Tuesday Reads: SC Republican Debate, Karen Santorum, and Did Mitt Really Win Iowa?

Good Morning!!

Last night was the Fox News/WSJ South Carolina Republican Debate. As usual, it was a nightmare. It’s so strange to listen to people who feel they need to defend themselves if they ever did a decent thing in their lives or ever subscribed to some rational opinion or policy. And these men claim to be “Christians.” We had a live blog of the horrible thing, so check it out if you’re interested in what we said off the top of our heads.

I’m writing this late Monday night, so all the reactions to the debate haven’t come out yet. I’ll update in the comments in the morning, but here’s a preliminary report from Fox News.

Gingrich and Perry led the assault against Romney’s record at Bain Capital, a venture capital firm that bought companies and sought to remake them into more competitive enterprises.

“There was a pattern in some companies … of leaving them with enormous debt and then within a year or two or three having them go broke,” Gingrich said. “I think that’s something he ought to answer.”

Perry referred to a steel mill in Georgetown, S.C. where, he said, “Bain swept in, they picked that company over and a lot of people lost jobs there.”

Romney said that the steel industry was battered by unfair competition from China. As for other firms, he said, “Four of the companies that we invested in … ended up today having some 120,000 jobs.

“Some of the businesses we invested in were not successful and lost jobs,” he said, but he offered no specifics.

Romney claimed that the steel mill in SC that went bankrupt had been purchased by another company after he left Bain, and that all the employees were offered jobs, but not at union wages. Perry also demanded that Mitt release his tax returns. Mitt very nervously said he would “probably” do that in April. He is leaving the decision “open,” but made no definite commitment. Romney supported indefinite detention of American citizens without due process, while Ron Paul argued that American citizens should have the right of Habeas Corpus.

The Wall Street Journal had a live blog of the debate as did the Washington Post and Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Beast.

Did you know that Karen Santorum lived with an abortion doctor close to three times her age before she met and married Rick? There’s a pretty detailed piece on this at The Daily Beast. Mrs. Santorum’s

live-in partner through most of her 20s was Tom Allen, a Pittsburgh obstetrician and abortion provider 40 years older than she, who remains an outspoken crusader for reproductive rights and liberal ideals. Dr. Allen has known Mrs. Santorum, born Karen Garver, her entire life: he delivered her in 1960.

“Karen was a lovely girl, very intelligent and sweet,” says Allen, who at 92 uses a walker but retains a sly smile. A wine aficionado who frequented the Pittsburgh Symphony and was active in the local chapter of the ACLU, he lives with his wife of 16 years, Judi—they started dating in 1989, soon after he and Garver split—in the same large detached row house where he lived with the woman who would become Santorum’s wife. He and Garver also lived for several years in another house a few blocks away. “Karen had no problems with what I did for a living,” says Allen, who helped start one of the first hospital-sanctioned abortion clinics in Pennsylvania. “We never really discussed it.”

Karen Garver Santorum with former live-in lover

In fact, Karen told her older lover that he would like Rick, who was then pro-choice and “a humanist.” More from Hass’ story:

Mary and Herbert Greenberg, longtime friends of Allen’s through Herbert’s job as concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, recall that Karen had seemed entirely familiar and comfortable with the subject of abortion when the couples socialized. In October 1983, Mary Greenberg (who had moved to Baltimore with her husband) flew to Pittsburgh to consult Allen about an abortion. He directed her to colleagues at the Women’s Health Center; Karen, recalls Mary, immediately offered to accompany her to the clinic. “She told me it wasn’t that bad, that I shouldn’t be worried,” says Mary, who ultimately went on her own, and met Allen and Garver for dinner later that night. “She was very supportive.”

Allen says they split up because Karen wanted to have children and he had been there and done that already.

I’m just fascinated by this. I spent most of yesterday reading about the Santorums, and trying to figure out when and how their dramatic conversion took place. Neither was raised in a fundamentalist home, and neither was particularly religious before they got married. Then something happened. It really smells cult-like to me. I’m wondering if Santorum was approached by a fundamentalist group when he entered national politics. According to friends, he was a moderate Republican at first and then suddenly went off the deep end. If I can figure out what happened, I’ll write a post about it.

