Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March, 2007

Taking A Cue From The Cumaean Sybil

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 30, 2007


Check this out from Kossack Geekesque (emphases mine):

As I diaried the other day, the Democrats are using the strategy of Divide and Conquer.

They are peeling 1-2 Republican Senators away from the President each go around. Eventually, the entire caucus–especially vulnerable incumbents–will refuse to carry water for Bush. Eventually, his lawn will turn brown.

What better way to maximize this pressure than to apply it repeatedly instead of once or twice?

The important thing to realize is that Congressional Republicans hate voting on Iraq. They hate having their names mentioned in the same paragraph as “Bush” and “Iraq.”

They decided to play matador and let Bush be the story and take the blame for any defeat of the funding bill.

Phew, they think, we dodged that one.

Not so fast, guys.

Buried in today’s Washington Post is this little nugget:

Conservative Democrats also discussed alternatives for providing troop funding, if the standoff proves to be prolonged. For instance, Reps. Dennis Cardoza (Calif.) and Mike Ross (Ark.) suggested that the war funding be parceled out in three-month increments to force Bush to keep coming back for more.

Both Cardoza and Ross are Blue Doggies.

Pretty uninspiring stuff at first glance, as you would expect from that particular caucus.

Until you realize that it means that the issue of Iraq will be one continuous political nightmare for Republicans. Their attention will always be on the next Iraq war vote and how to explain to their constituents why they endorse a blank check for the least popular and worst president in the history of the United States.

So, pass the bill with binding withdrawal language. Bush will veto it. Force the Republicans to vote again on the veto override.

Then give him three months of funding and remind Senate Republicans to circle that date on their calendar.

Then come back with an even stronger bill–make the Murtha language mandatory. Drop waiver and other wiggle room.

Force the Republicans to vote with Mr. Popularity. Twice.

Then give them another three months. And remind them to circle the date on their calendars.

And then come back with an even stronger bill.

The key is to never give that rat bastard in the White House more than three months on his leash, and to never give any rest or peace of mind to his enablers in Congress.

This is straight out of the La Cosa Nostra playbook — or the one that the Cumaean Sybil used on Tarquinus Superbus. Truly, it is the offer they dare not continue to refuse.

Posted in 2008, antiwar movement, Congress, Democrats, Democrats with spines, dope slaps for Dubya, getting a clue, Good Things, Iraq war, Republicans | 3 Comments »

Republicans Don’t Support the Troops

Posted by MEC on March 29, 2007

Today the Senate passed emergency spending legislation that provides funding for ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Every Democratic Senator voted for the bill.

Every Republican Senator except Chuck Hagel (NE) and Gordon Smith (OR) voted against it.

You get one guess how Joe Lieberman (I-ME-MINE) voted.

It looks like the Republicans are more interested in being partisan than in supporting the troops.

George W. Bush has said, “We stand united in saying loud and clear that when we’ve got a troop [sic] in harm’s way, we expect that troop to be fully funded.”

He’s also said he’s going to veto the spending bill, which would result in the “troop” not being fully funded. Sounds like he’s more interested in a partisan fight than in supporting the troops, too.

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Chuck Hagel, Congress, Iraq war, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | 1 Comment »

Saudi King joins calls for US pullout

Posted by Charles II on March 29, 2007

From DemocracyNow  headlines:

Saudi King: U.S. Occupation of Iraq “Illegitimate”
One of the Bush administration’s closest allies in the Middle East has issued his harshest words to date on the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Speaking at a meeting of Arab leaders in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia’s King Abdullah called the occupation “illegitimate.” Abdullah also called for an end to the U.S.-led boycott of the Palestinian government.

By the way, for anyone who thought former Chilean dictator Pinochet might have had any redeeming qualities, there’s also this tidbit from the headlines:

Authorities are probing whether Pinochet ordered the 1982 poisoning of ex-President Eduardo Frei Montalva. An autopsy has found traces of poison in Frei Montalva’s remains. The investigation also uncovered evidence unidentified doctors removed most of Frei Montalva’s organs just minutes after his death.

Just minutes after his death? Like, maybe he still had the degree of consciousness to know what was being done to him? 

Posted in Iraq war | 5 Comments »

Green Peace?

Posted by MEC on March 29, 2007

I have to be skeptical of this report, because the source is the Washington Times and I can’t find any other report. But I want it to be true, because it’s brilliant.

A massive peace symbol has sprouted on the lawn in front of the west steps of the Capitol.

A U.S. Capitol Police officer deduced that anti-war activists carefully sprinkled fertilizer to create the slightly darker green shape on the lawn.

“That’s one of the smartest things I’ve seen the protesters do,” the officer said.

— S.A. Miller, Capitol Hill correspondent, The Washington Times

If you find yourself near the Capitol, take a look and let us know whether it’s true, would you?

