Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Velvet Revolution, Sweet Revenge: Maria Belen Chapur and Mark Sanford, Sotomayor Noise Makers And Alternet News

Velvet Revolution, Sweet Revenge: Maria Belen Chapur and Mark Sanford, Sotomayor Noise Makers And Alternet News

Torture: What Is The Difference?

Velvet Revolution: Disbar Torture Lawyers Press Conference - Nat’l Press Club DC - June 29, 2009

Kevin Zeese Files Bar Complaints Against Torture Lawyers Rizzo And Fredman

The Corporate Media State Has Deformed American Culture -- Time to Fight Back
By Chris Hedges, Truthdig
Progressives must embrace emotion and passion to counter the force of corporate propaganda.
Read more

"More Better Faster!": How Our Spastic Digital Culture Scrambles Our Brains
By David Bollier, On the Commons
The digital communications apparatus is crowding out deeper relationships and more deliberative modes of thinking.
Read more

DC Metro Crash: Who Will Die Next Because We Throw Money At Billionaries and Scrimp on the Public Good?
By Dave Zirin, The Nation
The wreckage of the DC train crash is not an accident site. It's a crime scene. When we spend more on sports stadiums than infrastructure, people die.
Read more

Why Does Our Government Still Spy On, Arrest and Persecute Dissidents?
By Emily Spence, Consortium News
One needn't return in time to the McCarthy Era to find many individuals who have been investigated and persecuted for holding vilified opinions.
Read more

E-Mail From Hilda Solis to Employees Who Defaced Gay Pride Posters at U.S. Dept. of Labor
By Nate Carlile, Think Progress
"Respect for others is non-negotiable at the U.S. Department of Labor"
Read more

Obama Has Become Radical in His Commitment to Secrecy
By Martin Garbus, Huffington Post
Obama's attempt at secrecy, continued torture and repression of speech must be stopped.
Read more

Obama Sides With Fidel Castro & Hugo Chavez – Refuses To Recognize ...
By mcauleysworld
”Deposed” is not the proper term here, we should be referring to President Zelaya's
impeachment – because with the approval of the Honduran Congress and the Honduran Supreme Court, that is what happened, Zelaya was impeached not deposed ...
Mcauleysworld's Weblog - http://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/

Sweet revenge: scorned lover squeals on Maria Belen Chapur and Mark Sanford

"Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned." But sometimes even a man can unleash his fury as seems to have happened in the case of Maria Belen Chapur and Gov. Mark Sanford. A younger boyfriend of the governor's mistress has been identified as the person who leaked the emails. Is Maria a cougar as well as an alleged home-wrecker?

We often talk of "sweet" revenge, and it appears to be so. A brain study about five years ago answered the question: "Why do we reprimand people who have abused our trust or broken other social rules, even when we get no direct practical benefits in return?" It seems that revenge is rooted in passion and is not really cold and calculated. National Geographic

The New York Times reported "The mystery of who revealed Gov. Mark Sanford's e-mail messages may finally be solved. A business associate of Mr. Sanford’s Argentine mistress said Friday that private messages between the two lovers had been sent anonymously to a South Carolina newspaper last December by an Argentine man the mistress had briefly dated."

It appears that "Ms. Chapur was dating a young Argentine a few months after her affair with Mr. Sanford began. The man happened to see the e-mail messages being exchanged between the governor and Ms. Chapur, said the executive — who said he had direct knowledge of the situation — and hacked into her e-mail account to see the rest." NYTIMES (See updated story Love triangle: as Gov. and Jenny Sanford talk of reconcilliation, Maria Belen Chapur talks of pain)

Someone should have told the young man to take a deep breath and wait it out. It would only be a matter of time before the entire affair would come crashing down. But for him, revenge was apparently sweet.

Just say "no." In this case my neutral, but opinionated side is surfacing. I must repeat what I have said so often about adultery. A married man cannot be unfaithful if the other woman says, "No, you are a married man."