This is interesting. According to the Washington Times, fundy activists are now fighting over the endorsement of Santorum by the group of 150 who met in Texas on Sunday.

In an evolving power struggle, religious conservatives are feuding about whether a weekend meeting in Texas yielded a consensus that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is the best bet to stop Mitt Romney’s drive for the Republican presidential nomination.

A leading evangelical and former aide to President George H.W. Bush said he agreed with suspicions voiced by others at the meeting of evangelical and conservative Catholic activists that organizers “manipulated” the gathering and may even have stuffed the ballot to produce an endorsement of Mr. Santorum over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Mr. Santorum, who nearly upset Mr. Romney in the Iowa caucuses, won the first ballot ahead of Mr. Gingrich in Saturday’s Texas meeting but the margin was too slim for organizers to claim a consensus. It was not until the third ballot, taken after many people had left to catch flights back home, that Mr. Santorum won more than 70 percent of those still in attendance and claimed the endorsement.

Former White House evangelical-outreach official Doug Wead, who represented GOP presidential hopeful Texas Rep. Ron Paul at the event, said it appeared the outcome obviously was determined in advance by the choice of the people invited.

The article is pretty funny. Read it if you enjoy fights among right wing nuts.

There has been talk that Romney was credited with too many votes in Iowa and should have come in second. Now Byron York is saying it could be true. According to York,

there is a very real chance that the Republican Party of Iowa will announce this week that Rick Santorum, and not Romney, won the Iowa caucuses.

Results released on caucus night — actually, at 2 the next morning — showed Romney won by eight votes, 30,015 to Santorum’s 30,007. Many observers assumed that those results were final, especially when party officials said there would be no recount.

But the results were not final. Even though there is no provision for a recount in the party caucuses, state GOP rules do require that the results be certified, which is nearly the same thing. That certification process began the day after the caucuses and is expected to wrap up this week, yielding a final, official vote tally…..

In the past two weeks, party employees have been working nearly nonstop to certify the results from each of Iowa’s 1,774 precincts. During that time, they have regularly briefed campaign representatives on what’s going on. In the next few days, they are expected to finish tallying and certifying the last Form Es and come up with official certified results.

The final numbers will be different from those released on caucus night. One campaign source says the vote count as of midday Monday showed Santorum ahead by 80-something votes. If that number holds through certification of the last precincts, Santorum will win. Of course, there is always the possibility that some of the final precincts will contain discrepancies that put Romney back on top. It’s just not clear.


Many internet sites, including Sky Dancing plan to go dark tomorrow, Jan. 18, as a protest against the Stop on-line piracy (SOPA) and Protect IP (PIPA) acts. The big news last night was that Wikipedia is joining the protest.

Might want to get your Encyclopedia Britannica set out of storage: Wikipedia will go dark Wednesday, joining a growing number of popular websites staging an online revolt against two anti-piracy bills.

Founder Jimmy Wales made the announcement in tweets on Monday, telling followers his goal is to “melt phone systems in Washington” in opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate.

The online protest puts Wikipedia in the company of other websites such as Reddit and popular games such as Minecraft in leveraging its substantial size and clout to campaign against the bills. Wales suggested on Twitter the impact of the blackout could be significant, given that “comScore estimates the English Wikipedia receives 25 million average daily visitors globally.”

We’ll have more information today on Sky Dancing’s plans. As of now, we plan to black out our site beginning at 8AM Wednesday. The protest is scheduled to end at 8PM Wednesday night, so we’ll be posting after that.

That’s all I’ve got for you today. What are you reading and blogging about?

32 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: SC Republican Debate, Karen Santorum, and Did Mitt Really Win Iowa?”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Romney defends record at SC debate as GOP rivals fight for edge in state primary


  2. bostonboomer says:

    Republican voter enthusiasm is dropping; Dems not far behind.


    Gee, I wonder why?

