Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July 22nd, 2007

Islamists retain, strengthen control of Turkey

Posted by Charles II on July 22, 2007

Yet another victory in the Crusades!

Juan Cole has some background where our right-wing readers can listen to Al Jazeera in English present a fatwa from a representative of the Jihadist Brookings Institute and the Al Qaida third-in-command who served former US Ambassador to Turkey.

The rest of our readers will simply hear experts on Turkey discuss the election.  

From Ian Traynor in The Guardian.

“Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, secured a landslide election triumph last night, winning a second five-year term with nearly half of the national vote after being forced by veiled threats of a military overthrow to call an early ballot.

In what was seen as the most crucial Turkish election in at least a generation, Mr Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won 47% of the vote, giving it a majority of about 130 in the 550-seat parliament in Ankara….it was the first time in more than 50 years a Turkish governing party had been returned with a bigger share of the vote. “

It’s a defeat for the ultranationalists and the military. On the other hand, Erdogan has done a lot of talking tough on the Kurdish conflict, so conflict is likely.

In the next episode of anti-capitalist Al Jazeera, we hear Islamic battle cries about how environmentalist claims are exaggerated.

Flooding in the UK (from The Guardian)
(Image from The Guardian)

Posted in Conflict in the Middle East | Comments Off on Islamists retain, strengthen control of Turkey

In yet another sign of how well the war in Iraq is going…

Posted by Charles II on July 22, 2007

From Ed Pilkington in the G[u]ardian:

The United States ambassador in Iraq, Ryan Cocker, has called for all Iraqis working for the US government to be granted refugee status in recognition of the dangers they face.

Mr C[r]ocker warned in a cable obtained by the Washington Post that unless Iraqi employees were given hope of finding safe haven in America they would quit, weakening the ability of the Bush administration to make an impact in Iraq.

Posted in Iraq war | Comments Off on In yet another sign of how well the war in Iraq is going…

And This Surprises Anyone How?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 22, 2007


TPM got hold of video of Rudy Giuliani in 1992, doing some prep work for his upcoming mayoral campaign, gleefully fanning the inner bigotries of a group of hundreds of white New York City cops at a police union rally in a move that even a Giuliani aide admitted was meant to exploit their racist dislike of then-mayor David Dinkins (who was referred to by some of those cops as “the washroom attendant”).

As a piece in today’s NYT explains:

“If you’re acculturated to like cops, you don’t necessarily see 10,000 white guys who don’t vote in the city, don’t write political checks and love you for the wrong reason,” an aide said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is working with the Giuliani presidential campaign.

Mr. Dinkins has not forgotten that sea of angry cops. “Rudy was out there inciting white cops to riot,” Mr. Dinkins said in a recent interview.

A year after Giuliani spoke to the gathering of white police officers, he asked aides for a “vulnerability study” to identify possible problems for his planned mayoral campaign. After some work, the aides put together a document that, among other things, mentioned Giuliani’s “shrieking performance” at the police union rally and his failure to denounce those who levied racist attacks on Dinkins.

As expected, the right-wing bloggers are crying “foul” about bringing up what they see as old news. But how can they explain why Rudy’s presidential campaign is the only one that not only has no African-Americans, but also no Hispanics, no Asians, and no Native Americans?

Posted in 2008, racism, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, Rudy Giuliani | 1 Comment »

John Dean On The Authoritarian Mindset

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 22, 2007

 In other words, an explanation of the anti-freedom, anti-American, anti-democratic, anti-truth, and pro-dictatorship preferences of the Republican base* — by someone who was once a very powerful and prominent Republican.

The book came out last year (here’s Glenn Greenwald’s excellent review), but it’s still very pertinent for today.  As Greenwald states:

Dean contends, and amply documents, that the “conservative” movement has become, at its core, an authoritarian movement composed of those with a psychological and emotional need to follow a strong authority figure which provides them a sense of moral clarity and a feeling of individual power, the absence of which creates fear and insecurity in the individuals who crave it. By definition, its followers’ devotion to authority and the movement’s own power is supreme, thereby overriding the consciences of its individual members and removing any intellectual and moral limits on what will be justified in defense of their movement.


As Iraq collapses into all-out civil war and new, tragic levels of violence, Bush supporters continue to insist that things are going well there and our invasion was a success. As the Middle East spirals into all-out regional war, Bush supporters insist that this repulsive violence is actually good for the region — wars are encouraging “birth pangs” on the road to progress, as the Secretary of State put it yesterday — and they are now actively involving the U.S. in this escalated conflict, even while Iraq rapidly falls apart.

And there is seemingly no limit — literally — on the willingness, even eagerness, of Bush supporters to defend and justify even the most morally repugnant abuses — from constantly expanding spying on American citizens, to a President who claims and aggressively exercises the “right” to break the law, to torturing suspects, imprisoning journalists, and turning the United States into the most feared and hated country on the planet.


Ultimately, as Dean convincingly demonstrates, the characteristic which defines the Bush movement, the glue which binds it together and enables and fuels all of the abuses, is the vicious, limitless methods used to attack and demonize the “Enemy,” which encompasses anyone — foreign or domestic — threatening to their movement. What defines and motivates this movement are not any political ideas or strategic objectives, but instead, it is the bloodthirsty, ritualistic attacks on the Enemy de jour — the Terrorist, the Communist, the Illegal Immigrant, the Secularist, and most of all, the “Liberal.”

*This is for the new softcover edition due out in September; copies of the hardcover edition can be ordered here.

Posted in Busheviks, eedjits, evil, rightwing moral cripples | 1 Comment »

FBI unit lawlessly got phone records

Posted by Charles II on July 22, 2007


The Justice Department’s Inspector General and the FBI are investigating an office that sent fake, emergency letters to telecoms requesting phone records, according to the Inspector General’s office. That office lacked the authority to request the records and did not apply for the subpoenas promised in the letters. …


The Communications Analysis Unit, a part of the FBI’s counter- terrorism branch that is tasked with helping agents make sense of electronic communications records, sent more than 700 so-called “exigent letters” to telecoms requesting phone records of more than 3000 phone numbers.

    According to the current head of the unit, the office has no authority (.pdf) to send the letters themselves, included false promises in the letters that subpoenas had already been applied for, and did not follow-up to make sure that proper legal documents were later sent. …

Though warned in 2001 to use the power sparingly, FBI agents used the power to collect information on 143,074 persons from 2003 to 2005.

About half of those were Americans.

Posted in abuse of power, BushCo malfeasance | 3 Comments »

Good Morning!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 22, 2007

Blackberry Blossoms

Have some blackberry blossoms — which by now are well on their way to becoming blackberries.

Another good thing this week:  Democrats in Congress gave us a raise in the minimum wage, and it takes effect now.

Posted in Good Things | Comments Off on Good Morning!

%d bloggers like this: