Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for September 10th, 2007

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 10, 2007

Pawlenty’s apparently decided — probably after getting his ears burned off by the good people of flooded-out southeastern Minnesota — to hold a special session after all.  Though only after laying on so many preconditions that it’s doubtful it will be of any real use.

Keeping the fingers crossed that some good comes of it.

Posted in 'starving the beast', infrastructure, Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty | 1 Comment »

Larry Wants a Do-Over

Posted by MEC on September 10, 2007

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Larry Craig wants to withdraw his guilty plea on the grounds that when he agreed to plead guilty, he was in a panic over the prospect of as his attorneys put it, “the consequences of public embarrassment”.

Let me run that by you again. Larry Craig let himself be the victim of a gross injustice because he couldn’t deal with being embarrassed.

Isn’t that just what the people of Idaho need in a senator? Somebody who does the wrong thing because he can’t handle the pressure?

Poor Larry, you’re obviously too fragile for public life. Take my advice, or rather, President Truman’s advice:

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Posted in Larry Craig, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | 1 Comment »

Fearmongering Epidemic

Posted by MEC on September 10, 2007

There’s something very odd about this report on the recent security debacle involving a tuberculosis patient.

A congressional investigation into officials’ inability to stop a tuberculosis patient from leaving the country found significant security gaps, heightening concern about vulnerability to potential cases of pandemic flu or smallpox.

Excuse me, smallpox? Smallpox? There hasn’t been a recorded case of smallpox in the United States since 1949, nor a case anywhere in the world since 1977. The disease was declared wiped out and gone for good years ago. So why is the Associated Press suddenly raising the specter of a smallpox epidemic?

Maybe because Acambis, a “leading biotechnology company” with offices in the U.K. and U.S., just got FDA approval for a new smallpox vaccine?

Approval by the Food and Drug Administration is necessary for the company to win another contract for the U.S. stockpile.

And why is the U.S. stockpiling vaccine for smallpox?

Smallpox was eradicated in 1979 but many experts fear that samples of the virus, which kills at least 30 percent of its victims, were developed into biological weapons in countries such as Iraq and of the former Soviet Union.

Does anybody else think “many experts fear”, in this context, sounds just like Fox Noise’s “some people say”?

It makes me wonder what connections the Board members and senior managers at Acambis have with the Bush Administration.

Posted in fearmongering | 4 Comments »

Krugman Speaks.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 10, 2007

You listen:

Four years ago the Bush administration, exploiting the political bounce it got from the illusion of success in Iraq, pushed a cut in capital-gains and dividend taxes through Congress. It was an extremely elitist tax cut even by Bush-era standards: the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says that more than half of the tax breaks went to Americans with incomes of more than $1 million a year. Needless to say, administration economists produced various misleading statistics designed to convey the opposite impression, that the tax cut mainly went to ordinary, middle-class Americans. But they also insisted that the benefits of the tax cut would trickle down — that lower tax rates on the rich would do great things for the economy, helping everyone.

Well, Friday’s dismal jobs report showed that … working Americans have a right to ask, “Where’s my trickle?” … What’s really remarkable … is that four years of economic growth have produced essentially no gains for ordinary American workers.
Wages, adjusted for inflation, have stagnated…, benefits have deteriorated…, [a]nd one of the few seeming bright spots of the Bush-era economy, rising homeownership, is now revealed as the result of a bubble inflated in part by financial flim-flam…

Now you know why 66 percent of Americans rate economic conditions in this country as only fair or poor, and why Americans disapprove of President Bush’s handling of the economy almost as strongly as they disapprove of the job he is doing in general.

Yet the overall economy has grown at a reasonable pace over the past four years. Where did the economic growth go? The answer is that it went to the same economic elite that received the lion’s share of those tax cuts. …
The absence of any gains for workers in the years since the 2003 tax cut is a pretty convincing refutation of trickle-down theory. So is the fact that the economy had a much more convincing boom after Bill Clinton raised taxes on top brackets. It turns out that when you cut taxes on the rich, the rich pay less taxes; when you raise taxes on the rich, they pay more taxes — end of story. …

Posted in 'starving the beast' | Comments Off on Krugman Speaks.

Manly!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 10, 2007

Exciting news courtesy of The Wittenburg Door:

Dear faithful supporters,

I can hardly contain my excitement as I write this letter to you. God has opened up a dynamic new ministry opportunity for me.

As many of you know, I left the pastorate at New Life Church in Colorado Springs last year in order to pursue my lifelong dream of a Master’s degree in Counseling. By nature, I’m not one to remain idle, and it’s been on my heart to launch a new ministry in the meantime, while I work on my degree.

In order for this new ministry to be successful, I knew that I needed to partner with other leaders who shared the same vision. I needed to work with strong men who were secure in their identity and calling.

Until now, I have waited for all the pieces to come together.

