Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for May 15th, 2007

Bush And Pawlenty: The Veto Twins

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 15, 2007

(Image courtesy of Tild at Tildology.com)

 

No matter how much he tries to pretend he’s Not Like Bush, Minnesota’s own Smilin’ Tim Pawlenty just can’t stop showing how much he emulates Mister Twenty-Eight Percent:

Let’s wipe the smirks off both their faces, shall we?

Posted in Bush, Minnesota, Republicans, Tim Pawlenty, wrong way to go about it | Comments Off on Bush And Pawlenty: The Veto Twins

Alberto Gonzales’s Law School Classmates Aren’t Too Happy With Him Right Now

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 15, 2007

…and they took out this ad to show it.

Posted in abuse of power, Alberto Gonzales | 2 Comments »

Jerry Falwell’s Greatest Zits

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 15, 2007

The Carpetbagger Report has a list of some Falwellian antics that will not be mentioned in the GOP/Media Complex’s coverage of his passing today:

March 1980: Falwell tells an Anchorage rally about a conversation with President Carter at the White House. Commenting on a January breakfast meeting, Falwell claimed to have asked Carter why he had “practicing homosexuals” on the senior staff at the White House. According to Falwell, Carter replied, “Well, I am president of all the American people, and I believe I should represent everyone.” When others who attended the White House event insisted that the exchange never happened, Falwell responded that his account “was not intended to be a verbatim report,” but rather an “honest portrayal” of Carter’s position.

August 1980: After Southern Baptist Convention President Bailey Smith tells a Dallas Religious Right gathering that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew,” Falwell gives a similar view. “I do not believe,” he told reporters, “that God answers the prayer of any unredeemed Gentile or Jew.” After a meeting with an American Jewish Committee rabbi, he changed course, telling an interviewer on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “God hears the prayers of all persons…. God hears everything.”

July 1984: Falwell is forced to pay gay activist Jerry Sloan $5,000 after losing a court battle. During a TV debate in Sacramento, Falwell denied calling the gay-oriented Metropolitan Community Churches “brute beasts” and “a vile and Satanic system” that will “one day be utterly annihilated and there will be a celebration in heaven.” When Sloan insisted he had a tape, Falwell promised $5,000 if he could produce it. Sloan did so, Falwell refused to pay and Sloan successfully sued. Falwell appealed, with his attorney charging that the Jewish judge in the case was prejudiced. He lost again and was forced to pay an additional $2,875 in sanctions and court fees.

October 1987: The Federal Election Commission fines Falwell for transferring $6.7 million in funds intended for his ministry to political committees.

February 1988: The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a $200,000 jury award to Falwell for “emotional distress” he suffered because of a Hustler magazine parody. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, usually a Falwell favorite, wrote the unanimous opinion in Hustler v. Falwell, ruling that the First Amendment protects free speech.

February 1993: The Internal Revenue Service determines that funds from Falwell’s Old Time Gospel Hour program were illegally funneled to a political action committee. The IRS forced Falwell to pay $50,000 and retroactively revoked the Old Time Gospel Hour’s tax-exempt status for 1986-87.

March 1993: Despite his promise to Jewish groups to stop referring to America as a “Christian nation,” Falwell gives a sermon saying, “We must never allow our children to forget that this is a Christian nation. We must take back what is rightfully ours.”

1994-1995: Falwell is criticized for using his “Old Time Gospel Hour” to hawk a scurrilous video called “The Clinton Chronicles” that makes a number of unsubstantiated charges against President Bill Clinton — among them that he is a drug addict and that he arranged the murders of political enemies in Arkansas. Despite claims he had no ties to the project, evidence surfaced that Falwell helped bankroll the venture with $200,000 paid to a group called Citizens for Honest Government (CHG). CHG’s Pat Matrisciana later admitted that Falwell and he staged an infomercial interview promoting the video in which a silhouetted reporter said his life was in danger for investigating Clinton. (Matrisciana himself posed as the reporter.) “That was Jerry’s idea to do that,” Matrisciana recalled. “He thought that would be dramatic.”

November 1997: Falwell accepts $3.5 million from a front group representing controversial Korean evangelist Sun Myung Moon to ease Liberty University’s financial woes.