Posted in antiwar movement, peace | 4 Comments »

St. Vincent Students: Invitation to Bush Tarnishes School

Posted by MEC on March 29, 2007

Students at St. Vincent College object to the college’s invitation to George W. Bush to be commencement speaker. A petition against his acceptance states:

Since it was founded in 1846, Saint Vincent College has strived to embody the ideals of the Catholic faith and the fifteen-hundred-year heritage of Benedictine education. The College’s mission is firmly rooted in “the love of values inherent in the liberal approach to life and learning.” We believe your administration’s disregard of opposing viewpoints has deeply divided the nation and flies in the face of this approach.

Your poor stewardship of the environment, policies that favor the wealthy while ignoring the needs of the poor and the sick, and reckless squandering of the lives of our troops by clinging to failed tactics in an ill-conceived, unjustified war are at odds with our values. Values that—rather than being unique to Catholicism—are universal.


Your purposes are not our purposes, and your beliefs do not reflect the values and heritage of our cherished institution.

As with the BYU protest, this shows that the students of St. Vincent College recognize that “morality” is about more than publicly claiming to be religious and pushing certain hot-button issues. Their elders should listen to them.

(Once again, H/T Salon’s Table Talk)

Posted in Bush, dope slaps for Dubya, priorities, Table Talk | 2 Comments »

BYU Students Protest Cheney

Posted by MEC on March 29, 2007

Dick Cheney has been announced as the 2007 commencement speaker at Brigham Young University. This doesn’t sit too well with some of the students and faculty.

And it isn’t because Brigham Young University is a hotbed of liberalism. It’s because the students and faculty think the university should practice the moral values it teaches.

Four BYU professors released a letter Tuesday asking the university to withdraw its invitation to the vice president.

“From all indications, Cheney is responsible for the manipulation of intelligence used as a pretext for declaring war on Iraq, the abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and domestic wiretapping,” the letter reads. “There is every reason to question Cheney’s ethics, including the conviction of his former chief of staff, Scooter Libby, Halliburton’s financial gain from bloodshed and many other scandals.”

The university has given its [almost unprecedented] approval to students’ request to hold a protest against Cheney on campus. Some students said they would boycott the graduation ceremony if Cheney were the speaker.

Student organizer Bybee said protesting Cheney’s visit does not represent an opposition to the university or the LDS Church. “The people who want to protest are doing so because they love BYU,” he said. “We feel like this is something bad for our school that we love very much.”

The protest organizers have created an online petition against Cheney’s appearance at the university. The comments reveal two major objections: Cheney’s dishonesty, warmongering, and corruption are incompatible with the moral values of the university and the LDS Church; and the invitation to such a polarizing political figure is incompatible with the church’s claim of political neutrality.

The university leaders should be pleased to learn that students take so seriously the values the university claims to promote. Those students deserve better from those leaders than “Do as I say, not as I do.”

(H/T Salon’s Table Talk)

Posted in Dick Cheney, getting a clue | 2 Comments »

Quote of the Day

Posted by MEC on March 29, 2007

From an essay by Paul Waldman about women wielding political authority:

One can’t avoid noticing that as a group, conservative media figures are not exactly secure in their masculinity.

Posted in quote of the day, rightwing moral cripples | Comments Off on Quote of the Day

“The American healthcare system is the best in the world”

Posted by Charles II on March 29, 2007

Via Kash, who runs a terrific blog called The Street Light, the following chart:

Life expectancy

Posted in health care | Comments Off on “The American healthcare system is the best in the world”

James Dobson Defines “Christian”

Posted by MEC on March 29, 2007

Shorter James Dobson: “You’re not a Christian unless I say you are.”

According to Dobson, Fred Thompson is not a Christian.

Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger stood by Dobson’s claim. He said that, while Dobson didn’t believe Thompson to be a member of a non-Christian faith, Dobson nevertheless “has never known Thompson to be a committed Christian—someone who talks openly about his faith.”

So according to Dobson, to be a Christian you must “talk openly about your faith”. Oh, really? Maybe we should take a look at what the Founder had to say:

Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 6:1)

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. (Matthew 6:5)

Oh, yes, and

Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. (Matthew 7:1)

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think it’s up to somebody who consistently acts in opposition to the teachings of the Christ to decide who’s a Christian and who isn’t.

(H/T Salon’s Table Talk)

Posted in hypocrites, James Dobson | 6 Comments »

How Scummy Are New Mexico Republicans?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 29, 2007

This scummy, as JGabriel notes in an FDL comments thread:

From the Igelsias smear campaign (h/t digby):

New Mexicans For Honest Courts:

While he looked the other way on fraud, Iglesias did … find time to take dozens of taxpayer funded junkets around the world.

Dozens of taxpayer funded junkets around the world. Among sane people, that’s actually known as: serving your country as a member of the National Guard.

These people are disgusting.

Yes, yes, they are.

By the way:  Not only is Iglesias a member of the Naval Reserve, but his bosses knew about it and hired him knowing about it.

Another “by the way”:  Iglesias is the basis for the Tom Cruise character in “A Few Good Men“, the young Navy lawyer defending two Marines accused of murder who grows into a fine and noble person thereby.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, corruption, GOP bullying, The smear industry, US attorney firings, WTF? | Comments Off on How Scummy Are New Mexico Republicans?

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