Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March, 2007

Right-Wing Morality On Parade

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 31, 2007

crybaby-gop3.jpg 

What is it about right-wingers online that makes them so likely to be abuse-hurling misogynistic screamers like Michael “Savage” Weiner? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in getting a clue, GOP bullying, looney tunes, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, Silly Republicans, The smear industry, WTF? | Comments Off on Right-Wing Morality On Parade

Ho Hum, Another Corrupt Bush Official

Posted by MEC on March 31, 2007

Fish mosaic in the Detroit Institute of Arts

The only thing that’s going to save us from Bushevik corruption is that so many of Bush’s minions are incompetent in their corruption. For example, Julie A. MacDonald, deputy assistant secretary at the Fish and Wildlife Service of the Interior Department.

A top-ranking official overseeing the Fish and Wildlife Service at the Interior Department rode roughshod over agency scientists, and decisions made on her watch may not survive court challenges, investigators within the Interior Department have found.

At least, we hope they don’t survive the court challenges, because her judgment is definitely worse than that of the scientists who actually, you know, have knowledge about the issues they’re researching. She don’t need no steenking facts, though, because her job is to make sure that the facts are “fixed around the policy”. For example,

…Ms. MacDonald lobbied for a decision to combine three different populations of the California tiger salamander into one, thus excluding it from the endangered-species list, and making the decision legally vulnerable. A federal district judge overturned it in 2005, saying the decision was made “without even a semblance of agency reasoning.”

The policy, in this case, seems to protect industries from being inconvenienced by environmental regulations:

The inspector general also found that Ms. MacDonald had sent internal government documents by e-mail to a lawyer for the Pacific Legal Foundation – a property-rights group that frequently challenges endangered-species decisions.  
 

She twice sent internal Environmental Protection Agency documents – one involving water quality management – to individuals whose e-mail addresses ended in “chevrontexaco.com,” the report said.

After Bush is finally out of office, it’s going to take years just to clean up the mess These People are creating in government agencies. The example of Julie MacDonald’s interference with the protection of endangered species. shows that some of the damage they’re doing may be irreversible.

Posted in abuse of power, BushCo malfeasance, corruption | 2 Comments »

Another day, another howler

Posted by Charles II on March 31, 2007

From Reuters (Via T/O)

Washington – The U.S. Army has enough money on hand to finance the Iraq War through most of July, according to a congressional study that challenges President George W. Bush’s assertions that an infusion of funds is needed more urgently.  According to a Congressional Research Service memo dated March 28 and sent to the Senate Budget Committee, “The Army could finance the O&M (operations and maintenance) of both its baseline and war program … through most of July 2007” by shifting around money in existing accounts.

So, as usual, Bush is lying.

Posted in Iraq war, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | Comments Off on Another day, another howler

Republican Ethics

Posted by MEC on March 31, 2007

The hearing into Juanita Doan’s actions at the GSA continued with testimony from the GSA’s Inspector General, Brian Miller. John Mica (R-FL) began the interrogation by asking Mr. Miller whether his investigation of the no-bid contract that Ms. Doan awarded to a close friend cost more than the contract would have, clearly implying that allegations of wrongdoing should only be investigated if it’s not going to cost the taxpayers anything. Don’t we all wish the “Honorable” Mr. Mica had told Ken Starr that?

Or maybe Mr. Mica means that it’s okay for government officials to break the law if their lawbreaking costs the taxpayers less than holding them accountable would cost. That’s certainly a very interesting standard for right and wrong.

I suspect that Republicans John Mica and Tom Davis aren’t really interested in getting information. They asked questions that implied inappropriate behavior by Mr. Miller, and then interrupted him with another question when he tried to answer.

 [edited to add] Darrell Issa [R-CA] also said, in effect, that whether something is wrong depends on whether it costs more than doing the right thing.

Posted in abuse of power, Congressional hearings, GSA scandal, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | Comments Off on Republican Ethics

Why Are Republicans Defending Lurita Doan?

Posted by MEC on March 31, 2007

Knight in Shining Armor

GSA chief Lurita Doan was called before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Wednesday to answer questions about, among other things, a January 26 meeting that appears to be a violation of the Hatch Act and a no-bid contract awarded to Ms. Doan’s personal friend

Two Republican House members in particular rode to Ms. Doan’s defense. Tom Davis (R-VA) fell all over himself proclaiming Ms. Doan’s uprightness and innocence, going so far as to read an email that accused the Democrats of projection. John Mica (R-FL) went beyond dismissing all allegations that Ms. Doan behaved improperly, accusing the Democrats of being a pack of racists for “targeting” Ms. Doan. (Mica also threw a full-metal temper tantrum at being cut off by Commitee chair Henry Waxman when Mica spoke out of turn, so maybe he’s just naturally intemperate.)

