Category: political struggle
The People Speak (and They are Angry!)
worker | April 19, 2021 | 8:05 pm | Political Pandemonium, political struggle | Comments closed
If you sometimes think that US politicians are aliens descended from another galaxy, you are not alone… To read more, please go to: https://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/2021/04/the-people-speak-and-they-are-angry.html
Is the New Normal the Old Normal?   
worker | February 27, 2021 | 11:10 am | political struggle | Comments closed
– from Greg Godels is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/If you do not wish to receive these notices, e-mail: zzsblogml@gmail.com with “unsubscribe” in the subject box.
 

Today, with the left shackled to foundation grants, NGOs, and think tanks, as well as lacking the will to escape the gravity of the Democratic Party, the prospect of a truly independent political movement grows dimmer... To read more, please go to: https://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/2021/02/is-new-normal-old-normal.html

Ethics Explorer: Greg Abbott | The Texas Tribune
worker | March 3, 2018 | 8:20 pm | Local/State, political struggle | Comments closed

Governor Greg Abbott (R)

IndustryLawyer, State Government

EducationB.B.A., University of Texas at Austin; J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School

Spouse Cecilia

Financial Statements

20152014201320122011201020092008 (amended)200820072006 (amended)20062005200420032002200120001999199819971996199519941993

Tax Returns

201520142013201220112010

Sources of Income

  • In 1984, when he was 26, Abbott was struck by a falling tree limb while jogging and was partially paralyzed, requiring the use of a wheelchair. He sued the owner of the Houston property where the tree fell and won a tax-free settlement; a Houston plaintiff’s lawyer told the San Antonio Express-News in 2002 that it was more than $10 million.
  • He was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court by then-Gov. George W. Bush in 1995.
  • He was first elected attorney general in 2002, and was the longest-serving attorney general in state history before being elected governor in 2014.
  • His wife, Cecilia, serves on the board of directors for the University of St. Thomas, St. Gabriel’s Catholic School and Huston-Tillotson University, and is an honorary member on the board of the Capitol of Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
  • Abbott has earned income from West Services, a legal publisher, as the co-author of Texas Practice Guide: Business and Commercial Litigation.
  • Abbott owns over 10,000 shares of mutual funds with Fidelity Municipal Money Market Fund.

Property

  • His private residence has been held as confidential by the Travis County Appraisal District (meaning it is not listed by the appraisal district, as is often the case with prosecutors and law enforcement). It was last valued in 2012 by the district at $895,500. The homes on either side of Abbott’s range from $1.3 million to $2 million in value.

Analysis

  • Abbott, who settled a personal injury suit after the accident that paralyzed him, has championed tort reform, something his opponents in past attorney general campaigns have argued presents a conflict. Abbott has argued that the legal remedies available to him at the time are still available to plaintiffs today.
  • Abbott has never been required to disclose how the money in his lawsuit settlement is invested. A spokeswoman told The Texas Tribune that “Abbott fully complies with all financial reporting requirements including the listing of investments on his annual personal financial statements.”
  • In 2006, the Dallas television station WFAA-TV reported that Abbott’s campaign commercials used video footage obtained by his office using taxpayer dollars. Abbott’s campaign director defended the use of the material, telling The Associated Press that anyone can obtain the footage through an open records request.
  • As Texas neared the end of a decade-long legal fight over homeowners’ insurance rates with Farmers Insurance Group in 2013, the company’s employees PAC gave $50,000 to Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign. At the time, Abbott was the top lawyer in the state’s case against the company. Abbott’s campaign told The Texas Tribune that he did not treat donors differently when it came to applying the law and that accepting the campaign money was not a conflict of interest.
  • During Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign, the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News reported that Abbott, who signs off on Texas bond deals as attorney general, received more than $200,000 in campaign donations over the course of two years from the political branches of law firms serving as bond counsel. Abbott’s staff said the AG’s role in bond approval amounted to “a strictly legal review.”
  • The state’s consumer protection division, working under Abbott, started to pursue a lawsuit against Donald Trump’s Trump University in 2010 — but instead dropped the case when the university agreed to stop operating in Texas. A few years later, Abbott received $35,000 in campaign contributions from Trump. Critics claimed the decision to drop the suit was political. Abbott’s office said that was absurd, and noted that the donations came years after Texas forced Trump U out of the state.
  • After a Church of Scientology-backed group helped organize a campaign against it, Abbott vetoed legislation in 2015 that would have given Texas doctors more power to detain mentally ill and potentially dangerous patients. In his veto statement, Abbott said he objected to the bill because it raised “serious constitutional concerns” and that medical facilities already had options to protect the mentally ill and the public.
  • Abbott was a member of the oversight committee for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, which came under investigation in 2013 for awarding a substantial grant without going through the appropriate review process. Abbott had never attended a meeting and sent a substitute in his stead.

