Wednesday, 1/4/12, Public Square

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38 responses to “Wednesday, 1/4/12, Public Square

  1. ‎(from the article) Ron Paul finished a close third, according to the state GOP. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who placed fifth, said late Tuesday that he would return to his home state to consider whether his campaign would continue.

    Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, had 30,015 votes. Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and an upstart challenger who just weeks ago polled in the single digits, had 30,007, the state GOP said.

    Each had roughly 25% of the vote in Iowa, the first state to vote in the 2012 presidential caucus and primary season. Paul, a U.S. representative from Texas, had 21%. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was at 13%. Perry was at 10%, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota had 5%, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman had 1%.

    State GOP officials said certified results will be released in two weeks.

    Romney defeats Santorum by 8 votes in Iowa

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/03/politics/iowa-caucus/index.html

    • 75% of the Iowans who participated in the caucus don’t like Romney, and 75% don’t like Santorum.

      The clown car moves on full of clowns. The primary season isn’t ending anytime soon! 🙂

    • Do you think it will be this election cycle the extreme right-wing destroys the Republican Party?

  2. (from the article) Guess what? Thanks to provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA/ObamaCare) and to an unprecedented effort by the Obama Administration, more progress has been made in the past three years to combat health care fraud and abuse than ever before. There was a 68.9 percent increase in criminal health care fraud prosecutions from 2010 to 2011, and 2010 was already the highest ever. See the chart below, released last month by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. (Note: NPR did a fine piece on this topic last Friday.)

    Part of the effort involves hyper-charged efforts to catch bad guys through the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), and a bigger part involves re-engineering the system to keep them out. For example, prior to the ACA, if a bad guy got kicked out of one state Medicaid program for fraud, he got kicked out of one program; under the ACA, when he gets kicked out of one, and he gets kicked out of all them, including Medicare. That’s smart, and that’s just a tiny bit of what the ACA does on fraud & abuse.

    So here’s a question for Mitt Romney and all the Republican presidential candidates who say several times each day, “My first act as President will be to repeal ObamaCare.”

    Do you mean you are going to repeal the fraud and abuse provisions in ObamaCare, too?

    ObamaCare Is Winning the Fight on Fraud and Abuse
    http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/health_stew/2012/01/obamacare_is_winning_the_fight.html

  3. Citing sources close to the Kennedy family, Rhode Island Public Radio reports it’s “looking more and more like” Joseph P. Kennedy III will run for the seat being vacated by Rep. Barney Frank.

    Kennedy, 31, grandson of the late U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and son of former U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II, works in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor.

    http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20120103%2FNEWS11%2F120109949&cid=sitesearch

  4. I did not know about Mitt Romney’s family history of leaving the USA to go to Mexico due to Utah going against the Mormon church on the issue of polygamy. But Lawrence O’Donnell brought this up when the panel was discussing Santorum’s speech and the part about Santorum’s grandfather being an immigrant, etc.

    But read this article, it is quite interesting.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/perry-watch/headlines/20111023-mitt-romneys-relatives-in-mexico-are-supportive-but-wary.ece

  5. I watched the speeches of Santorum, Romney, Gingrich, Perry and Bachmann last night when it was about over.

    I must say – if I did not know some of the extreme positions that Santorum holds, I might be persuaded to give him a chance.

    As for Romney – all I could picture was this robot made out of Chinese plastic saying whatever popped into his head. And I finally figured out what it is about Romney that really turns me off – watch his eyes when he is trying to deliver a speech – they dart back and forth. I don’t know if that is a character flaw – but it sure bugs me to no end. And I remember my grandfather always told me – never trust a man who will not look in the eyes.

