Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for February 21st, 2007

Another Way Iraq Is Like Vietnam

Posted by MEC on February 21, 2007

The SDS is back.

Yes, that SDS. (You young folks can look it up when you get home.)

University of Michigan students have formed a chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society, following a wave of nationwide activity. The group rekindles the SDS movement that defined activism during the Vietnam War.


Around 250 chapters have formed nationwide, including the one at U-M, which this month had its first meeting, of about 30 students. The Jan. 27 peace march in Washington, in which about 500 students marched under the SDS banner, helped spark the growth.


The SDS activity is a welcome change from the sense of helplessness that seems to grip too many college students, despite opposition to the war in Congress.

Conventional Wisdom has it that young people today aren’t involved in the antiwar movement and politics in general because they don’t have the personal concerns that the draft gave them during the Vietnam War era. Conventional Wisdom has been wrong before.

Posted in antiwar movement | 1 Comment »

Hey, Bill Donohue! Wanna Go After A REAL Anti-Catholic?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 21, 2007

Check out the anti-Catholic Tony Perkins of the anti-Catholic Family Research Council!

Interestingly enough, GOP Louisiana governor wannabee Bobby Jindal has been a running buddy of Perkins’ for years, a fact which is worth pointing out in southern Louisiana. So when is Bill Donohue going to attack Jindal for being a “housedad to bigots” like Tony Perkins?

From Media Matters:

…FRC board member Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has made several public anti-Catholic statements. During a March 22, 2000, appearance on CNN’s Larry King Live, for example, Mohler asserted, “As an evangelical, I believe the Roman church is a false church and it teaches a false gospel. I believe the pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office.”


Continuing on his anti-Catholic theme, Mohler wrote in a September 16, 2006, entry on his personal blog, “[T]he office [the pope] holds is an unbiblical institution based in a monarchial ministry that is incompatible with the New Testament’s vision of the church. Furthermore, he claims also to be a head of state — a situation that adds untold layers of additional confusion.”

Oh, and he’s also a buddy of the South’s most infamous racists, too:

Further, Perkins has repeatedly associated with racist groups and individuals, including former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke and the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens.


According to a July 30, 2005, report in The Vancouver Sun citing articles by The Nation (by Media Matters Research Fellow Max Blumenthal) and the Southern Poverty Law Center, while he served as the campaign manager for Republican senatorial candidate Louis E. “Woody” Jenkins in 1996, Perkins paid Duke $82,500 for his phone banking list, then attempted to cover up the transaction, a misdeed that resulted in a $3,000 fine from the Federal Election Council.


Five years later, in 2001, Perkins spoke before the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC). The Southern Poverty Law Center has dubbed the CCC a hate group. The CCC declares in its statement of principles:

We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called “affirmative action” and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races.

In response to questions by The Vancouver Sun about his connection to an organization identified as a hate group, Perkins acknowledged his speech before the CCC but claimed he could not recall what he said. On the topic of his illegal payment to Duke, Perkins claimed he was unaware of Duke’s history of bigotry prior to the payment.

There’s much, much more at the Media Matters link, Bill, should you choose to check it out.

Or are you going to be silent about FRC’s anti-Catholicism now, just as you were when Tony Perkins invited you to be his token Catholic for “Justice Sunday” back in 2005?

You remember that, don’t you Bill? But just in case you don’t:

Justice Sunday also featured a token Catholic, William Donohue, who heads the nation’s largest “Catholic civil rights organization,” the Catholic League. In the battle to confirm far-right judicial nominees like William Pryor, who happens to be Catholic, Donohue has become a key asset for the Christian right’s evangelical faction. He has argued that Democratic senators opposing Pryor and others are motivated by anti-Catholicism. “There isn’t de jure discrimination against Catholics in the Senate,” Donohue claimed on Sunday. “There is de facto discrimination. They’ve set the bar so high with the abortion issue, we can’t get any real Catholics over it.”


But for all his concern with anti-Catholicism, Donohue had no qualms about sharing the stage with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Dr. Albert Mohler. “As an evangelical, I believe that the Roman Catholic Church is a false church,” Mohler remarked during a 2000 TV interview. “It teaches a false gospel. And the Pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office.” Donohue, who has protested against Democrats who have made no such comments about Catholics, was silent about Mohler. In fact, the site of Justice Sunday, Highview Baptist Church, in Louisville, Kentucky, is Mohler’s home church.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Your Right To Vote: Who Defends It, And Who Attacks It

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 21, 2007

Ever since they stopped being the Party of Lincoln and adopted the explicitly racist “Southern Strategy” in the 1960s, Republicans — nationally and locally, elected and in the media, traditional and online — have been attacking any and all efforts to enable more people, especially poor people and non-white people, to vote.   Instead, they push various measures, under the pretext of “fighing voter fraud”, that put barriers between poor and non-white would-be voters and the voting booth because they know that these groups of people vote overwhelmingly for Democrats.