https://www.texastribune.org/bidness/explore/greg-abbott/

Data current as of Aug. 2, 2016

  • © 2018 The Texas Tribune
Dan Patrick mental health detailed in court depositions
worker | March 2, 2018 | 8:14 pm | Local/State, Political Pandemonium, political struggle | Comments closed
http://abc13.com/politics/dan-patrick-mental-health-records-leaked-in-last-days-of-lt-govs-race/63863/

Dan Patrick, the front-runner in what has been a brutal GOP runoff for Texas Lieutenant Governor, spent time in psychiatric hospitals in the 1980s, according to court records released to ABC-13.

Patrick’s campaign late Thursday confirmed he “sought medical attention to help him cope with mild depression and exhaustion.” The campaign also accused Patrick’s opponent in the runoff, incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst of being behind the release of the records.

Dewhurst has hit a “new low,” Patrick said, responding in a statement released late Friday.

The information about Patrick’s medical past was unearthed in a 1989 deposition from when Patrick, a former Houston sportscaster and restaurant owner, was suing a columnist for the now-closed newspaper, the Houston Post.

Patrick told attorneys in the deposition that he started seeing a psychologist in the early 1980s because he was “tired, fatigued, stressed out.”

ABC-13 also obtained records late Friday detailing Patrick’s hospital stays that appear to indicate he suffered from “acute anxiety” had “major depression” and at one point needed “sitters around the clock.”

One of those records is from a 1984 hospital stay shows a medical official’s notes quoting Patrick as saying, “Last night I did a foolish thing. I attempted suicide.”

“As I have said, I voluntarily entered the hospital twice in the 1980’s for exhaustion and to seek treatment for depression,” Patrick said in a statement late Friday. “Some of prescribed medications exacerbated my condition and created more serious problems. Through prayer and with the help of my family and physician, like millions of other American, I was able to defeat depression. I have not seen a doctor or taken any medication to treat depression in nearly 30 years…

“I am ready to serve.”

In 1982 Patrick was admitted to a short stay in Memorial City Hospital for what he called “rest, fatigue, exhaustion,” according to the deposition. He also said it was around this time that he started taking a common antidepressant medication.

In 1984, Patrick was admitted to Spring Shadows Glen, a substance abuse and psychiatric center. He said he didn’t recall psychiatric treatment there. Instead, he testified that he “Slept, basically for two weeks.”

Notes from that stay, though say that “The patient was admitted to Spring Shadows Glen after attempting suicide by overdosing and superficially slitting his wrist.”

The Patrick camp also released late Thursday a clean bill of mental health from Dr. Stephen Kramer, the psychologist who treated Patrick.

Patrick “was a patient of mine in the mid-1980s,” Kramer wrote in a 2011 letter. “He entered the hospital on a voluntary basis for the treatment of depression. The symptoms of depression decreased within a short period of time and he was discharged.”

Patrick is a Tea-Party favorite and a current state senator. Dewhurst has been lieutenant governor since 2003. Patrick bested Dewhurst in a four-candidate GOP primary in March: Patrick captured 41 percent of the vote to Dewhurst’s 28 percent.

The court documents about Patrick’s mental health past were provided to a small group of Texas media by Jerry Patterson, Texas’ land commissioner who was an unsuccessful GOP primary candidate for lieutenant governor and who now backs Dewhurst.

The Austin-based Texas Tribune reported Friday on an email some political reporters received from Patterson that suggested Dewhurst’s campaign at least knew about Patterson’s email dump to the media. Patterson denies coordinating with the Dewhurst campaign.