April 1998: Confronted on national television with a controversial quote from America Can Be Saved!, a published collection of his sermons, Falwell denies having written the book or had anything to do with it. In the 1979 work, Falwell wrote, “I hope to live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!” Despite Falwell’s denial, Sword of the Lord Publishing, which produced the book, confirms that Falwell wrote it.

January 1999: Falwell tells a pastors’ conference in Kingsport, Tenn., that the Antichrist prophesied in the Bible is alive today and “of course he’ll be Jewish.”

February 1999: Falwell becomes the object of nationwide ridicule after his National Liberty Journal newspaper issues a “parents alert” warning that Tinky Winky, a character on the popular PBS children’s show “Teletubbies,” might be gay.

September 2001: Falwell blames Americans for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the Pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’”

November 2005: Falwell spearheads campaign to resist “war on Christmas.”

February 2007: Falwell describes global warming as a conspiracy orchestrated by Satan, liberals, and The Weather Channel.

Oh, and back in 1958, in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education, Falwell had this to say: “If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made…. The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.” Of course, Falwell, like so many other diehard segregationists, later pretended to favor racial equality, but anyone who listens to their code-words and watches their actions knows better. That’s why I call them, as a group, the religio-racist right.

And these are the people that Mitt Romney and John McCain are courting.

Posted in Fundies, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | 4 Comments »

Good News for Debtors

Posted by MEC on May 15, 2007

Democrats are practicing what they preached in hearings last March:

Two U.S. Senate Democrats introduced a bill on Tuesday that would limit credit card fees and interest rate hikes that can bury consumers in debt.
 

[…]
 

The bill, sponsored by Levin and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, calls for an end to abusive practices that can result in a downward spiral of mounting debt for some card holders. It would prohibit interest rate hikes on a credit card account unless the card holder agrees to them and would limit penalty interest rate hikes to no more than a 7 percent increase.
 

The legislation would also ban a credit card issuer from repeatedly charging over-limit fees for a single instance of a card holder exceeding a credit card limit, and prohibit interest charges on transaction fees such as late fees and over-the-limit fees, Levin said.
 

Carl Levin gets right to the point:

“I’m afraid these practices have become too entrenched and too profitable to the credit card companies for the companies to change them on their own,” Carl Levin of Michigan said in a statement. “Congress needs to enact pro-consumer legislation to put an end to these unfair practices.”
 

[…]
 

“Credit card companies are so profitable that they can afford to give up unfair practices,” Levin said.

Expect Republicans to block the bill. I watched the hearings. The Thugs were all about how the credit card crisis is the fault of irresponsible debtors, ignoring the testimony about outrageous abuses by creditors.

One of the Democrats, however, made the point that in no other industry, in no other situation can one party to a contract unilaterally change the contract, the way credit card companies can just up and change the interest rates, penalties, due dates, and other clauses in the contract the consumer agrees to when applying for the card. It’s time creditors were required to play by the rules.

Posted in credit cards, Democrats with spines, when government is a good thing | 4 Comments »

Jerry Falwell Is Dead

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 15, 2007

He apparently collapsed and died this morning.

My mother always told me, “If you can’t say anything nice about a dead person, don’t say at at all.”

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He’ll make a good soil amendment. Assuming he’s not been embalmed.

I’ll see if I can think of anything else.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Fundies | 5 Comments »

And Can You Take Out The IMF While You’re At It?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 15, 2007

Awwww. Poor widdle sacrificial lambikin Paul Wolfowitz is threatening to take a few World Bank executives down with him, and his neocon/PNAC friends over at The New Republic(an) are trying hard to save him.

Frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing Wolfowitz take down the World Bank. As Naomi Klein explains, it’s not exactly a force for anything other than upholding capitalism no matter how much it hurts the masses:

[…]

…The truth is that the bank’s credibility was fatally compromised when it forced school fees on students in Ghana in exchange for a loan; when it demanded that Tanzania privatize its water system; when it made telecom privatization a condition of aid for Hurricane Mitch; when it demanded labor “flexibility” in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami in Sri Lanka; when it pushed for eliminating food subsidies in post-invasion Iraq. Ecuadoreans care little about Wolfowitz’s girlfriend; more pressing is that in 2005, the Bank withheld a promised $100 million after the country dared to spend a portion of its oil revenues on health and education. Some antipoverty organization.