In the case of Minnesota, my home state, Republican legislators like Laura Brod  (R-New Prague– she signed the letter the State Republican caucus is circulating to outstate Minnesota newspapers such as the St. Cloud Times) and their blogging buddies are savaging newly-minted Democratic State Attorney General Mark Ritchie for his eminently sensible proposal to automatically register anyone with a valid Minnesota driver’s license.   Since getting a driver’s license — or even renewing one — is a complicated process with plenty of verification checks at each step, it makes sense that anyone who has achieved a license is almost certainly a legal resident.

Republicans like to pooh-pooh any suggestions that their legislation is intended to suppress voter turnout among minorities and the poor.  But everyone knows better, and there’s yet another study showing that GOP-promoted measures concerning voter identification lead directly to depressed turnout among those populations.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Quote of the day

Posted by Charles II on February 21, 2007

“I awoke this morning in New York City to find Britney Spears plastered all over the cover of two gigantic daily newspapers, simply because she cut her hair off over the weekend. To me, this crosses a line. My definition of a news story involves something happening. If nothing happens, then you can’t have ‘news,’ because nothing has changed since the day before. Britney Spears was an idiot last Thursday, an idiot on Friday, and an idiot on both Saturday and Sunday. She was, shockingly, also an idiot on Monday.” —Matt Taibbi

Posted in beat the press, eedjits | 3 Comments »

‘Straight Talk Express’ Takes Another Detour

Posted by MEC on February 21, 2007

That straight-talking John McCain, who assures us he is not pandering to the Religious Reich Right, is going to deliver a keynote address at an event co-sponsored by the Discovery Institute. (H/T Majikthise)

That would be the same Discovery Institute that’s leading the charge for “evolution is just a theory, and science is no different from religious beliefs”.

Nope. Not pandering. Just, oh I don’t know, maybe he calls it “rethinking”?

Think Progress has the goods on Mr. Straight Talk.

What he said in 2005:

Daily Star: Does [creation “science”] belong in science?

McCain: There’s enough scientists that believe it does. I’m not a scientist. This is something that I think all points of view should be presented.

What he said in 2006:

“I happen to believe in evolution…I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not.“

What he’s saying in 2007: Whatever will lure the Know-Nothings away from other Republican candidates.

Posted in hypocrites, John McCain, Republicans acting badly | Comments Off on ‘Straight Talk Express’ Takes Another Detour

Wednesday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 21, 2007

— Gee, maybe if Bush and his PNAC Platoon buddies hadn’t let Ahmad Chalabi lead them by the nose into a disastrous and region-destabilizing invasion and occupation of Iraq, we might have been able to fully commit ourselves to taking out Bin Laden and the Taliban once and for all, and stuff like this wouldn’t be happening.

— Speaking of Iraq, it’s been reiterated once again that the chief qualification to be part of the US occupation team was to be a Bush partisan; actual experts in Middle Eastern culture and language, not to mention nation-building, were frozen out in favor of BushCo zampolit.

— Hey, news outfits:  Why use stale AP wire service news when you can — gasp!hire actual reporters!  Go ahead, think globally — but hire and report locally!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wednesday Morning News Roundup

On This Day in History

Posted by MEC on February 21, 2007

February 21, 1975: John N. Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman, and John Ehrlichman were sentenced to prison for obstruction of justice in the Watergate scandal.

And today is the day the jury begins deliberations in the Libby trial. Can we take this as an omen?

Posted in history, Libby trial, Republicans acting badly | 1 Comment »

Today Is Barbara Jordan Day

Posted by MEC on February 21, 2007

Barbara Jordan was born February 21, 1936.

In 1972, she was elected to the United States House of Representatives, becoming the first black woman from a Southern state to serve in the House. She received extensive support from former President Lyndon Johnson, who helped her secure a position on the House Judiciary Committee.


In 1974, she made an influential televised speech before the House Judiciary Committee supporting the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.


Her legislative accomplishments include the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and expansion of that act to cover language minorities. This extended protection to Hispanics in Texas which was opposed by Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe and Secretary of State Mark White.


Her speech at the 1976 Democratic National Convention is considered by many historians to have been the best convention keynote speech in modern history.


She sponsored the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, legislation that required banks to lend and make services available to underserved poor and minority communities.

Ms. Jordan died in 1996.

I wish we had her eloquence, courage, and rock-solid integrity today.

Posted in Barbara Jordan, Congress, Democrats with spines, heroines, history | 1 Comment »

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