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      No kidding…BB did you see this?

      Obama administration warns the left: You will not like our budget – TheHill.com

      Top White House officials are warning liberal and labor leaders to brace themselves for President Obama’s budget proposal.

      Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, sought in meetings last week to lift the left’s gloom about Washington’s crackdown on spending by promising that the president this year will focus on job creation rather than deficit cutting.

      Obama staffers sought to present their budget plan as a glass half full. According to sources familiar with the briefings, they promised that the president will focus on jobs and the economy, instead of deficit-cutting, which dominated last year’s debate on Capitol Hill.

      Obama has signaled in recent weeks that he plans to run a populist reelection campaign. He will need to keep liberal activist and labor groups — important parts of the Democratic base — energized for his strategy to work.

      In his first three years, Obama had a free hand to suggest spending levels for government programs in his annual budget blueprint. But that is not the case this year because the administration is constrained by the budget deal reached in August to raise the debt limit.

      He must stick to the $1.047 trillion spending cap he agreed to with GOP leaders, which means he will call for less discretionary spending than he did last year.

      Senior administration officials fear a backlash from the left and are trying to prepare their allies to expect a disappointing budget, sources say.

      We are up shit creek without a paddle, and the damn extreme religious right is waiting like hungry crocodiles along the shitty waters edge.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Is anyone actually buying Mitt’s story that he invested money into these businesses with an altruistic purpose in mind?

    The fact remains that though some of these businesses were tottering on the cusp of collapse, it was the workers whose benefits and pensions plans were destroyed but found their way into the pockets of the investors who made millions at their expense.

    The tax laws guard the rich while the average worker was left out in the cold. It stands to reason that if a company failed then everybody would go down in flames and this would include the investors. Yet from what we have seen it was the investers like MItt who walked away with the whole enchillada. In other words, this is how business as we know it is done.

    This is something he is unable to justify since the whole purpose of making money is to exlcude those who were to be most effected from the outset.

    How does he justify that he is able to live off the proceeds of these actions with an annual income of 16 million dollars when those who lost their jobs are suffereing? Something very wrong with this picture and the sad fact that it is all legal thanks to congress and the financial institutions working in tandem.

    Mitt to the workers: Tough toenails~

  4. Minkoff Minx says:

    I was appalled at the disrespect shown to Juan Williams by the audience, Newt Gingrich and Brett Baier.

    Juan Williams stands in for Obama at Fox debate – Juan Williams – Salon.com

    • And poor Juan thought NPR was mean to him.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Yup…part of me feels he got what was expected from signing a deal with the “Fox News” devil…but aside from that it was a horrific display of the racism that permeates the south.

      • quixote says:

        From the Joan Walsh article, one of Williams’ questions: “First, he asked Romney how he squared his harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric with his own family’s story of moving to and then from Mexico seeking religious freedom.”

        If he really did call it “religious freedom” that was a softball right there. It was polygamy freedom. There was no other part of the religion Grandpa Romney couldn’t practice in the US.

        Be nice if Joan Walsh, while she’s calling out bigotry, called it all out. Or, if those are her words, she understood enough of what she was talking about to call things by their real names.

        Oh well.

        Your main point, though, Minx, about the racism, is really rather amazing. The audience participation is the most telling. That’s the air that keeps it all going. And, to me, the actual racism isn’t all that surprising. You look at what’s actually happening, and it’s clear that racism is alive and kicking. But that in this day and age, with the TV cameras on them, they don’t care enough to at least talk the non-racist talk, that does surprise me. What it says about how many people want to hear racist bigotry is the even more appalling part.

        We’re going backward.

      • Minx – I totally agree. But it isn’t just racism that has reared its ugly head during these debates. The “let him die” for the example of a young man without insurance coverage that went to a hospital early int he debates, the gay soldier booed by the audience discussing DADT. It’s the politics of rich white men & the politics of, at least, disdain for the others and, at worst, hate of the others. Xenophobia writ large and on display. Modern day Roman Coliseum when instead of Christians being thrown to the lions, it’s the non-Christians, poor, underpriveleged, people of color & women who dare violate the moral standards of these amoral men.