    I thought Chris Matthews summed up Romney quite well – he said Romney was a merchandiser – with alot of products to sell. LOL

    Perry’s speech was confusing to me – Perry read a letter from some young guy that drove from Texas (IIRC), broke down in Kansas and had a $2,000 repair bill and arrived in Iowa to volunteer for Perry. Perry then went on to read this guy’s letter and he said that he had been to 1,000 homes that day and had put up 400 signs. I got to wondering how many homes would this guy need to visit to accomplish the goal of 1,000 homes in 24 hours. The answer: 41.66 homes – and where the time for putting up signs came in, is anyone’s guess.

    Gingrich’s speech was nothing more than the little garden gnome (nod to fnord – LOL) doing what he does best – throwing bombs. Gingrich seemed a very bitter man. I suspect we will see the old leopard with the same old spots from this point on. Gingrich does not take defeat well…

    And then poor little Michele Bachmann. She is still having those dreams of being the other Michele in the White House. Poor thing – she only got 5% of Iowa – that is rather pitiful.

    But when all is said and done – I just wonder how much money was spent on the entire Iowa Caucus by these candidates and how many total Iowans voted? When I find those two numbers – I can figure out how much each of those votes cost.

    Like I said yesterday – just imagine if all that campaign money would be used to actually put Americans back to work – instead of just talking about it. NOW that would be something to see – and to be proud of – but I am not holding my breath.

    I suspect these politicians are too addicted to all that confetti, parties and the feeling of euphoria if and when they win by a lousy 8 votes…

  6. Yesterday we were discussing how some Evangelical Christians seem to treat women – this was an offshoot issue from discussing Santorum’s very extreme view of banning all contraceptives.

    As I see this issue – I don’t think it is ALL Christians that push this extreme view that women are nothing more than man’s submissive wife, cook, cleaner, child bearer, etc.

    From what I’ve seen – this narrow version of man’s dominance over the woman has been pushed by a select group of Evangelical or Fundamental/Independent Christians. In fact, I’ve noticed, the more Fundamental and Independent these churches claim to be – the more it seems that men are in control of everything.

    Maybe that is just my perception – I don’t know. I do remember having a best friend while growing up. She was from a large Catholic family. From the outside, it might appear that my friend’s father was the master of his home – but I spent quite a few nights at their house having sleep overs. And from what I saw – my friend’s mother could take care of herself. LOL

    So, maybe all these Evangelical/Fundies/Independent Christian men who claim to be masters of their house are only posturing and spreading those peacock feathers to hide the real truth?

    • I’ve never seen any indication that “Evangelical/Fundies/Independent Christian men” and “truth” belong in the same sentence. I’ve had it with those yahoos!

      Wonder how long it will take the republicans to own Romney as their guy? Will it take all the way to Super Tuesday on March 6th?

      Here’s the 2012 primary schedule if you’re interested —
      http://www.2012presidentialelectionnews.com/2012-republican-primary-schedule/

      If the Iowa caucus got rid of both Perry and Bachmann, that doesn’t leave the clown car as full as I want it to be. 😦

  7. There is some feelings between Santorum and Romeny that has nothing to do with the current GOP primary campaign.

    But you know what bothers me the most is that neither of these men came out and said who was to really blame for the Catholic Church child molestation problem –

    First – it was those priests who were doing the molesting.
    Second – and this is important IMHO – it was the Catholic Church for covering it up by knowingly moving these priests around and not confronting the problem.

    I’ve often said – the reason the Catholic Church was sued and they lost – resulting in millions of dollars having to be paid to victims is because of the cover up. Not because of the actual molestation.

    But isn’t it interesting that Santorum thinks it was ‘liberalism’ that caused the Catholic Church molesting priests problem?

    Must be nice to be able to compartmentalize such failures of one’s own church (Santorum has been described as a devout Catholic) and just blame a perceived movement of ‘those guys over there’ and ‘not me in the church’.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/03/mitt-romney-rick-santorum-catholic-church_n_1181398.html

    • Santorum must be one mighty sexually frustrated guy! Listen to him talk about the subject, no matter the context, and you hear his frustrations. He need’s to get laid in the worst way (pun intended!).