“Dewhurst has asked me to cease distribution of this information,” said Patterson. “He also asked me not to run against him for Lt. Gov. I didn’t really give a damn what David wanted then, and I don’t give a damn now. The voters of Texas need to know.”

Dewhurst’s campaign responded late Friday with the following statement:

    “Commissioner Jerry Patterson operates completely independently of my Campaign, and over my objections he chose to release information from Mr. Paul Harasim’s files, which are all part of the public domain. My heart goes out to Dan Patrick and his family for what they’ve endured while coping with this situation.”

Patrick did not appear to believe Dewhurst’s sincerity.

“The public response has been overwhelming,” Patrick said. “Dewhurst has been roundly criticized from all corners. On the other hand, I have received a flood of new support and encouragement – much from those Texans who have suffered from depression or had it touch their families or loved ones.

“Dewhurst started the day denying any involvement in the release of my medical records. His hapless surrogate, Jerry Patterson, removed all doubt in an afternoon email misfire where he clearly stated that it was Dewhurst’s idea. Dewhurst now tries to deny any connection to Patterson while just days ago his campaign produced a video of Patterson cleaning his guns and defaming me.

The leak also comes on the cusp of early voting for the runoff. Early voting begins May 19. Runoff Election Day is May 27.

Mark Jones, a Rice University political scientist, said the attack on Patrick my backfire.

“If anything, it’s likely to generate sympathy for someone who generally doesn’t elicit a lot of sympathy from voters,” Jones said. “Dan Patrick is seen as something of a hard, sometimes less than straightforward guy… now you’re effectively making him a sympathetic figure.”

Dr. Richard Pesikoff with the Baylor College of Medicine Department of Psychology said that while much of the stigma of mental illness and depression has been erased in recent years, it still is a confusing issue to many.

“The whole issue of mental illness is in a dark corner for some segments of the population,” he said.

Pesikoff also said that mental illness has a particular blemish for some when it comes to politics. He recalled Thomas Eagleton who, in 1972, was briefly George McGovern’s vice-presidential pick. He was asked to withdraw by the McGovern campaign after it was revealed that Eagleton was hospitalized three times for physical and nervous exhaustion.

“Eagleton got a really bad reception when he talked about his psych treatment,” Pesikoff said.

Pesikoff also pointed out that many in the U.S. and Texas have suffered from depression or mental illness.

Indeed, a 2012 National Institute of Mental Health survey shows that 18.6 percent of the country’s population has suffered from some sort of mental illness.

Political scientist Jones thinks that this latest bombshell may be a dud, like some others from the Dewhurst camp.

“David Dewhurst seems to be stuck in the eighties,” Jones said. “Every attack ad is focused on ‘Dan Patrick didn’t pay his taxes in the eighties,’ ‘Dan Patrick hired undocumented immigrants in the eighties,’ ‘Dan Patrick went into bankruptcy in the eighties,’ ‘Dan Patrick had a mental health crises in the eighties.’

“Well, it’s 2014. That was like 30 years ago.”

Producer: Trent Seibert

Dan Patrick mental health detailed in court depositions

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Patrick blames opponent David Dewhurst for leak of mental health records, says Dewhurst ‘oozing sleaze.’

Dan Patrick, the front-runner in what has been a brutal GOP runoff for Texas Lieutenant Governor, spent time in psychiatric hospitals in the 1980s, according to court records released to ABC-13.

Patrick’s campaign late Thursday confirmed he “sought medical attention to help him cope with mild depression and exhaustion.” The campaign also accused Patrick’s opponent in the runoff, incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst of being behind the release of the records.

Dewhurst has hit a “new low,” Patrick said, responding in a statement released late Friday.

The information about Patrick’s medical past was unearthed in a 1989 deposition from when Patrick, a former Houston sportscaster and restaurant owner, was suing a columnist for the now-closed newspaper, the Houston Post.

Patrick told attorneys in the deposition that he started seeing a psychologist in the early 1980s because he was “tired, fatigued, stressed out.”

ABC-13 also obtained records late Friday detailing Patrick’s hospital stays that appear to indicate he suffered from “acute anxiety” had “major depression” and at one point needed “sitters around the clock.”

