secure middle class life through hard work and a cooperative symbiosis between his employer, union and himself. Unions were instrumental in creating a path from poverty to productivity and a comfortable life for many Americans. Nomad also points out that, although revisionist historians bestow Ronald Reagan with the credit for the fall of the Berlin Wall and later the USSR, the Polish union Solidarity, led by Lech Walesa, was the real catalyst. Ironically, at the same time, Reagan struck a major blow against unions in this country, firing the air traffic controllers and opening the door to hiring “replacement workers” for those on strike. This spurred “right to work” laws and other actions, such as we have seen running rampant this year, to weaken unions. As a bonus, here is a link to an excellent video Nomad made on the “fall of ’29.”

Some comments and links:

Cheeriogirl: Why is it so hard for people to consider that Sarah Palin faked a pregnancy by wearing some sort of empathy belly, when she regularly dons a fake rear end and fake breasts? [To which mmboucher added] And….. Fake hair! [Ooopsie, Sarah — your wig is slipping! Later the wig was proven by the screenshots that Annes_123 posted.]

MadamDeal: Lord have mercy. Taken together the padded bosom, padded derriere and lip gloss, it’s a picture of Midlife Crisis.

Indy_girl: OT–last night I was in our video store and there was ONE lonely copy of “The Undefeated” on the new release wall (?). It didn’t seem to be in the right place, so I put it in the horror section instead. ;-D

Jolly Roger (Plutocrap): I’ve been enjoying Herb the last few days. Every new thing he says has psychiatrists all over the world looking through their diagnostic manuals.

JCos (hard to pick just one!): Palin looks like a boa constrictor that’s just eaten a small farm animal. [OK, couldn’t pick just one!] I always say it isn’t a great debate until the candidate who wants to secede from the country accuses his opponent of being a hypocrite for employing illegal immigrants.

Older_Wiser: So, that 9-9-9 tax plan is code for “The 9.99% at the top will get a huge tax savings.”

Ann K.: Bristol looks so fresh and pretty in those pictures. It is a shame what she has done to her face. It makes me rather sad, even though I know there is a lot of ugliness inside of this young woman.

Linda1961: The biblical Sarah laughed when she heard that she would get pregnant, because she was 90 years old and barren. When Isaac was born, she named him “Laughter” – a nice name. If Quitter laughed, it was because she was going to perpetrate fraud on the American people to further her political career, and named Trig for the scientific name for Down’s Syndrome – despicable.

Kilob has a (previously) secret talent:

It was three years ago today,
Sarah Palin urged her bots to pay
They’ve been mesmerized by her lack of style
But they’ve guaranteed to raise a pile
So may I introduce to you
The act you’ve known for all these years
Sarah Palin’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
They’re Sarah Palin’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
We hope you really enjoyed her show
Sarah Palin’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sit back and let your money go
Sarah Palin’s lonely, Sarah Palin’s lonely
Sarah Palin’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
It’s wonderful to be here
She certainly was shrill
You’re such a ignorant audience
She’d like to take away your home
She’d love to take away your home
I don’t really want to stop the show
But I thought that you might like to know
That she is going to sing a song
And she wants you all to sing along
So let me introduce to you
The one and only Becky Mansour
And Sarah Palin’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

A special shout-out to Leadfoot, KatieAnnieOakley, BfromC, Maddies_Mom, LizH and inmylife, who had a great meet-up in Chicago this week. Sounds like a great time was had by all!!

Cheeriogirl linked to David Frum: Palin: Already Almost Forgotten.

Thanks to HonestyinGov for these photos of Occupy Sacramento!

Annes_123 is channeling Sarah again—brilliant!

Game of Life linked to this on Sarah’s latest utter hypocrisy.

Juicyfruityy, lee and others linked to Joe McGinniss about the ADN enabling Palin and otherwise doing a piss-poor job.

Older_Wiser linked to Phil Munger on this topic as well.

Juicyfruityy also pointed out this excellent Dylan Ratigan program on the economic con game where the banks control our monetary policy and have no risk, Alan Greenspan/the Federal Reserve is “the Godfather” and the people are the losers.

Hope for America linked to this (see “Ears” on page 4) in support of Brad Scharlott’s post about babies’ ears. EARSA newborn’s ears, as well as other features, may be distorted by the position they were in while inside the uterus. Because the baby hasn’t yet developed the thick cartilage that gives firm shape to an older child’s ears, it isn’t unusual for newborns to come out with temporarily folded or otherwise misshapen ears. Small tags of skin or pits (shallow holes) in the skin on the side of the face just in front of the ear are also common.

The Last Word – Helen NPN: Hey everyone, I just want to take a moment to pat EVERYONE on the back who comments here. Aside from the well researched and written posts that we’ve come to expect here, I’ve got to say, the links that we all provide to each other are FABULOUS and half the reason I’m here too.

Thanks for bringing your important and interesting links, theories and stories here one and all, and your funny ones too. Politicalgates is a unique clearinghouse for the smartest topical info around and I really value this community for that fact. Keep em coming!

UPDATE: Photos from OccupyBoston.