Lots of pain here as the darling of Argentina is splashed all over the news while the governor is weeping and Jenny Sanford is left to worry about her children.

The romantic triangle is a tangled web of deception but also one of sadness of the intensity of feelings. And why did this movie poster of The Scarlet Letter come to mind? Because this is a love story and the story of infidelity.

However, Politico is looking at the whole thing through the romance novel perspective. "It’s a love story worthy of a treacly Nicholas Sparks novel. A high-ranking politician sneaks away from the pressures of political life to meet his secret lover — a beautiful, intelligent brunette from Argentina. He's willing to risk anything, even a potential shot at the presidency, to be with her. In the meantime, he plies her with hopelessly romantic love letters." Politico.com

Despite being far more opinionated than neutral here, why do I have this haunting feeling that I should remind myself of the words, "Let he (or she) who is not guilty cast the first stone?"

Have you read this story from our Relationship Examiner? Everything's Personal, Nothing's Sacred - Mark Sanford's infamous e-mail to his mistress

Photo reported to be that of Maria Belen Chapur is a video still from several sources including:www.reporterdelespectaculo.com/.../10667.jpg and www.wkrg.com/.../138045/Jun-26-2009_5-21-pm/




If there was any question of whether Republicans had given up on the idea of turning the nomination of judge Sonia Sotomayor into a major political fight, the events of the past 24 hours have effectively erased those doubts.

The Supreme Court's decision to overturn a ruling by Sotomayor regarding allegations of reverse discrimination by a group of white firefighters in Connecticut seemed like just the sort of thing Republicans would jump on to reinforce the idea that President Obama's nominee was not fit for the bench.

Instead, crickets.

To be sure, people like Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) issued statements hitting Sotomayor but neither GOP leader took any real rhetorical risks; McConnell said the decision reinforced his "concerns" about Sotomayor while Cornyn called the ruling a "victory for evenhanded application of the law."

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the party's frontrunner for the 2012 presidential nomination, didn't even see fit to offer a public statement on the Supreme Court decision or its impact on Sotomayor's confirmation.

It was left up to Judicial Watch, a conservative outside group, to use the decision to conclude that "Judge Sotomayor should not be confirmed for the United States Supreme Court."

The simple fact made clear by the (at best) muted criticism of Sotomayor's decision on the firefighters case is that elected Republican officials have decided that the Supreme Court fight is not one worth picking.

"I think the strategy not to rain on a very big Latino parade that could not be stopped anyway was a very good one," said Mike Murphy, a prominent Republican strategist based in California.

The decision to back down -- as reflected by Murphy -- is, in large part, a politically-motivated one. Opposing the first Hispanic to ever be nominated to the bench would almost certainly have the effect of further damaging the Republican brand in the eyes of Latinos who are, in case you have been under a pile of coats for the last few years, the largest minority group in the country.

More broadly, there seems to be little public appetite for a fight over Sotomayor. In polling conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, more than six in ten Americans said the Senate should confirm Sotomayor -- including 64 percent of Independent voters.

Combine the risk of alienating the Hispanic vote, the general sentiment in favor of Sotomayor and the struggles that Republicans have experienced in settling on a message and messengers to carry it and it seems that taking a pass on a full-blown Supreme Court battle was the right choice.

Stuart Stevens, a media consultant who handled Romney's advertising during the 2008 presidential primary, put the GOP calculation bluntly -- and best.

"On Obama's watch, GM has gone bankrupt, unemployment is pushing historic highs, trillions have been wasted and more soldiers are at war today than a year ago," Stevens said. "Don't pick a fight with a tough girl from the Bronx. There are easier fights."

Tuesday's Fix Picks: Jeff Tweedy > Jay Farrar.

1. Maria Belen Chapur profiled.
2. Romney 2012 in waiting.
3. Paterson wins!
4. The Illinois Senate field grows.
5. A John Edwards tell-all is coming.