One of those records is from a 1984 hospital stay shows a medical official’s notes quoting Patrick as saying, “Last night I did a foolish thing. I attempted suicide.”

“As I have said, I voluntarily entered the hospital twice in the 1980’s for exhaustion and to seek treatment for depression,” Patrick said in a statement late Friday. “Some of prescribed medications exacerbated my condition and created more serious problems. Through prayer and with the help of my family and physician, like millions of other American, I was able to defeat depression. I have not seen a doctor or taken any medication to treat depression in nearly 30 years…

“I am ready to serve.”

In 1982 Patrick was admitted to a short stay in Memorial City Hospital for what he called “rest, fatigue, exhaustion,” according to the deposition. He also said it was around this time that he started taking a common antidepressant medication.

In 1984, Patrick was admitted to Spring Shadows Glen, a substance abuse and psychiatric center. He said he didn’t recall psychiatric treatment there. Instead, he testified that he “Slept, basically for two weeks.”

Notes from that stay, though say that “The patient was admitted to Spring Shadows Glen after attempting suicide by overdosing and superficially slitting his wrist.”

The Patrick camp also released late Thursday a clean bill of mental health from Dr. Stephen Kramer, the psychologist who treated Patrick.

Patrick “was a patient of mine in the mid-1980s,” Kramer wrote in a 2011 letter. “He entered the hospital on a voluntary basis for the treatment of depression. The symptoms of depression decreased within a short period of time and he was discharged.”

Patrick is a Tea-Party favorite and a current state senator. Dewhurst has been lieutenant governor since 2003. Patrick bested Dewhurst in a four-candidate GOP primary in March: Patrick captured 41 percent of the vote to Dewhurst’s 28 percent.

The court documents about Patrick’s mental health past were provided to a small group of Texas media by Jerry Patterson, Texas’ land commissioner who was an unsuccessful GOP primary candidate for lieutenant governor and who now backs Dewhurst.

The Austin-based Texas Tribune reported Friday on an email some political reporters received from Patterson that suggested Dewhurst’s campaign at least knew about Patterson’s email dump to the media. Patterson denies coordinating with the Dewhurst campaign.

“Dewhurst has asked me to cease distribution of this information,” said Patterson. “He also asked me not to run against him for Lt. Gov. I didn’t really give a damn what David wanted then, and I don’t give a damn now. The voters of Texas need to know.”

Dewhurst’s campaign responded late Friday with the following statement:

    “Commissioner Jerry Patterson operates completely independently of my Campaign, and over my objections he chose to release information from Mr. Paul Harasim’s files, which are all part of the public domain. My heart goes out to Dan Patrick and his family for what they’ve endured while coping with this situation.”

Patrick did not appear to believe Dewhurst’s sincerity.

“The public response has been overwhelming,” Patrick said. “Dewhurst has been roundly criticized from all corners. On the other hand, I have received a flood of new support and encouragement – much from those Texans who have suffered from depression or had it touch their families or loved ones.

“Dewhurst started the day denying any involvement in the release of my medical records. His hapless surrogate, Jerry Patterson, removed all doubt in an afternoon email misfire where he clearly stated that it was Dewhurst’s idea. Dewhurst now tries to deny any connection to Patterson while just days ago his campaign produced a video of Patterson cleaning his guns and defaming me.

The leak also comes on the cusp of early voting for the runoff. Early voting begins May 19. Runoff Election Day is May 27.

Mark Jones, a Rice University political scientist, said the attack on Patrick my backfire.

“If anything, it’s likely to generate sympathy for someone who generally doesn’t elicit a lot of sympathy from voters,” Jones said. “Dan Patrick is seen as something of a hard, sometimes less than straightforward guy… now you’re effectively making him a sympathetic figure.”

Dr. Richard Pesikoff with the Baylor College of Medicine Department of Psychology said that while much of the stigma of mental illness and depression has been erased in recent years, it still is a confusing issue to many.

“The whole issue of mental illness is in a dark corner for some segments of the population,” he said.