  8. Serious question – Is Santorum’s victory in Iowa just the result of his good luck (or timing) to be the ‘Anybody But Romney’ candidate? Or is Santorum now going to take Perry and Bachmann supporters to build a bigger coalition to attack Romney from here on out?

    Romney will probably not do well in the Southern States – and I suspect Santorum will – with all the Evangelical Christians in the South.

    New Hampshire is next – and I suspect Romney will pull that one out – but I don’t know by how much. I think Santorum is a real threat – unless now Santorum gets tangled up by being scrutinized by the media since he is now in the front runner status crowd.

    My thought is that it depends on how badly the Social Conservative Republicans do not want Romney. Santorum is basically the only guy left in the field that has not been thoroughly scrutinized by the media before going into Iowa.

    Now that the scrutiny will start – will the Social Conservatives stick with Santorum or reluctantly go with who the Good Ol’ Boy Republican Party tells them to nominate?

    Time will tell – but I predict this GOP fight will go way past the spring time.

    Pass the popcorn…

    • Santorum was part of the Ensign mess so that’s at least one area we’ll be hearing more about. And I expect more to be dug up. Romney has lots of money and lots of people to do the digging.

      The Senate ethics committee wrote that Doug Hampton, Ensign’s former chief of staff and husband of his mistress, Cynthia, wrote a letter to Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly on June 11, 2009, in which he disclosed the affair and sought a meeting. On June 15, Hampton emailed the letter to Santorum and asked for help. Santorum forwarded Hampton’s email to Ensign at a Gmail address that evening at about 10:20 p.m.

      “Sen. Ensign immediately called an emergency staff meeting in the late evening … that lasted until approximately 3:00 a.m. on June 16,” the ethics committee reported. “During that staff meeting, Sen. Ensign disclosed the affair, and also disclosed that he had made a severance payment to the Hamptons.”

      In an interview Friday, Santorum adviser John Brabender said he had not spoken with Santorum since the committee report came out but had no reason to dispute it.

      • I saw that one also – but the report did say that Santorum did nothing wrong by forwarding the email. Unlike others involved in this affair, Santorum appears to only have forwarded the email. But I have to wonder why was Santorum even involved in all this affair? Were Santorum adn Ensign best buddies or something?

        You know, when reading about what these Congress Critters do sometimes in their personal affairs makes me think we are watching a bunch of middle schoolers that are caught up in all that pre-puberty sex giddiness. You know – all the boys brag about getting some when they do not even know what the hell ‘some’ is… This type of juvenile behavior would be laughable if we were not talking about grown men who profess to be so godly and morally superior. Just grow up already…

  9. Last night, some panelist was talking about Rick Santorum not being vetted yet and there were some things in his background as Senator that may not be well received by those who consider themselves true conservatives.

    I am trying to find some articles/links on Santorum – and I found this one.

    What caught my eye was the fact that the taxpayers were paying for Santorum’s children’s cyber schooling – why?

    I thought all good little Republicans believed in not taking welfare from government for their family needs?

    http://www.biography.com/people/rick-santorum-20688005

  10. I am finding some links to articles about Santorum getting a questionable mortgage while he was Senator -but I don’t know these sources very well and I do not want to post anything here without it coming from a reputable source.

    But IIRC – that is what the panelist mentioned last night when she said there were some things in Santorum’s past that true conservatives may not like.

    I agree with you – Romney has the money to dig up anything there is to be found.

    • Also – Newt Gingrich last night suddenly wanted to be best buddies with Santorum – didn’t he? I suspect Newt would be all too happy to cover for Santorum if Romney does find something on Santorum.

      I just about gagged last night when Newt was whining about Romney’s attack ads that were not based on truth. Since when is actual video tapes and/or actual procedures like the time Newt was reprimanded and fined $300,000 for ethics violation while Speaker NOT the truth?

      Newt – that little gnome – he sure does have the chutzpa – doesn’t he?

