Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for January 15th, 2013

Anti-democratic and proud of it: the GOP boasts about holding House despite getting fewer votes

Posted by Charles II on January 15, 2013

Via MaddowBlog, the Republican State Leadership Committee brags about how unpopular the GOP is:

Farther down-ballot, aggregated numbers show voters pulled the lever for Republicans only 49 percent of the time in congressional races, suggesting that 2012 could have been a repeat of 2008, when voters gave control of the White House and both chambers of Congress to Democrats.

But, as we see today, that was not the case. Instead, Republicans enjoy a 33-seat margin in the U.S. House seated yesterday in the 113th Congress, having endured Democratic successes atop the ticket and over one million more votes cast for Democratic House candidates than Republicans.

all components of a successful congressional race, including recruitment, message development and resource allocation, rest on the congressional district lines, and this was an area where Republicans had an unquestioned advantage.

Through clever gerrymandering, they also held state houses in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

And, according to Rachel, they are going to use their control of the state houses to make all presidentially-blue states split their electoral college votes. If they had been able to do this in 2012, Mitt Romney would have had an electoral college landslide.

Sounds like a winning strategy, ruling people against their will. Right up until the revolution, of course.

Posted in 2016, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | 6 Comments »

The Yellowcake War: Our Splendid New Adventure?

Posted by Charles II on January 15, 2013

(Crossposted with notable improvements at Daily Kos)

Whether this turns into another American war is yet to be seen… but the stakes are significant enough that it would be surprising if we don’t get involved. DemocracyNow has an excellent wrap explaining the basic situation: Mali is composed of the Tuareg north and the Bambara south, with the Tuaregs in rebellion. Northern Mali and neighboring northern Niger are rich in uranium. Niger’s uranium supplies France’s nuclear industry. And there’s oil and gold. Northern Niger is also a Tuareg region, and rebellions in one state tend to spread across the border.

Add to the mix these three facts: (a) that a large part of Qaddafi’s army was Tuareg, and these soldiers are repatriating to Mali and (b) that there has been a major in-gathering of Al Qaeda elements who saw the Tuarag rebellion as an excellent starting point for their own actions and who had the collaboration of the former president of Mali Amadou Toumani, and (c) the US-trained Malian army is not necessarily loyal to anyone or anything.

Oh, yeah. And the Al Qaida guys have tons of money from hostage taking of westerners and drug running.

Adam Nossiter, Eric Schmitt, and Mark Mazzetti, NYT:

But as insurgents swept through the desert last year, commanders of this nation’s elite army units, the fruit of years of careful American training, defected when they were needed most — taking troops, guns, trucks and their newfound skills to the enemy in the heat of battle, according to senior Malian military officials.

“It was a disaster,” said one of several senior Malian officers to confirm the defections.

Then an American-trained officer overthrew Mali’s elected government, setting the stage for more than half of the country to fall into the hands of Islamic extremists. American spy planes and surveillance drones have tried to make sense of the mess, but American officials and their allies are still scrambling even to get a detailed picture of who they are up against.

Now, in the face of longstanding American warnings that a Western assault on the Islamist stronghold could rally jihadists around the world and prompt terrorist attacks as far away as Europe, the French have entered the war themselves

The only ray of hope in all this, if that is what one can call it, is that Al Qaida may be doing its usual public relations stuff, cutting off hands, and so on. Many are foreigners, Algerians and Mauritanians (al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb) whose presence will probably not improve with time, but there is also Ansar al Din and MUJAO with more local roots.

For now it’s just French soldiers resisting their advance. But the stakes are serious enough that it’s inconceivable to me that the US will not be involved within days if not weeks.

Posted in Africa, terrorism | 3 Comments »

 
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