Pesikoff also said that mental illness has a particular blemish for some when it comes to politics. He recalled Thomas Eagleton who, in 1972, was briefly George McGovern’s vice-presidential pick. He was asked to withdraw by the McGovern campaign after it was revealed that Eagleton was hospitalized three times for physical and nervous exhaustion.

“Eagleton got a really bad reception when he talked about his psych treatment,” Pesikoff said.

Pesikoff also pointed out that many in the U.S. and Texas have suffered from depression or mental illness.

Indeed, a 2012 National Institute of Mental Health survey shows that 18.6 percent of the country’s population has suffered from some sort of mental illness.

Political scientist Jones thinks that this latest bombshell may be a dud, like some others from the Dewhurst camp.

“David Dewhurst seems to be stuck in the eighties,” Jones said. “Every attack ad is focused on ‘Dan Patrick didn’t pay his taxes in the eighties,’ ‘Dan Patrick hired undocumented immigrants in the eighties,’ ‘Dan Patrick went into bankruptcy in the eighties,’ ‘Dan Patrick had a mental health crises in the eighties.’

“Well, it’s 2014. That was like 30 years ago.”

Producer: Trent Seibert

Dan Patrick mental health detailed in court depositions

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Patrick blames opponent David Dewhurst for leak of mental health records, says Dewhurst ‘oozing sleaze.’

Dan Patrick, the front-runner in what has been a brutal GOP runoff for Texas Lieutenant Governor, spent time in psychiatric hospitals in the 1980s, according to court records released to ABC-13.

Patrick’s campaign late Thursday confirmed he “sought medical attention to help him cope with mild depression and exhaustion.” The campaign also accused Patrick’s opponent in the runoff, incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst of being behind the release of the records.

Dewhurst has hit a “new low,” Patrick said, responding in a statement released late Friday.

The information about Patrick’s medical past was unearthed in a 1989 deposition from when Patrick, a former Houston sportscaster and restaurant owner, was suing a columnist for the now-closed newspaper, the Houston Post.

Patrick told attorneys in the deposition that he started seeing a psychologist in the early 1980s because he was “tired, fatigued, stressed out.”

ABC-13 also obtained records late Friday detailing Patrick’s hospital stays that appear to indicate he suffered from “acute anxiety” had “major depression” and at one point needed “sitters around the clock.”

One of those records is from a 1984 hospital stay shows a medical official’s notes quoting Patrick as saying, “Last night I did a foolish thing. I attempted suicide.”

“As I have said, I voluntarily entered the hospital twice in the 1980’s for exhaustion and to seek treatment for depression,” Patrick said in a statement late Friday. “Some of prescribed medications exacerbated my condition and created more serious problems. Through prayer and with the help of my family and physician, like millions of other American, I was able to defeat depression. I have not seen a doctor or taken any medication to treat depression in nearly 30 years…

“I am ready to serve.”

In 1982 Patrick was admitted to a short stay in Memorial City Hospital for what he called “rest, fatigue, exhaustion,” according to the deposition. He also said it was around this time that he started taking a common antidepressant medication.

In 1984, Patrick was admitted to Spring Shadows Glen, a substance abuse and psychiatric center. He said he didn’t recall psychiatric treatment there. Instead, he testified that he “Slept, basically for two weeks.”

Notes from that stay, though say that “The patient was admitted to Spring Shadows Glen after attempting suicide by overdosing and superficially slitting his wrist.”

The Patrick camp also released late Thursday a clean bill of mental health from Dr. Stephen Kramer, the psychologist who treated Patrick.

Patrick “was a patient of mine in the mid-1980s,” Kramer wrote in a 2011 letter. “He entered the hospital on a voluntary basis for the treatment of depression. The symptoms of depression decreased within a short period of time and he was discharged.”

Patrick is a Tea-Party favorite and a current state senator. Dewhurst has been lieutenant governor since 2003. Patrick bested Dewhurst in a four-candidate GOP primary in March: Patrick captured 41 percent of the vote to Dewhurst’s 28 percent.

The court documents about Patrick’s mental health past were provided to a small group of Texas media by Jerry Patterson, Texas’ land commissioner who was an unsuccessful GOP primary candidate for lieutenant governor and who now backs Dewhurst.