      • ralphb says:

        Connie, I agree that’s not only racism or the south. It’s a more general purpose bigotry and disrespect for anyone who is not fully in their own tribe.

    • Fannie says:

      It is very obvious that republicans let their prejudices come into play at the debate. Thanks for being critical of the audience too, they need an attitude adjustment. They cannot bring themselves to be “solvers” of minority problems, or of the increasing problems we face. Like the minority people of this country, it will be a long time, for them, and for WOMEN to be accepted in this country.

  5. janicen says:

    BB, you need to fix that first blockquote. It repeats itself.

  6. BTW, bb – love, love, love the kitty + books picture. Yours or random internet photo? Definitely cute either way.

  7. peggysue22 says:

    I’m fascinated with the Santorum material, BB. Karen Santorum’s early background is a quite an eyeopener. I was raised in a Catholic family. Left the practicing faith years ago. But even when I was a kid there were strict traditionalists, moderates and liberal wings in the Church, many of whom were represented around our holiday dinner table. I don’t think the ‘cult-like’ attitude you picked up is an overstatement and is certainly reflected in Santorum’s positions. He makes my skin crawl, as do all these fundamentalists who claim righteous indignation over social issues, while stuffing their pockets with money at the same time. Or claiming devotion to Jesus when Jesus was devoted to the poor, the down and outers, the very people Santorum and his ilk turn consistently their backs on.

    I was wiped out last night, so I didn’t listen to the debates. But I’ve picked up some of the clips this morning. Same BS. It just keeps rolling along.

    Good post!

    • northwestrain says:

      I’m betting that there is some sort of cult involved. Perhaps the Family — that cult is able to train and control a lot of politicians. There are also other cults — could be a home grown one in Penn?

      There are so many cults in WA state — and I have friends who have escaped from cults.

      The cults can take over individuals who in normal circumstances would never fall for the tricks and trade of cults.

      That article about Karen Santorum was really interesting well worth my time reading it.

      • bostonboomer says:

        The Family isn’t Catholic. The Santorums are associated with a couple of creepy Catholic cults though.

  8. jawbone says:

    Will Sky Dancing have a message up explaining why it’s dark on Wednesday? Or is there an agreed up message providing an easy way for people to get their DC reps’ telephone numbers? (Google going dark? Bing?)

    • bostonboomer says:

      We will have a message up. That’s a good idea about including phone #s. I’ll check on that.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Oh yes jawbone, that is an excellent question. We will have links to sites that has info on concerns broken down specifically for your state. An action page link to email your congress critters and link to all pertinent phone numbers, addresses, Twitter etc.

    • quixote says:

      CongressMerge is an online database of all contact info. You enter your zip code, or address, or any city or state, and they provide a list of the relevant Congresspeople.

      Being online, in a real strike they’d be going dark too. However, my guess is they won’t. (?) There’s also the Stop American Censorship site, which, perhaps ironically, can’t go dark on the day we’re protesting potential censorship.

  9. boogieman7167 says:

    I would call these Repub Winguts mentally disturbed crazy nut cases but that would be an insult to mentally disturbed crazy nut cases I mean people and there views seem they they belong in the twilight zone.

  10. northwestrain says:


    “Murphy says the key ingredients for a modern day inquisition exist today.

    In order for an inquisition to succeed, he says, there must be an individual or a group of people who believe they are in the right and want everyone else to toe the line.

    “But that moral certainty isn’t enough,” Murphy says. There must also be a bureaucracy and methods of surveillance to sustain the persecution.

    “All of those things are much more advanced right now by an order of magnitude than they were centuries ago,” Murphy says. “Nowadays [surveillance] is done almost automatically — every time you hit the keyboard on your computer or every time you walk by a camera on the street.”

    Murphy fears what could happen if that moral certainty meets the kinds of monitoring tools that exist today.

    “In the wrong hands, the tools of repression are just more available and dangerous than they have been in a long time,” he says.”