…Almost everywhere that mass state pillage has taken place over the past four decades, the Bank and the IMF have been first on the scene of the crime. And no, they have not been looking the other way as the locals lined their pockets; they have been writing the ground rules for the theft and yelling, “Faster, please!”–a process known as rapid-fire shock therapy.

Russia under the leadership of the recently departed Boris Yeltsin was a case in point. …
This bulldozer of a man would not let anything or anyone stand in the way of the Washington-authored program, including Russia’s elected politicians. After he ordered army tanks to open fire on demonstrators in October 1993, killing hundreds and leaving the Parliament blackened by flames, the stage was set for the fire-sale privatizations of Russia’s most precious state assets to the so-called oligarchs. Of course, the Bank was there. Of the democracy-free lawmaking frenzy that followed Yeltsin’s coup, Charles Blitzer, the World Bank’s chief economist on Russia, told the Wall Street Journal, “I’ve never had so much fun in my life.”

When Yeltsin left office, his family had become inexplicably wealthy, while several of his deputies were enmeshed in bribery scandals. These incidents were reported on in the West, as they always are, as unfortunate local embellishments on an otherwise ethical economic modernization project. In fact, corruption was embedded in the very idea of shock therapy. The whirlwind speed of change was crucial to overcoming the widespread rejection of the reforms, but it also meant that by definition there could be no oversight. Moreover, the payoffs for local officials were an indispensable incentive for Russia’s apparatchiks to create the wide-open market Washington was demanding. The bottom line is that there is good reason that corruption has never been a high priority for the Bank and the IMF: Its officials understand that when enlisting politicians to advance an economic agenda guaranteed to win them furious enemies at home, there generally has to be a little in it for those politicians in bank accounts abroad.

[…]

The article’s well worth reading in its entirety. Amazing.

Posted in abuse of power, capitalism as cancer, corruption, government malfeasance, gravy train, greed, PNAC Platoon, privatization, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | 1 Comment »

Tuesday News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 15, 2007

cat-herding.jpg

Yup, it’s the catpokes again, ropin’ them news kitties.

— Mitch McConnell (who looks like my grandma) is making funny noises about how maybe things in Eye-Rack aren’t going all that well (but of course he’s still backing The Current Occupant 100%).

Rudy Giuliani was given $100 million over the last five years because of the fawning kneepaddish post-9/11 coverage (like this WaPo article) given him by his buddies in the GOP/Media Complex “the worldwide reputation Giuliani had earned for his composure and leadership in the days after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.” It certainly helps Rudy that stories unfavorable to him — such as how he snubbed the Iowa farmer for being poor, or how New York’s firefighters are angry with him for his 9/11 (in)actions, are given far less coverage than ginned-up negative non-stories about haircuts and his Democratic rivals for the presidency.

— Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine has been frantically trying to put a bunch of daylight between herself and Mister Twenty-Eight Percent Bush and his Iraq war in order to survive a tough re-election bid next year. Too bad for her that Joe Lieberman, the guy she picked to do a “bi-partisan” fundraiser for her, is Bush’s best friend in the Senate, especially when it comes to Iraq- as he’s shown over and over and over and over again, saying things that even most Republicans would be too ashamed to utter about how totally faboo things are going in a nasty war that’s by now killed nearly a million Iraqis out of a pre-war population of 26 million (sadly, the 655,000 figure is already nearly a year out of date and well under the current death toll).  By the way:  Her Democratic opponent, the man Lieberman wants to see defeated, is Tom Allen.  Check him out and throw him a few shekels if you wish.

Net Neutrality is heating up again. All hands on deck!

— Divorce rates are dropping – because fewer people are getting married in the first place. (But that last bit isn’t being trumpeted much by the religious right.)

Posted in 2008, abuse of power, Bush, GOP/Media Complex, Iraq war, madness of King George, Mitch McConnell (who looks like my grandma), Rudy Giuliani | 5 Comments »

 
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