The Austin-based Texas Tribune reported Friday on an email some political reporters received from Patterson that suggested Dewhurst’s campaign at least knew about Patterson’s email dump to the media. Patterson denies coordinating with the Dewhurst campaign.

“Dewhurst has asked me to cease distribution of this information,” said Patterson. “He also asked me not to run against him for Lt. Gov. I didn’t really give a damn what David wanted then, and I don’t give a damn now. The voters of Texas need to know.”

Dewhurst’s campaign responded late Friday with the following statement:

    “Commissioner Jerry Patterson operates completely independently of my Campaign, and over my objections he chose to release information from Mr. Paul Harasim’s files, which are all part of the public domain. My heart goes out to Dan Patrick and his family for what they’ve endured while coping with this situation.”

Patrick did not appear to believe Dewhurst’s sincerity.

“The public response has been overwhelming,” Patrick said. “Dewhurst has been roundly criticized from all corners. On the other hand, I have received a flood of new support and encouragement – much from those Texans who have suffered from depression or had it touch their families or loved ones.

“Dewhurst started the day denying any involvement in the release of my medical records. His hapless surrogate, Jerry Patterson, removed all doubt in an afternoon email misfire where he clearly stated that it was Dewhurst’s idea. Dewhurst now tries to deny any connection to Patterson while just days ago his campaign produced a video of Patterson cleaning his guns and defaming me.

The leak also comes on the cusp of early voting for the runoff. Early voting begins May 19. Runoff Election Day is May 27.

Mark Jones, a Rice University political scientist, said the attack on Patrick my backfire.

“If anything, it’s likely to generate sympathy for someone who generally doesn’t elicit a lot of sympathy from voters,” Jones said. “Dan Patrick is seen as something of a hard, sometimes less than straightforward guy… now you’re effectively making him a sympathetic figure.”

Dr. Richard Pesikoff with the Baylor College of Medicine Department of Psychology said that while much of the stigma of mental illness and depression has been erased in recent years, it still is a confusing issue to many.

“The whole issue of mental illness is in a dark corner for some segments of the population,” he said.

Pesikoff also said that mental illness has a particular blemish for some when it comes to politics. He recalled Thomas Eagleton who, in 1972, was briefly George McGovern’s vice-presidential pick. He was asked to withdraw by the McGovern campaign after it was revealed that Eagleton was hospitalized three times for physical and nervous exhaustion.

“Eagleton got a really bad reception when he talked about his psych treatment,” Pesikoff said.

Pesikoff also pointed out that many in the U.S. and Texas have suffered from depression or mental illness.

Indeed, a 2012 National Institute of Mental Health survey shows that 18.6 percent of the country’s population has suffered from some sort of mental illness.

Political scientist Jones thinks that this latest bombshell may be a dud, like some others from the Dewhurst camp.

“David Dewhurst seems to be stuck in the eighties,” Jones said. “Every attack ad is focused on ‘Dan Patrick didn’t pay his taxes in the eighties,’ ‘Dan Patrick hired undocumented immigrants in the eighties,’ ‘Dan Patrick went into bankruptcy in the eighties,’ ‘Dan Patrick had a mental health crises in the eighties.’

“Well, it’s 2014. That was like 30 years ago.”

Producer: Trent Seibert

Dan Patrick’s Depression and GOP Mental Health Hypocrisy
worker | March 2, 2018 | 8:06 pm | Local/State, political struggle | Comments closed

Dan Patrick’s Depression and GOP Mental Health Hypocrisy

Dan Patrick’s Depression and GOP Mental Health Hypocrisy

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) presides over a Senate Education Committee hearing.
Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) presides over a Senate Education Committee hearing. Patrick Michels

How low can the lite guv race go? Pretty damn low. Last night, leaked papers linked to a 25-year-old lawsuit filed by state Sen. Dan Patrick revealed a new facet of Patrick’s biography: In the early 1980s, Patrick was diagnosed with depression, and took medicine to cope with it. And in “late 1984 or early 1985,” he was briefly hospitalized at a Houston psychiatric center called “Spring Shadows Glen.”