When I partnered with Families with a Mission, and Paul G. Huberty, to handle finances, I knew we were making progress. Paul is a man who has remained in ministry, and didn’t let the label “sex offender” stop him. I admire that kind of tenacity. We can’t let labels force us onto the sidelines when there is so much work to be done.

Then, with the suddenness of a lightning flash, I found out that Idaho Senator Larry Craig was leaving his post from the United States Senate, and would be freed up for ministry work immediately.

This news was truly a godsend!

Larry has long shared values similar to mine, opposing gay rights and gay marriage. He is not, and never has been gay, and I have learned that I am completely heterosexual.

We have both been victimized by rumor, innuendo and smear campaigns. This is all just a sign that the devil is worried. He knows that we are a major threat against the kingdom of darkness, and he will stop at nothing to try and bring us down.

Well, I’ve got news for Satan.

We’re not backing down!

That’s why today I am proud to announce the launch of Manly Man Ministries!

Larry and I are going to be traveling the country holding seminars on how to be a manly man. It’s so important that the young boys in our churches have a good example of how a Christian man is a manly man. A rough-and-tumble role role-model. They need someone they can look up to and respect. A Marlborough Man, minus the cigarettes.

We are raising wimps and sissies in our churches, and then wonder why the world is going to Hell in a hand basket.

That’s why Larry and I will be traveling the U.S. on Harleys, carrying God’s message of strong, heterosexual manliness. We will be available to counsel with, preach to, and pray for struggling men everywhere.

I am convinced that God has hand-picked us for this role because there is no-one else who can do it!

Please contact our ministry headquarters in Scottsdale Arizona today for advance bookings, and please generously donate to us through Families with a Mission.

God bless the men of this country,

Ted

Manly
Man
Ministries

Posted in family values, rightwing moral cripples | 1 Comment »

Rushford Is Pawlenty’s Katrina

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 10, 2007

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(Photo uploaded to Webshots.com by msbuzz102.)

That is: Rushford, Minnesota, has been all but wiped off the face of the map by the August flooding, and Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty is being about as effective — or ineffective — as Bush was in dealing with Katrina.

That’s not me saying it.

That’s the people of southeastern Minnesota saying it (h/t to Bluestem Prairie).

From a guest editorial in the Winona Daily News by Myron Schober, editor of the Tri-County Record, whose Rushford offices were destroyed by the flooding and which is now being run out of a room in a church Sunday School:

Gov. Tim Pawlenty did not hear 45 minutes of organized statements made to the committee. He had visited Rushford, told workers in a food shelter, “We need to see commitment and strength and hope,” and left before the legislative meeting began.

“The only way we can help is a special session,” said Rep. Gene Pelowski of Winona. “We have to have it. Can you set a definitive date?” he asked the governor.

“The hold-up isn’t me — I’m in agreement,” said Pawlenty. [PW notes: That’s a lie, by the way — Pawlenty and his fellow Republicans and buddies in the (Rich) Taxpayers’ League have done their damndest to keep a special session from happening.]

They sparred and the governor left.

Tom Witt, who lost $650,000 in his pharmacies, later told the committee,“We don’t need the kind of crap we saw this morning.”

Rushford is in crisis.

“Without help, this could be another Katrina, people will walk away,” said Chuck Ness, a new employee in the area.

Thousands of volunteers and millions of dollars of goods and services have helped cleanup, but funding is needed for recovery.

“We need money,” said a county commissioner.

Rep. Ken Tschumper said when the tornado hit St. Peter the governor and Legislature had $20 million in place in 10 days.

Decisions are being made now and quickly whether homeowners and businesses should fix up, rebuild or walk away. Rushford-Peterson Schools has already lost 14 students, and exceptional effort is made to bus 27 students from more distant relocations.

Early loss figures in Rushford — widely circulated in the media — were highly inaccurate when FEMA found enough damage to make the area eligible for a disaster declaration.

Improved figures corroborated from several sources now indicate $35 million losses in residences, $27 million in businesses, and $15 million in public costs for a current total of $77 million. A preliminary judgment ranks it a 200- to 500-year flood that damaged 490 of 766 homes and businesses with 60 homes likely lost; 58 of 70 businesses impacted and 463 of 600 jobs affected. No business receives any form of FEMA grant.


Rushford, Stockton, St. Charles and Minnesota City were probably the hardest-hit in terms of size and percentage of town destroyed. Bigger cities, like Winona and Rochester, also saw considerable damage. Seven people died in Minnesota alone, and the flooding also wreaked devastation in neighboring Wisconsin.

The total amount of destruction isn’t as devastating as that suffered by New Orleans, mainly because the towns in the path of the hurricane rains simply weren’t as big. But the refusal on Pawlenty’s part to do anything meaningful, for fear of offending his Grover-Norquist-worshiping, cut-taxes-and-drown-government-in-the-bathub allies, is very similar to Bush’s handling — or non-handling — of New Orleans.

Posted in 'starving the beast', Minnesota, New Orleans | 2 Comments »

 
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