I would expect a kneejerk defense of any of Bush’s appointees, since no loyal Republican would question a decision by their Dear Leader. But Davis’ and Mica’s outrage seems to go beyond kneejerk partisan reaction. So … are these Honorable men taking it personally?

Does anybody know of a connection between Lurita Doan and Tom Davis or John Mica? (Minds out of the gutter, people, I’m thinking of Deep Throat’s advice to “follow the money”.) Kos diarist achamblee mentions a possible reason: Tom Davis is on the list of at-risk politicians for whom White House operative Scott Jennings was soliciting GSA staffers’ help.

Posted in abuse of power, BushCo malfeasance, Congressional hearings, GOP bullying, government malfeasance, GSA scandal, hearings, Lurita Doan, Republicans acting badly, Tom Davis | 14 Comments »

“Bushevik Hypocrisy” Is Redundant

Posted by MEC on March 30, 2007

janus.jpg

Would somebody please ask Dana Perino to explain why George W. Bush attacked Nancy Pelosi for planning a visit to Syria when, even as he spoke, a Republican delegation was already in Syria?

(H/T ThinkProgress )

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Another Lying Bush Official?

Posted by MEC on March 30, 2007

Dems Question FDA Chief’s Testimony

House Democrats are investigating whether FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach lied under oath about the antibiotic Ketek, which has long been under scrutiny by Congress.
 

The seriousness of the inquiry was outlined in a letter sent Thursday to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. The letter requested that the department make available by the close of business Wednesday all documents used to prepare von Eschenbach for his testimony. Also, the lawmakers asked Leavitt to make available all senior staff and counsel who participated in preparing him for his testimony.
 

[…]
 

At a hearing by his subcommittee on March 22, Stupak aggressively questioned von Eschenbach about a questionable study of the drug before it was approved. The study was marred by fraud involving one of the 1,800 sites that enrolled patients given the drug.
 

But Von Eschenbach said the study was not used as part of the decision to approve Ketek.
 

“That is false,” Stupak said during the hearing. The congressman said he believed the doctor was being forthright. “But whoever is doing your work is trying to lead this committee down the wrong path. We know these issues. We are on top of these issues, so when you come and give us testimony that isn’t accurate, we are going to call you on it,” Stupak said.

All together now: “What a difference an election makes.”

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Congressional hearings, FDA | Comments Off on Another Lying Bush Official?

Mexico, 3/30/07: Public-Pirate Partnership

Posted by Charles II on March 30, 2007

From the MSN newsletter 

As part of the flurry of activity in the first hundred days of his presidency, Felipe Calderon announced the privatization of hundreds of miles of highway and private investment in new highway construction.  Many of the proposed highways were originally constructed with government funds, then privatized in the 1990s, only to be taken back by the government in 1997 at a cost of US$5.2 billion when private companies abandoned them.  Calderon will also award construction/management contracts for new highways.  The total package includes 2,900 miles of highway, with a total investment of US$320 million dollars.  Only a few national companies can invest at this level, which will open the door to foreign ownership of Mexico’s highways.  The highest tolls per mile in the world are found in Mexico, about four or five times typical tolls in the US.

In related news, the Inter-American Development Bank (BID) announced new loans worth US$2.5 billion for public/private partnerships dedicated to infrastructure development.  Some of the money will likely fund the construction of expensive highway projects, such as the proposed US$1.7 billion Durango-Mazatlan highway.  And some may fund a temporary work program announced by Calderon that will improve roads in rural communities.  The program is expected to generate 150,000 temporary jobs.

Posted in corruption, Mexico | 2 Comments »

Another One Bites the Dust

Posted by MEC on March 30, 2007

HHS Official Quits

The head of the federal agency responsible for providing women with access to contraceptives and counseling to prevent pregnancy resigned unexpectedly Thursday after Medicaid officials took action against him in Massachusetts.
 

Just five months ago, Keroack was chosen by President Bush to oversee HHS’ Office of Population Affairs and its $283 million annual budget. The pick angered Planned Parenthood and other abortion rights groups that viewed him as opposed to birth control and comprehensive sex education. Keroack had worked for an organization that opposes contraception.

Dr. Keroack said that his “attorney feels confident that misunderstandings have occurred” and that the “action” will be reversed. Yeah, that’s why he had to quit his job to deal with it, because his attorney his handling the problem.

Posted in corruption, HHS | Comments Off on Another One Bites the Dust

Friday Furball Blogging

Posted by MEC on March 30, 2007

Sometimes Alex is an annoying little brother.

Friday Cat Blogging - 2

And sometimes he’s a sweet little brother.

Friday Cat Blogging 3/30/07 - 1

Posted in Alexander the Great, cats, Friday Cat Blogging, Good Things, Just for fun, Lady Lightfoot | 1 Comment »

 
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