  11. from wiki so consider the source, and know we will hear all about this and more very soon —

    In 2006, Santorum sought re-election to a third term in the U.S. Senate. His seat was considered among the most vulnerable for Republicans, and he ran unopposed in the Republican primaries.[20] His Democratic opponent was State Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr., the son of popular former governor Robert Casey, Sr., who was well known for his pro-life advocacy despite being a Democrat. Santorum’s seat was a prime target of Democratic efforts to gain Senate seats in the 2006 elections. Casey’s candidacy was bolstered by his opposition to abortion, negating one of Santorum’s key issues.[21]

    For most of the campaign, Santorum was behind by 15 points or more in polls. Polls showed that Santorum was closing on Casey during the summer of 2006, but Casey’s margin increased back to double-digits in September.[22] A potential Green Party candidate was not allowed ballot access,[23] further hurting Santorum’s prospects, as there were no other candidates to siphon away some Casey voters.[24] Some Santorum supporters had also funded the Green Party candidate, raising suspicions that some federal election laws may have been violated to help Santorum.[25]

    [26] Santorum was mired in controversy over his residence in Virginia, where he and his family stay while the Senate was in session. He admitted that he spent only “maybe a month a year, something like that” at his Pennsylvania residence,[27] which critics argued was hypocritical because Santorum himself had denounced, and defeated, Rep. Doug Walgren-PA for living away from his House district.[28]

    Santorum faced damaging stories that he enrolled five of his children in an online “cyber school” in Pennsylvania, for which the Penn Hills school district was billed $73,000, despite the fact that all the children lived in Virginia.[29]

    Santorum aimed a television ad suggesting that his supporters had been under investigation for various crimes. The negative ad backfired, as the The Scranton Times-Tribune found that all but a few of Casey’s contributors donated when he was running for other offices, and none were investigated for anything.[30] In fact, two of the persons cited in Santorum’s campaign ad actually gave contributions to him in 2006, and one died in 2004.[31] Santorum’s campaign countered that those donations were not kept, and had been donated to educational institutions.[32]

    Santorum faced controversy for statements against “radical feminism”, which he claimed had made it “socially affirming to work outside the home” at the expense of child care. Female voters resented his statements, and in his defense, he said that in a family of two wage earners, the second wage earner made only 25% of the first’s wages on average.

    Santorum shifted his campaign theme to the threat of radical Islam and Islamic terrorism in the United States. He gave a speech invoking British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, referring to multiple forces trying to undermine the U.S. in a “gathering storm” (the term Churchill used to describe the causes of World War II).[33] He pointed to the historical date of a Muslim siege in Europe, Sept. 11, 1683, as evidence that radical Islamists were waging a more than 300-year old crusade with the intent to restore Shia clerics to power in the Western world.[34] Casey told the press that Santorum’s claims were outrageous, saying, “No one believes terrorists are going to be more likely to attack us, because I defeat Rick Santorum. Does even he believe that?” A heated debate between the candidates occurred on October 11, 2006.[35] The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described both candidates’ performances during the debate as “unstatesmanlike”.[35]

    In the November election, Santorum lost, with 41% of the vote to Casey’s 59%,[36][37] the largest margin of defeat ever for an incumbent Republican Senator in Pennsylvania.

    • Wow – $73,000 for five kids enrolled in cyber school while they were living out side the state.

      Why didn’t the Santorums just home school like alot of these other Evangelical Christians do? Why make the taxpayers pay for his kids’ schooling.

      Another case of – do as I preach and not as I do?

  12. Also from wiki —

    Dan Savage reacted strongly to statements made about homosexuality by former United States Senator Rick Santorum in an April 2003 interview with the Associated Press. Santorum included gay sex as a form of deviant sexual behavior, along with incest, polygamy, and bestiality, that he said threatens society and the family; he said he believed consenting adults do not have a constitutional right to privacy with respect to sexual acts.[13] Savage invited his readers to create a sex-related definition for “santorum” to “memorialize the Santorum scandal […] by attaching his name to a sex act that would make his big, white teeth fall out of his big, empty head.”[14] The winning definition was “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”[15] Savage set up a website to spread the term, inviting bloggers and others to link to it, which caused it to rise to the top of a Google search for Santorum’s name.[16]

    I saw someplace recently where people were being encouraged to ‘google’ Santorum and then click the website described above so it would stay at the top of google searches. I’d say Santorum made quite an enemy out of this man!