Sanford Apologizes (Again): Gov. Mark Sanford has sent out an e-mail to his supporters apologizing for his disappearance from South Carolina last week and his admitted extramarital affair . "Immediately after all this unfolded last week I had thought I would resign -- as I believe in the military model of leadership and when trust of any form is broken one lays down the sword," Sanford wrote, adding "that for God to really work in my life I shouldn't be getting off so lightly." He added that his plan to stay in office is in a teaching moment for his four sons, an attempt to turn a "fall from grace" into a "renewal and rebuilding and growth in its aftermath." Sanford's re-assertion that he will remain in office came almost simultaneously with Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer's (R)pledge on CNN that if he became governor as a result of Sanford's resignation he would not, as planned, run for the open seat in 2010. (For more on the incredible intrigue that is South Carolina politics, make sure to check out the New York Times account.)

New FL-Sen Poll, Rubio Forces Rejoice: A new Mason-Dixon surveyshows Gov. Charlie Crist leading former state House Speaker Marco Rubio by a 51 percent to 23 percent margin in the Florida Republican Senate primary. But, Rubio allies are claiming jubilation at the numbers as it shows their candidate gaining five points from a similar poll in May and Crist dropping two. (Worth noting: Those sorts of rises and drops are within the survey's margin of error and, therefore, could constitute movement or nothing at all. Ah, polling.) What is made abundantly clear in the Mason-Dixon data is that Rubio has significant room to grow. Roughly half of all Republican primary voters don't recognize Rubio's name while Crist is almost universally recognized. Among those voters who recognize both Rubio and Crist, the race is essentially tied with Crist at 33 percent and Rubio at 31 percent. At issue for Rubio is whether he can raise the sort of money (double digit millions) that will allow him to get known statewide in Florida. If he can, there is potential that the contest could be closer than many -- including the Fix -- think it would be.

Republicans Rally on Health Care: With Congress in recess, three high powered Republicans -- Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and John Cornyn (Texas) are gathering at the University of Texas this morning to make their case against the president's health care proposal. The event won't be televised or even streamed live on the Internet (booo!).

Conway Gets Horne: In the seeming unending fight for endorsements in the Kentucky Democratic Senate primary between Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo and state Attorney General Jack Conway, the latter added to his pile on Monday when Andrew Horne announced his support. Horne, a lieutenant colonel in the Army and briefly a Senate candidate against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2003, said that Conway "gives us the best short of winning in 2010" because of his ability to appeal statewide and his youth. Does Horne's endorsement sway a single vote in the primary (other than his own, of course)? No. But, just because these sorts of endorsements have almost no real-world impact doesn't mean they are not important; the game right now is to show viability and strength to activists and the more endorsements Conway (or Mongiardo) can secure, the better case they can make that they are the stronger candidate.

Are You Ready to Laugh?: Mark your calendars -- the annual Funniest Celebrity in Washington competition will be held on Sept. 30. Among those who will try their hand at the business of show are Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist, Washington Times editorial page editor Richard Minitir and U.S. News and World Report's Anna Mulrine. Who could forget the travashamockery that was the 2008 funniest celeb contest where former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) somehow beat out rapping James Kotecki?

The Last Minute Fundraising Push: With less than 24 hours remaining before candidates must close their books on the second fundraising quarter, all sorts of appeals are coming across the Fix desk. A few of our favorites: 1) former GOP representative Rob Simmons, who is running for the Senate in Connecticut, promises to personally call (!) anyone who gives before midnight 2) Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair Bob Menendez (N.J.) who asks for a very specific amount -- $129,071 -- to be donated before the period ends 3) Appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y) who wished us a happy weekend before asking for more money. 4) Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) who isn't up for reelection until 2012, acknowledges that "my next campaign seems like a long way away but it's close than you think." Got a favorite of your own? Send it to us at chris.cillizza@wpost.com

Say What?: "Light bulbs may not seem sexy." -- President Barack Obama on energy, the universe and everything.

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