Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for May, 2007


Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 31, 2007

Because we all need a little honeysuckle in the spring.  Or any time. 

[UPDATE:  I’m told that this flower is more properly known as “columbine”, but that “honeysuckle” is another name for it.  Whatever it is, it’s pretty.]

Posted in Just for fun | 5 Comments »

The Good Soldier Versus The Crazy Cat Lady

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 31, 2007




Actually, that’s a slander on crazy cat ladies. Most of them have far more sense than Mary Kiffmeyer, who up until she was voted out last November was Minnesota’s Secretary of State.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in abuse of power, bogus "voter fraud" claims, BushCo malfeasance, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, theocrats, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | 6 Comments »


Posted by Charles II on May 31, 2007

From the Beeb:

“In the period from 1910 to 1970, it is estimated that between 10-30% of indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families by government agencies in an attempt to ‘breed out’ their Aborigine blood and give them a better life.”

The story gives the poignant account of a woman who was stolen from her parents and shipped to Wales for adoption. Needless to say, she’s sore.

What’s not mentioned is that abduction of Native American children took place in the United States until at least the 1960s, although generally with older children.

Posted in abuse of power, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Give the man a cigar. We are in a growth recession.

Posted by Charles II on May 31, 2007

Nouriel Roubini has taken brutal (juvenile) criticism from the bulls for predicting a recession in the first half 0f 2007.

The revised figures for GDP are in for 1Q. Growth was a paltry 0.6% (annualized). A growth recession is when per capita national income declines, so if GDP rises more slowly than population growth, it’s a growth recession.  

A major component of that revision was the trade deficit, up to ca. $610B (annualized). Housing also subtracted. Inventories did not drop as much as anticipated. The only positive factor in the revision was consumer spending.

Nouriel says worse is to come.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Goings On In Venezuela

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 31, 2007

After several years — including a period in which the stations actively aided the Bush-backed, anti-democratic and violent military coup against him — Hugo Chavez is finally moving against the TV stations controlled by the oligarchic, Bush-aligned Caracas elite. The stations anticipated this and have for the past few weeks been sending out persons to protest, the fervor reaching a peak this week.
What’s very interesting is what you get when you read the IHT story on this all the way through to the last two paragraphs:

During a short-lived 2002 coup, RCTV and other private channels broadcast opposition calls for protests to overthrow Chavez while giving scant coverage to Chavez’s return to power amid protests by his supporters. RCTV denied wrongdoing, but critics argue that many countries would yank the license of a channel that allows government foes to openly called for a rebellion.

Thousands of Chavez supporters marched Tuesday, saying they reject an opposition attempt to stir up violence in the streets.

How long would it have taken for CBS to be forced off the air if, say, it had in December of 2000 urged Al Gore’s supporters to storm the Supreme Court in order to keep the Florida count from being shut down? (Especially if storming the Supreme Court failed and Bush still managed to get into the White House?)

We all know the answer to that one: About as long as it takes JimRob to ban someone over at FreeRepublic.

Meanwhile, there’s CNN getting caught using footage of a protest in Mexico and claiming that it was an anti-government protest in Venezuela. Ooops.

And while CNN and other pro-Bush-government media in the US help pave the way for a US invasion of Venezuela (since Condi’s apparently managed to keep Crashcart Dick Cheney from lobbing bombs at Iran, Ticky Dicky’s got an itchy trigger finger), Venezuela’s just paid off the last of its IMF loans (five years early, in fact) and has now severed all ties with both the International Enforced Economic Slavery Monetary Fund and the World Bank. (And it’s just completed the nationalization of its oil fields, a process that started when Chavez was first elected.)

Is Chavez perfect?  Not hardly.  Is he a damned sight better than his most powerful enemies — or, say, Bush buddies and fellow heads of state Pervez Musharraf or Islam Karimov?  You betcha.   (The anchors of our network newscasts certainly aren’t loudly wringing their hands on the evening news over Musharraf’s efforts to put down protests the way they were over Chavez’s efforts earlier this week.  You might see it on the web, but you won’t see it on US TV during the dinner hour.)  And none of the imperfections cited against him in the US press would matter one iota to them if he wasn’t pissing off the Bush Junta by actively working to make things better for his people and for Latin America as a whole.

Posted in Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Chavez, media, Media machine, mediawhores, Oil, Venezuela | 4 Comments »

Someday, Osama, this will be all yours…

Posted by Charles II on May 30, 2007

From The Guardian:

 The Pakistani military’s private business empire could be worth as much as £10bn, according to a ground-breaking study. Retired and serving officers run secretive industrial conglomerates, manufacture everything from cement to cornflakes, and own 12m acres [4.8m hectares] of public land, says Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, author of Military Inc: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy…Ms Siddiqa estimates that the military controls one-third of all heavy manufacturing and up to 7% of private assets….Ms Siddiqa says the military businesses thrive, thanks to invisible state subsidies in the form of free land, the use of military assets, and loans to bail them out when they run into trouble.