Why do we know this? In 1987, Patrick sued a Houston Post columnist for libel. In 1989, the defendant’s lawyer squeezed information from Patrick about his mental health issues at a deposition. A portion of that depo was recently leaked to a number of major state media outlets. The lawyer’s interest in Patrick’s depression—it doesn’t seem to have much to do with the case, which involved an altercation at one of Patrick’s sports bars—seems to be primarily to paint him as an unreliable nut who shouldn’t be trusted with anything. That seems like a somewhat archaic view of mental health issues, but it’s exactly what the leaker of these papers is suggesting a quarter-century later.

Who leaked the deposition? Patrick’s runoff opponent, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was the natural target for suspicion, of course, but the San Antonio Express-News revealed it—and everyone else—had gotten the documents from Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. Patterson ran in the first leg of the primary and has lately been waging his own quixotic jihad against Patrick. He’s ostensibly on his own, but lately, Patterson’s been collaborating with the Dewhurst campaign and cutting ads, making him a de facto Dewhurst campaign surrogate. And the Texas Tribune reported Friday that Dewhurst’s campaign may be more involved in the leak than they had previously admitted.

Patterson, a Vietnam-vet Marine who’s passionate about honor and truth-telling, has made waves in the runoff by alleging Patrick was a draft-dodger (Patrick says he had a medical deferment) and now leaking information he obtained about Patrick’s mental health treatment three decades ago (and trying to do it anonymously). Maybe he feels like he’s dishing out what he got from Patrick in the early part of the primary, but it’s not a good look.

Will it hurt Patrick, or will it backfire on Dewhurst? Too early to tell. Dewhurst partisans have been eagerly harping on the “Dan Patrick is nuts” line, but Dewhurst himself issued a statement in which he shed some of the most transparently fabricated crocodile tears of all time: “My heart goes out to Dan Patrick and his family for what they’ve endured while coping with his condition.” Even if Dewhurst didn’t leak the papers directly, he runs the risk of being penalized for a top ally’s use of the campaign equivalent of a nut-shot in boxing.

Meanwhile, the pushback from Patrick and his supporters has been robust. Patrick’s right-hand man, Allen Blakemore, released a statement with liberal use of exclamation points: “This is outrageous! Dewhurst had already hit bottom, and now he has found a new low! He has no honor, and knows no shame!” The statement went on to add that Patrick “has not required additional treatment or medication for nearly 30 years.”

And three Republican senators who are also medical practitioners—Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville), and Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels)—released a statement slamming the attack:

A personal attack of this kind sinks to an unprecedented low, shamelessly attempting to embarrass Dan Patrick for seeking the appropriate medical care to treat a minor bout with depression that occurred almost 30 years ago. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 10 American adults suffer from some form of depression in their lifetime…something which the perpetrators of this attack apparently believe should disqualify them from serving their communities or contributing to society.

“We sincerely hope David Dewhurst is not responsible for this sleazy attack.” the joint statement continues.

It’s good to see Patrick supporters—and Republican state senators—speaking out about the stigma of mental illness, and the unfairness of this as an attack line in a campaign. But for those of us with memories that reach back to November, it’s a bit odd, because of what many conservatives in the state were saying about state Sen. Wendy Davis.

In 1996, Davis sued the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for defamation, after she lost an election. (It was ultimately dismissed.) As one frequently does when one seeks damages in the course of a civil lawsuit, she claimed to have suffered “emotional distress” and “continuing damages to her mental health.” That second phrase—the one that would get all the attention—was used once.

Compare this to Patrick’s situation: In 1987, Patrick sued a Houston Press gossip columnist for libel, after an altercation at a sports bar. (It was also ultimately dismissed, “with prejudice.”) In the course of this lawsuit it is revealed that Patrick has had to contend seriously with mental health issues for much of the decade, and was briefly, and voluntarily, committed to a psychiatric center.

So: both unsuccessfully sued the press, both endured revelations of mental anguish. The only real difference is that Patrick’s mental health troubles would seem, on the available evidence, to be much more substantial and long-lasting. Many conservatives in the state are rallying around Patrick: How did they treat Davis when her (very minor) admission was written up last November by noted slug pundit Eric Erickson?

