Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for April 27th, 2007

Sometimes The Jokes Just Write Themselves

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 27, 2007

As promised, the “D.C. madam” Jeane Palfrey has just scored her first* high-value scalp — and it’s a doozy:

Bush’s ‘AIDS Czar’ Frequented Sex Fantasy Emporium

Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias submitted his resignation Friday, one day after confirming to ABC News that he had been a customer of a Washington, D.C. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation. Tobias, 65, Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), had previously served as the Ambassador for the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief.

A State Department press release late Friday afternoon said only he was leaving for “personal reasons.” On Thursday, Tobias told ABC News he had several times called the “Pamela Martin and Associates” escort service “to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage.” Tobias, who is married, said there had been “no sex,” and that recently he had been using another service “with Central Americans” to provide massages.


As the Bush administration’s so-called “AIDS czar,” Tobias was criticized for emphasizing faithfulness and abstinence over condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.

Pass the popcorn!

*UPDATE:  Turns out that Tobias isn’t the first Bush Junta member to be laid low by the D.C. Madam.  Harlan Ullman, the guy who gave us the phrase “shock and awe”, had that honor a couple of weeks ago.


Posted in hypocrites, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | 3 Comments »

Time for More News Articles About ‘Democrats in Disarray’

Posted by MEC on April 27, 2007

Fife and Drum

Fife and drum corps at Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan

The entire Senate Democratic Caucus responds to David Broder’s attack on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

We, the members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, contest the attack on Sen. Harry Reid’s leadership by David S. Broder in his April 26 column, “The Democrats’ Gonzales.”

In contrast to Mr. Broder’s insinuations, we believe Mr. Reid is an extraordinary leader who has effectively guided the new Democratic majority through these first few months with skill and aplomb.

The Democratic caucus is diverse, and Mr. Reid has worked tirelessly to make sure that the views of each member are heard and represented. No one ideology dominates the caucus, so that a consensus can be reached and unity achieved. It is hard to imagine a better model for leadership.

Because Mr. Reid has the support of members of the caucus, is a good listener and has an amazing ability to synthesize views and bring people together, the Senate has accomplished a great deal during his time as majority leader. Armed with his years of service in the Senate and with a mastery of procedure, Mr. Reid has led the chamber with a slim majority and a minority that is, at times, determined to stop legislation with which it disagrees.

In the first 100 days alone, we made great strides under his leadership on long-neglected legislation concerning stem cell research, the Sept. 11 commission’s recommendations and the minimum wage, to name three. In addition, under Mr. Reid’s leadership, we have fulfilled our obligation, left uncompleted by last year’s Republican-led Senate, to fund the federal government. He has accomplished all of this in the face of stiff opposition and with a commitment to giving ideas full opportunity for debate.

Finally, in this age of scripted politicians speaking only to their base or claiming that they “don’t recall” anything, the fact that Mr. Reid speaks his mind should be applauded, not derided. His brand of straight talk is honest, comes from the heart and speaks directly to the people.



This letter was signed by Sen. Reid’s 50 colleagues in the caucus.

Yes, even Joe Lieberman signed it.

Posted in beat the press, Democrat-bashing, Democrats with spines, GOP/Media Complex, Harry Reid | 1 Comment »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on April 27, 2007

This week’s Guest Cats for Friday Cat Blogging are the Picasso, to whom the whole word is his tail…


…and the bowlful of kitty goodness that is the Matisse.


They make their home with Frarochvia of Bellamoden, and with each other of course.

Matisse and Picasso

Posted in cats, Friday Cat Blogging, Good Things, Just for fun | 5 Comments »

Top Army officer: Military leadership lost Iraq

Posted by Charles II on April 27, 2007

Some people still behave like free men/women. Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, active duty (via Ricks at WaPo and t/o):

“For the second time in a generation, the United States faces the prospect of defeat at the hands of an insurgency. In April 1975, the U.S. fled the Republic of Vietnam, abandoning our allies to their fate at the hands of North Vietnamese communists. In 2007, Iraq’s grave and deteriorating condition offers diminishing hope for an American victory and portends risk of an even wider and more destructive regional war.

These debacles are not attributable to individual failures, but rather to a crisis in an entire institution: America’s general officer corps. America’s generals have failed to prepare our armed forces for war and advise civilian authorities on the application of force to achieve the aims of policy. The argument that follows consists of three elements. First, generals have a responsibility to society to provide policymakers with a correct estimate of strategic probabilities. Second, America’s generals in Vietnam and Iraq failed to perform this responsibility. Third, remedying the crisis in American generalship requires the intervention of Congress.

Armies do not fight wars; nations fight wars.”

Posted in Iraq war | Comments Off on Top Army officer: Military leadership lost Iraq

When Is A Terrorist Not A Terrorist? (Part II)

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 27, 2007

When he’s a white guy who’s a member of a far-right anti-government militia in Alabama:

Simultaneous raids carried out in four Alabama counties Thursday
turned up truckloads of explosives and weapons, including 130
grenades, an improvised rocket launcher and 2,500 rounds of ammunition belonging to the small, but mightily armed, Alabama Free Militia.

Six alleged members of the Free Militia also were arrested by federal
authorities and are being held without bond.

Investigators said the DeKalb County-based group had not made any
specific threats or devised any plots, but was targeted for swift
dismantling because of its heavy firepower. The militia, which called
itself the Naval Militia at one point, had enough armament to outfit a
small army.

“We classify these groups as violent and anti-government,” said Jim
Cavanaugh, who supervises the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives operations in portions of the South. “They
stockpile things and live off a fear, a paranoia they’re going to need
weapons and explosives because some event is going to happen when they will need them.”

“Any time you have a self-appointed colonel or a self-appointed major
and they’ve got weapons and explosives, it is a recipe for tragedy,” Cavanaugh said.


In Jefferson County, authorities said they had to rent a truck to
handle the bomb-making material from Bobo’s home, as well as 2,500
rounds of ammunition and 12 guns.

Bobo was living with his adoptive parents in the Lancshire Brentwood
neighborhood in Trussville, a fairly new subdivision near the Cahaba
Project with tree-lined streets and brick homes that cost upward of
$600,000. He worked for his family’s pest control company.

His red pickup truck, usually parked at the house, displays bumper
stickers such as “Welcome to the South, Now Go Home,” “The Second
Amendment: `You do not know you need it until they come to take it
away’ – Thomas Jefferson” and “Work Harder, Millions on Welfare Depend on You.”

If these guys had been a black street gang or a group of imams armed only with prayer books who got sassy with Homeland Security staff, it’d be on the national evening TV and drive-time radio news. As it is, if you’re not from Alabama, chances are that this blog will be the first (and only) place you’ll see mentioning this story.

(h/t Mahablog)

Posted in terrorism, wrong way to go about it | 3 Comments »

Mike Gravel, Truthsayer

Posted by MEC on April 27, 2007

In last night’s Democratic candidate debate, former Senator Mike Gravel made some very strong points about our country’s current warmongering policies. So of course he’s being dismissed as “comic relief“.

But don’t listen to The Usual Suspects, listen to Sen. Gravel:

Well, first off, understand that this war was lost the day that George Bush invaded Iraq on a fraudulent basis. Understand that.


I got to tell you, we should just plain get out. Just plain get out.

It’s their country. They’re asking us to leave, and we insist on staying there.

And why not get out? What harm is it going to do? Oh, you hear the statement, “Well, my God, these soldiers will have died in vain.” The entire deaths of Vietnam died in vain. And they’re dying in vain right this very second. Do you know what’s worse than a soldier dying in vain? It’s more soldiers dying in vain, that’s what’s worse.

The soundbite of the debate should be, “Do you know what’s worse than a soldier dying in vain? It’s more soldiers dying in vain, that’s what’s worse.”

Posted in 2008, Democrats, Iraq war, Mike Gravel, tutu-less Democrats | 1 Comment »

Saint Waxman

Posted by Charles II on April 27, 2007

Watching the hearings yesterday, I was struck by how steady-on Henry Waxman is.

The basic story is that Lurita Doan, Administrator of the GSA, gave a Powerpoint presentation on government property to government employees with slides that said, in effect, here is how you should help GOP candidates. Automatic violation of the Hatch Act. With the discovery that White House aides had e-mail accounts at the RNC, which they were using improperly to conduct government business, at least one of which had to do with Doan, Waxman wanted to request subpoenas of pertinent e-mails from the RNC.

The performance the Republicans put on was, frankly, disgraceful. We expect representatives to defend their party. But when there are clear indications of crimes and violations, we expect them to set aside party and let the truth come out. Instead, Darrell Issa, Tom Davis, and Dan Burton spent hours throwing procedural monkey wrenches– which they knew would do nothing to stop the subpoenas– into the process. Their own members were so disheartened that only 8-10 of them could be kept in the room for the voting. And Waxman presided over it all with perfect aplomb, rolling the Publicans again and again on the votes… and keeping his members in the room.

The most embarrassing moment for this nation was Dan Burton reviewing the campaign finance scandals of the 1990s and how they had to issue subpoenas because people were leaving the country (to go back tp their homes). He failed to mention that all of this sturm und drang resulted in convictions on campaign finance violations, mostly settled with fines and probation. Thewhole 9 yards is here. It was a bipartisan scandal, though Democrats got the largest contributions and, justly, the largest part of the blame; how Haley Barbour escaped the net is beyond me. 

There was no evidence ever of Burton’s fever dreams of the Chinese government buying atomic secrets from the Clinton Administration in exchange for almond-eyed interns. Or whatever.

Mercifully, Burton ended with this comment (I paraphrase): “The Chairman’s memory of these events may differ.” 

Waxman resisted making any response at all. 

D–n that man is good.

Posted in Republicans acting badly | 3 Comments »

When Is A Terrorist Not A Terrorist?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 27, 2007

When he bombs a women’s clinic, of course. (And he is almost certainly a ‘he’.) As Zuzu sayeth unto all:

Had that bomb been found outside a post office or a school, the headlines would have been hysterically running on about ZOMG TERRORISM TERRORISM IS AL QAEDA INVOLVED? And the right-wing warbloggers would be pissing their pants and hyperventilating about profiling Arabs and banning Muslims from public life and dhimmitude and how if they had been there, they’d have stopped it with their concealed carry and their extra-super special powers of righteousness, just like they saw in a movie once and BOMB IRAN! and 9/11 CHANGED EVERYTHING!!! but they still have better things to do than join the military, but they’ll be happy to go into the woods and hunt Russians and shout WOLVERINES!!

But it’s an abortion clinic, so. Ho-hum.

For some reason, terrorism doesn’t count if it’s directed against women and their health care providers. It’s just not news, and the fact that it goes unremarked in the national media — and hell, even in the local media, as in the case of the Austin bomb — contributes to the idea that women are not important and that violence directed at women is not only to be expected, but to be dismissed.

Posted in family values, rightwing moral cripples, women's issues | 4 Comments »

The Philosophical Gamer

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 27, 2007

For the people who like Myst and Thief better than Doom 3 and Half-Life 2,  I give you  Game Analyst — because codes and cheats are nothing compared to enlightenment.

Posted in Just for fun | Comments Off on The Philosophical Gamer

Economy sputters

Posted by Charles II on April 27, 2007

From the BEA:

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2007…The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents, increased 3.6 percent in the first quarter…

Subject to revision, but still.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Economy sputters

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