Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Rachel Maddow exposes the hollowness of the reporting on MH17, an airliner downed over Ukraine

Posted by Charles II on July 19, 2014

See here.

Posted in Russia | 3 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on July 18, 2014


Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 1 Comment »

Is Adelson A Factor In GOP’s Sudden Seeming Weakening On Immigration?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 12, 2014

After years of flatly refusing to listen to reform advocates in their own ranks — persons like Norm Coleman — where immigration is concerned, suddenly we see hints among the Republican Hive Mind that bending a little on immigration, at least where the children of immigrants are concerned, might be in the cards.

There’s this news that Republicans are not totally hostile to Jeh Johnson’s request for emergency funds to deal with the crisis of children at the border.

There’s this FOX News Op-Ed urging House and Senate Republicans to give Obama the money he requested for assisting immigrants’ children as a way to make Obama “own” the “border disaster”.

There’s Mario Diaz-Balart, one of the Republican advocates for immigration reform, not only blasting his fellow Republicans for killing the immigration bill he had worked on with President Obama and Capitol Hill Democrats, but also undermining the rationale behind John Boehner’s idiotic lawsuit.

Now, one could say that Republicans are simply starting to heed the voices of reason telling them that the Southern Strategy has run its course as a party builder. But the GOP’s nurtured the forces of bigotry in their base for far too long and with far too much skill for that to be the main reason.

No, I suspect that, as with pretty much every other issue, the motivating factor is money — particularly that controlled by longtime Republican sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson, who advocates immigration reform:

“Whatever the precise provisions of a law, it’s time for the House to draft and pass a bill that reflects both our country’s humanity and its self interest,” Microsoft Corp. co- founder Gates, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Buffett and Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Adelson wrote in a New York Times op- ed posted online Thursday.

“It’s time for 535 of America’s citizens to remember what they owe to the 318 million who employ them,” they wrote, referring to the total membership of the House and Senate.

The question for Republican politicians is this: How can this be done without causing their bigot base to flip out? The conventional wisdom, correct or not, in DC is that Eric Cantor lost his primary last month in part because he was an advocate for immigration reform.

Stay tuned.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on July 11, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 2 Comments »

Land of the free, and the home of the brave

Posted by Charles II on July 10, 2014

Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian:

The White House has instructed US security agencies to review their training and policy materials for racial or religious bias after documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed training material for the intelligence agencies referring to “Mohammed Raghead”.

The original work is here.

(Greenwald et al. on The Intercept)

Posted in NSA eavesdropping | 6 Comments »

Media To Hillary Clinton And Elizabeth Warren: Let’s You And Her Fight!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 7, 2014

This tale would be little more than a bad joke if the press wasn’t so eager to dance to whatever tune’s being played by the Right Wing’s Pied Pipers like Edward Klein, who wrote this for the New York Post:

President Obama has quietly promised Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren complete support if she runs for president — a stinging rebuke to his nemesis Hillary Clinton, sources tell me.

And what is Mister Klein’s proof of this assertion? Nothing by anyone with an actual name attached. But of course, the word has apparently gone out at Murdoch Central to push this garbage hard, because at the Wall Street Journal — which like the NYP is owned by NewsCorp — they are promoting this with everything but Drudge sirens (h/t Emma Roller of the National Journal):

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal alley-ooped Klein’s thesis with its own story positing that Clinton is trying to distance herself from the Obamas “in tone and substance.” The evidence? A less cheery tone about the economy, and this money quote:

Bill Whalen, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and former chief speechwriter for Pete Wilson when the Republican was California’s governor[PW notes: emphases mine], suggested that Mrs. Clinton’s distancing strategy at least partly reflects Mr. Obama’s lackluster popularity.

This type of sourcing is completely irrelevant and guaranteed not to produce any real news, just pot shots (it’s not Whalen’s fault; if you give a mouse a cookie, etc.).

Roller goes on to point out that Edward Klein — who writes for Regnery, the right-wing’s favorite hardcover smear merchants — doesn’t have a good track record as far as journalistic accuracy or ethics goes:

Klein does not exactly have the reputation of Woodward and Bernstein. In the past, Klein has suggested that Hillary Clinton is a lesbian. His support? Clinton attended Wellesley, an all-women’s college, and has friends who are gay. Klein has somewhat of a fixation on powerful women—he’s written one other book about Clinton, along with a book about Katie Couric and three separate books about Jackie Kennedy.

I think we can put this one to bed, folks.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Bad bits

Posted by Charles II on July 7, 2014


JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, because it is our specialty to understand surveillance systems of various kind, and it was my profession beforehand, the broad—many of the broad parameters, we already knew about. But the confirmation of each one of those parameters was extremely important for others to realize it. I think what is most surprising is not any one thing. It’s the scale, the incredible scale, and that at any point where you could guess, “Are they doing this, or are they not doing it?” they are doing it. So, for example, intercepting packages that are sent out in the post and backdooring them, backdooring chips. So we see the corporation list between National Security Agency and U.S. hardware manufacturers, so Intel, Qualcomm, that makes the chips for telephones and so on. That’s quite surprising. That had been rumored and speculated on, but that the actual physical hardware is backdoored before you even get it, that, I think, is—that is a bit surprising. And then the absolute numbers, the billions of interceptions that are occurring per day. Actually, people who were studying this knew that, but to see a map of the world and the different countries with how many millions or billions of intercepts per day were coming in, I think that is probably the most consequential. (emphasis added)

The rest of the interview is pretty interesting. Somehow Assange was able to communicate with Snowden without the NSA any the wiser. That has got to sting.

My unsolicited advice to the NSA: focus on actual threats to US citizens, and leave everyone else alone.

Posted in NSA eavesdropping | Leave a Comment »

Incidental collection

Posted by Charles II on July 6, 2014

Barton Gellman, Jule Tate, and Ashkan Soltani, WP:

No government oversight body, including the Justice Department, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, intelligence committees in Congress or the president’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, has delved into a comparably large sample of what the NSA actually collects — not only from its targets but also from people who may cross a target’s path.

Among the latter are medical records sent from one family member to another, résumés from job hunters and academic transcripts of schoolchildren. In one photo, a young girl in religious dress beams at a camera outside a mosque.

Scores of pictures show infants and toddlers in bathtubs, on swings, sprawled on their backs and kissed by their mothers. In some photos, men show off their physiques. In others, women model lingerie, leaning suggestively into a webcam or striking risque poses in shorts and bikini tops.

“None of the hits that were received were relevant,” two Navy cryptologic technicians write in one of many summaries of nonproductive surveillance. “No additional information,” writes a civilian analyst. Another makes fun of a suspected kidnapper, newly arrived in Syria before the current civil war, who begs for employment as a janitor and makes wide-eyed observations about the state of undress displayed by women on local beaches.

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Don’t get sick

Posted by Charles II on July 5, 2014

After you click this link.

Posted in health care, ratf*cking, Supreme Court | 2 Comments »

NSA spying on German intelligence services is exposed

Posted by Charles II on July 4, 2014

See here.

Also, Hillary thinks Snowden should be allowed a legal defense! Should we follow the Constition is now debatable.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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