Erickson wrote a sensationalist item on Davis’ lawsuit entitled: “”Abortion Barbie” Wendy Davis Claims in Court That She Has Mental Health Issues.” He said Davis’ lawsuit raised “worrisome [issues] regarding her mental stability,” and charecterized her as a “damaged” woman.

The post went viral. Predictably, the cackling horde descended on “Abortion Barbie,” the “self-proclaimed loon” who had “admitted” her “brain was damaged.”

What’s Sullivan saying now about Patrick, who also sued the press?

Dishonor indeed. May 27 can’t come fast enough.

‘I don’t understand why civilians need military weapons’ – Condi Rice
worker | February 26, 2018 | 8:24 pm | political struggle | Comments closed

https://www.rt.com/usa/419802-condoleezza-rice-military-gun-debate/

‘I don’t understand why civilians need military weapons’ – Condi Rice

‘I don’t understand why civilians need military weapons’ – Condi Rice
Condoleezza Rice doesn’t “understand why civilians need to have access to military weapons.” The former Secretary of State’s comments are seemingly at odds with her support for the 2nd Amendment.

Rice, George W Bush’s secretary of state, was speaking to radio host Hugh Hewitt on Friday when she questioned the need for military weapons. “I think it is time to have a conversation about what the right to bear arms means in the modern world,” she said.

“I don’t understand why civilians need to have access to military weapons. We wouldn’t say you can go out and buy a tank,” she added.

Rice’s loyalty to the 2nd Amendment is in some part tied to her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama, which saw her exposed to violence against the black community by the Ku Klux Klan. Recalling how her father and other men in the community protected them at that time, Rice said, “I think it’s a pure version of the second Amendment, as a matter of fact, the right to bear arms.”

“The rights that we have in the Constitution are indivisible,” Rice said. “We can’t throw away the Second Amendment and keep the First.”

While President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association have called for teachers to be armed in the wake of the Florida school shooting that killed 17, Rice doesn’t think arming teachers with guns is “going to be the answer.”

“I don’t really like the idea, frankly, of a gun in my classroom,” she said. Rice teaches political science at Stanford University.

“Look, if people need to train people to protect our schools, and perhaps even communities want to consider whether or not they need guards to protect the schools, it’s a sad thing to think that we might, then that’s something that we should look at,” she said.

American Fascist: Nazi Runs Unopposed for US Congress in Republican Primary
worker | February 11, 2018 | 9:54 pm | Fascist terrorism, political struggle | Comments closed

https://sputniknews.com/us/201802121061566384-nazi-runs-unopposed-to-US-congress-in-republican-primary/

The US Congress building. (File)

American Fascist: Nazi Runs Unopposed for US Congress in Republican Primary

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Holocaust denier and avowed white supremacist Arthur Jones is running uncontested in the Illinois Republican Primary for the US Congress.

This is the same Jones that recently told The Atlantic that he doesn’t like to call himself a Nazi, but prefers to be referred to as a “white racialist” and that people with white skin are smarter than those whose skin is a different color than his.

“I will work with the [Ku Klux] Klan, with socialists — I exclude communists of course — any patriotic organization that is in general agreement with my beliefs and principles,” Jones said, who has already tried to run for Congress five times beginning in 1998.

Jones, a health-insurance agent, was a member of the National Socialist White People’s Party, previously known as the American Nazi Party, for nearly eight years. He has also been a member of America First Committee since the 1980s, the Atlantic reported.

The 70-year-old also told the Atlantic that he was upset that US President Donald Trump appointed so many people of the Jewish faith in his administration. “There’s a whole layer of other Jews that you don’t see that actually make the policy,” Jones asserted.

In addition, some of his goals include ending America’s war in the Middle East, which he claims only benefits Israel, and clamping down on sanctuary cities. His website includes other bullet points including banning same-sex marriage and abortion, and includes images he claims are documents claiming that the Holocaust, which killed over six million European Jews during World War II, is a hoax.

The Anti-Defamation League refers to Jones as a “longtime neo-Nazi.” The state GOP has also condemned Jones’ decision to run for Congress.

“The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones,” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider in a statement. “We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office, including the 3rd Congressional District.”

Perhaps the Republican party should field a candidate more to their liking, instead of merely distancing themselves from the man.