Oh, yeah. They also have nuclear weapons, serve as the home base of the Taliban, the military is chock full of Islamists, and there have been a series of assassination attempts against the country’s Supreme Leader, Pervez Musharraf.

On the bright side, The Guardian also has some neat pictures:


Mama and baby turtle

Posted in world news | 4 Comments »

Another New Bush Nixonian-Style Power Grab?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 30, 2007


Probably not, say the experts.  Still, it doesn’t hurt to pay attention.  Remember, these are the people who decided they could misuse and abuse signing statements to get around Congress and the American people.

Posted in abuse of power, Bush, BushCo malfeasance, madness of King George, totalitarianism | 3 Comments »


Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 29, 2007

I see that Jim Nicholson is in the news again.

He’s the current Secretary of Veterans Affairs, presiding over an agency he was tasked to manage but which he has instead turned into a turkey farm and paycheck source for otherwise-unemployable GOP party hacks — just as Michael Brown destroyed FEMA.

If you’re wondering about Nicholson’s credentials, here they are from Wikipedia:

Nicholson has never held elected office, but has long been active in the Republican Party. In January 1986, he was elected committeeman from Colorado for the Republican National Committee (RNC). In 1993, he was elected Vice-Chairman of the RNC, and was the “surprise pick”[2] for GOP national chairman in January 1997. He served in that role through the 2000 presidential election.

Between 2001 and his appointment as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, he served as United States Ambassador to the Holy See (the Vatican).

Nicholson’s department is currently under scrutiny as a result of revelations pertaining to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center neglect scandal.

Hmmmm. Kinda reminiscent of that famous College Republican president of the 1980s, the guy who revitalized the group with his innovative dirty tricks methodologies. You know the guy — Jack Abramoff.

Posted in abuse of power, corruption, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, veterans | Comments Off on Similarities

Why I Call Them “The GOP/Media Complex”, Part 2343295

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 29, 2007


On the May 27th edition of This Week on ABC, Los Angeles Times reporter Ron Brownstein referred to an unnamed recent “detailed” poll on national security from an unnamed new “think tank” that showed that Americans “still trusted Republicans more to keep the country safe on most questions”.

Too bad he didn’t bother to name the poll, so that he could prove that he didn’t just make it up out of thin air and/or the GOP talking points that pretty much every other reporter with a berth at a major paper are regularly sent.

Meanwhile, in the reality-based community, we find a recent Rasmussen Reports tracking survey that shows that Americans actually trusted Democrats more to protect the country — the exact opposite of what Brownstein’s invisible “detailed” poll claimed. (And Rasmussen is a Republican pollster.)

Gee, Ron, most of us gave up our imaginary friends well before we hit puberty. But now, to go along with your unnamed sources that spew nonsense, you have to give us unnamed polls spewing nonsense as well. How convenient.

[UPDATE:  If you want yet another example from the LAT of how the GOP/Media Complex works, Nancy Cleeland, who is leaving the Los Angeles Times, explains how the paper’s conservative-coddling editors and owners have trashed a paper that once aspired to national greatness.]

Posted in Democrats, GOP/Media Complex, media, Media machine, mediawhores, mythmaking, Republicans | 2 Comments »

Cindy Sheehan resigns as spokeswoman for peace movement

Posted by Charles II on May 28, 2007

Sheehan’s statement is here.

This is a tragedy for this entire nation, not just for the peace movement. The lamp of Liberty itself is flickering. Cindy Sheehan is in many ways the archetypal American. In her willingness to sacrifice for her beliefs, she represents the best this country has to offer. For her to give up hope on the political system means that many others are reaching the conclusion that the system has failed.

Her story is a lesson in how Power destroys itself.

  • Power inflicts devastating losses on people, often through war.
  • The weaker of those are consumed by the tragedy. They give in and give up.
  • The stronger fight so hard to stop the losses that they burn out.
  • To hasten the burn-out, Power spreads hate and division.
  • In the end, there are a few corrupt people at the top, many who are apathetic and withdrawn, and many others involved in enforcing orthodoxy or resisting. The society has no energy to create, build, or even defend itself.

Make no mistake. Societies like China are beginning to reach the level of organization and skill that they can replace the United States as hegemon, at least regionally. As the United States declines, they will replace us.

Evil is best understood as an absence of good. The more that our national energy is dissipated on petty ends like suppressing dissent, the less remains to serve higher goals.

Posted in evil | 8 Comments »

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