Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for January 16th, 2012

No wonder they’re afraid of voter fraud…

Posted by Charles II on January 16, 2012

If their pastors and priests do it.

Ralph Z. Hallow in the ::cough!:: Washington Times (via Rachel and Quentin Compson at Atrios):

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.

Yet another evangelical political organizer who attended the meeting said he witnessed a possible incident of ballot-box stuffing. In at least one instance, the witness said, a participant was seen writing Mr. Santorum´s name on four separate ballots and putting all four in the box.

As we keep saying, Republicans accuse Democrats of things because that’s what they’re doing. The only thing that’s notable about this instance is that it’s people who claim to be following Jesus who are stuffing the ballot box.

Posted in eedjits, election theft | 3 Comments »

If corporations are people, they are very bad people

Posted by Charles II on January 16, 2012

John LaForge, truthout, on the latest atrocity:

In the amoral milieu of the corporate bottom line, you can’t blame Tokyo Electric Power Co. for trying.

Tepco owns the six-reactor Fukushima complex that was wrecked by Japan’s March 11 earthquake and smashed by the resulting tsunami. It faces more than $350 billion in compensation and clean-up costs, as well as likely prosecution for withholding crucial information that may have prevented some radiation exposures and for operating the giant station after being warned about the inadequacy of its protections against disasters.

So, when the company was hauled into Tokyo District Court October 31 by the Sunfield Golf Club, which was demanding decontamination of the golf course, Tepco lawyers tried something novel. They claimed the company isn’t liable because it no longer “owned” the radioactive poisons that were spewed from its destroyed reactors.

“Radioactive materials that scattered and fell from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant belong to individual landowners there, not Tepco,” the company said. This stunned the court, the plaintiffs and the press. An attorney for the golf club said, “We are flabbergasted….”

You gotta admit, that’s a novel defense. If they get away with it, I wonder what’s next? Guys claiming that they are not responsible for the deaths of people they shoot because the bullet is not longer in their gun?

Anyway, as we groan about the outrageous conduct of our corporations, it’s good to keep in mind that foreign corporations aren’t sweethearts either.

Posted in corporatists, corruption, crimes, impunity, Japan | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Murdoch’s WSJ Misleads Again, This Time On Federal Jobs; ALEC Fantasists Party Like It’s 1959

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 16, 2012

Right-Wing Fantasists, National Media Edition:

Rupert Murdoch’s campaign to drag the rest of the once-proud Wall Street Journal down to the level of its editorial pages proceeds apace:

Today’s lead editorial, with its graph of “Obama’s Growing Payroll,” is a perfect example of how the WSJ misleads rather than informs. The gist of the editorial is that Obama is presiding over a massive increase of government, exemplified by the surge of civilian employees. The graph shows a striking rise of federal employment from around 1.875 million in 2008 to 2.1 million in 2011. (I reproduce this as Figure 1 below).

The Journal neglects the fact that today’s 2.1 million workers is actually identical to the number of Federal employees in 1981 at the start of the Reagan Administration, 1989 at the end of the Reagan Administration, and 1993 at the end of the Bush Sr. Administration. The numbers went down slightly after that (by around 200,000-300,000 workers as of the late 1990s) with a decline in Defense Department civilian employees, a decline that was probably offset by the rise of private defense contractors (not included in the OMB tables). There is no long-term trend at all. (I show this as Figure 2 below).

Go read the whole thing. It’s worth it.

Right-Wing Fantasists, Minnesota Neo-Birchers Edition:

Sally Jo Sorensen describes how, instead of trying to figure out the big financial issues facing the Gopher State, Allen Quist and his fellow conservative travelers at ALEC et al are off in their own paranoid neo-Bircher fantasyland version of 1959:

When Allen Quist isn’t scolding Tim Walz for communicating with his constituents, he’s off fighting the One World Conspiracy hiding under our local zoning boards.

Fresh off Saturday’s heavily-ALEC tilted education deform conference that borrowed a room at St. Cloud State, Quist is peeking Behind The Green Curtain, according to the Central Minnesota Tea Party blog (written by AJ Kern, one of the organizers of Saturday’s conference).

On behalf of the North Star Tea Party Patriots, Sue Bican has invited legislators and County Sheriffs (as opposed to the other sort of sheriffs) to learn about the movement toward Global Governance.

Oh noes!

Mother Jones examined the Tea Party’s pouring out of the old fringe anti-UN staple in new cracked pottery in last Spring’s “We Don’t Need None of That Smart-Growth Communism.”

As Sorensen goes on to mention, about the only time the Minnesota Teeps duck their heads back into the real world is when they’re arguing for more real-world goodies to be thrown to their rich patrons:

But Minnesota’s Tea Party’s aren’t solely fiddling with ringnuttery while the stadium bills burn brightly in Mark Dayton and Julie Rosen’s eyes.

We must give some credit to the Rochester Tea Party Patriots for sticking with the agenda of the West Metro rich businessmen’s Freedom Club: “Employee Freedom,” the latest euphemism for the “right to work” euphemism. The RTPP post heartily endorsing Steve Drazkowski’s constitutional amendment notes:

“One of our basic rights is the right to work at a job without having to join a union.”

Somehow, we missed that part of the Bill of Rights. Or the notion of anti-unionism as a fundamental human right. And Bluestem isn’t alone, as this guy’s notions, like an earlier guy’s writing, suggest.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Stillwater Bridge Boondoggle So Big, North Carolina Blogger Knows About It

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 16, 2012

It’s really sad when the alleged local papers of record won’t state the facts on a local issue as clearly as an East Coast blogger does here, apparently quoting from Taxpayers for Common Sense:

Several lawmakers want Minnesota and Wisconsin to spend upwards of $700 million to build a bridge that will carry just 18,000 cars a day when it opens. To put this in some perspective, the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis — which collapsed in August 2007 — cost $234 million to rebuild, crosses the Mississippi River, and carries 140,000 cars per day.

[…]

Nearly everyone agrees that a new bridge is needed to replace the aging, deficient lift bridge that currently carries traffic over the St. Croix River between Stillwater, MN (a St. Paul suburb) and tiny Houlton, WI (population: 386). They also agree to ignore that western Wisconsin is no longer the booming housing center it once was; that traffic over the existing bridge is declining; and that Houlton lies just eight miles from a major new bridge over the St. Croix on I-94.

This is a bipartisan piece of pork. Bachmann wants it because it’s in her congressional district; Klobuchar wants it so she can give the local building trade unions a nice make-work project so they’ll back her next election campaign. But it’s far too big, far too costly, and far too damaging to the environment. A far more sensible bridge proposal can be found here. (More about the Sensible Stillwater Bridge plan, the sane alternative to the Boondoggle, can be found here.)
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Charles butts in: I think PW means this link. (PW adds: Sorry about the dead link; just fixed it. Here’s another live one: http://stcroixriverassociation.org/news/sensible-stillwater-bridge/ )

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 21 Comments »