    • What do you think the chances are that some republicans who wanted to learn more about the guy who did so well in Iowa did google him this morning and did find the website Savage made? Think some got the shock of their lives?

      • I never knew that about Dan Savage and his mission. Then I saw a few links with that specific topic.

        My, oh my, I think I got a case of the vapors…….LOL

        P.S. I always have to laugh when I hear that line in some old movie. I always wondered what the ‘vapors’ were…

        Can you just picture some of these Republicans reading that stuff – too bad there is not a hidden camera to catch the facial expressions.

  13. (from the article) The candidate has a long-standing relationship with the coal and fracking industry as a well-paid consultant for a coal mining company, Consol Energy Inc., which has donated $8,500 to his campaign.

    Therefore, it isn’t a surprise that on Monday, Santorum attacked a new Environmental Protection Agency toxics rule that prevents mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants, claiming it represents the EPA’s philosophy of “We hate carbon, we hate fossil fuels, we hate blue-collar Americans who work in those area”:

    He specifically took issue with the agency’s cost-benefit analysis, calling it “absolutely ridiculous” and “not based on any kind of science.”

    But the EPA’s cost-benefit analysis cites peer-reviewed studies extensively in its 510-page “Regulatory Impact Analysis of the Final Mercury and Air Toxics Standards,” which has been two decades in the making.

    What Santorum didn’t mention is how uncontrolled mercury pollution has harmed Americans for decades. The EPA’s peer-reviewed analysis found the mercury rule would prevent 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 asthma attacks annually. Economically, the health benefits outweigh the costs of a few dozen old plant closures — every dollar spent on reducing the pollution would save up to $9 in health benefits.

    Santorum Says EPA’s Mercury Rule Hurts ‘Blue-Collar Americans,’ But Doesn’t Mention Health Benefits

    • But, but….Santorum lovingly paid tribute to his grandfather last night in his speech. Remember? The grandfather worked in the coal mines, he had enormous hands and Rick was always amazed at how his grandfather worked so hard and pulled himself up out of immigrant poverty.

      But then Santorum said something that was rather odd – he said that grandfather worked in those mines until he was 72 years old. Maybe I misunderstood or something??

      But – I wonder if grandfather would be so proud of his grandson siding with the coal mining executives against the coal mine workers that grandfather was standing next to day after day?

  14. We begin to see more clearly why Romney will be the republican candidate.

    I still say the Romney that believes in choice for women, admits mans contributions to global warming and has moderate beliefs on immigration doesn’t sound like a bad guy! Besides it should be great fun to watch him spin back to those once-deeply-held convictions after his spin away from them to get the right-wing nuts support.

    Wonder which Romney will show up and when?

    I think it’s funny when you hear the republicans looking forward to their guy debating President Obama. There are only three debates, all in October. Wonder what they think their guy will do outside those limited times?

    The debates between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger will take place Oct. 3 at the University of Denver, Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., and Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. The vice presidential debate is set for Oct. 11 at Centre College in Danville, Ky.

  15. And, apparently you can pray the Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann away.

  16. This is interesting. Be sure you read the last paragraph.

    Why Obama’s Defying The GOP And Appointing Top Consumer Watchdog

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/01/why-obama-could-recess-appoint-top-consumer-watchdog-anyhow.php?ref=fpblg

  17. ‎(from the article) Romney’s economic plan includes a $6.6 trillion tax cut that overwhelmingly benefits the rich and corporations. As a result of this gargantuan giveaway, the plan “would yield approximately $6.5 trillion in deficits from 2013 through 2021.” And as the Tax Policy Center found, Santorum’s plan doesn’t fare much better:

    The Tax Policy Center has not yet formally modeled the former Pennsylvania senator’s tax platform. However, because it cuts rates significantly but does not eliminate tax preferences—and even expands a few—it would very likely add trillions of dollars to the federal deficit. Looked at from that prism, it is not so different from the ideas raised by most of his GOP rivals.

    Like other Republican tax planks, Santorum’s would benefit corporations and high-income individuals. No surprise there. But unlike his rivals, he’d also cut taxes for many families with children.

    Santorum is no bleeding heart, however. Even as he’d cut their taxes, he’d shred direct government spending for programs aimed at assisting these same households.

    Santorum’s Tax Plan Would Likely Add Trillions Of Dollars To The Deficit

  18. As I was out doing some errands, one thing that Santorum said last night during his speech popped into my head.

    Santorum made the statement that God gave us our country and yada, yada….

    Excuse me, but didn’t the White Men have to arrive by big ships and the White Men took this country away from the people already living here – which I presume God had given those people this country – since they were already here and thriving quite well.

    In fact, Native Indians were generous and compassionate enough to get those White Men Pilgrims through Thanksgiving and the cold hard winter – only to be paid back by hunting Native Indians down and ‘taking the country’.

    That is another thing that disturbs me about these Republicans – they are always yelling about ‘taking our country back’.

    Like fnord stated previously – where do these folks think the country has gone? The country is still here and what do these folks think they have lost? They have lost nothing but their own perceived power – and with all the evidence showing these people abuse power once they get in – why the hell would anyone want them back into power?

  19. Can I get an Amen for M0ntana? Now let’s see how many other states follow their lead.

    I still think it’s funny that Newt seems to be the one that was harmed the most by all that corporate money through Super Pac which was sanctioned by the Citizens United ruling.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/04/citizens-united-montana-supreme-court-corporate-spending_n_1182168.html

  20. Republican wing-nut idiot bumper sticker —

    “Do it for your mother! End women’s suffrage”

  21. Just stopped by to post this link with background material on Rick Santorum.

    Not only was Rick Santorum friends with people from C-Street – it seems he had best friends on K Street.

    My, oh my, when will these godly and morally superior Social Conservative Christian Republicans learn to vet their new flavor of the weak candidates?

    That question I asked earlier about if Santorum reaped the benefits of good timing in Iowa Caucus – I am starting to think Santorum is just the last one in the current GOP Clown Car that is not Romney and it was his turn to be shot out of the cannon as the Messiah of the Social Conservatives. But just give it a fw more weeks, and I suspect Rick’s balloon will be popping soon and he will tumble back down to Earth to face the ugly truth. The Establishment GOP has all but crowned their GOP nominated boy and it is Romney.

    Yes, Romney, the automated robot merchandiser that has alot of products to sell and alot of two-sided schtick salesmanship to sell a bill of goods to those who are easily fooled.

    BTW – I saw tonight on ‘The Ed Show’ that Romney spent $49 per vote in Iowa. Santorum spent 79 cents per vote. Wow – if Romney spending $49 per vote is an example of how this guy does business, then if he gets in – God help us all.

    http://www.aei.org/article/politics-and-public-opinion/elections/santorums-denials-on-k-street-project-dont-ring-true/

    • Another link – this time it goes into further details.

      Wow – for giving such a touching little speech about his immigrant grandfather working in those coal mines, who would have thought that the grandson Rick would be a Senator with his name linked to this type of stuff going on?

      One thing is for sure – as soon as you think some scandal as gone away from scrutiny – some little thing like Rick Santorum surging in Iowa Caucus to winning the damn thing within 8 votes brings all these scandals right back into the forefront.

      Wow – the old saying must true – the truth always finds a way to come out.

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/09/25/249626/-PA-Sen:-Rick-Santorum-makes-it-the-Abramoff-65-UPDATED-with-Images