Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for September 18th, 2007

Give ‘Em Hell, Harry

Posted by MEC on September 18, 2007

Majority Leader Harry Reid is taking a hard line on Iraq.

After weeks of suggesting Democrats would temper their approach to Iraq legislation in a bid to attract more Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared abruptly Tuesday that he had no plans to do so.

The Democratic leader said he will call for a vote this month on several anti-war proposals, including one by Sen. Carl Levin that would insist President Bush end U.S. combat next summer. The proposals would be mandatory and not leave Bush wiggle room, said Reid, D-Nev.

“There (are) no goals. It’s all definite timelines,” he told reporters of the planned legislation.


When asked why Democrats won’t soften the deadline, the majority leader said he doesn’t have confidence Republicans are willing to challenge Bush on the war.

I’m guessing that Sen. Reid tried to get Republicans to agree to support “tempered” legislation, and got no commitments. So he decided to make it clear which side was willing to do what the majority of American people want, and which side wants to help the Command in Thief lead us over the cliff.

I predict that The Usual Suspects will portray the Democrats as “flip-flopping” or “divided” because this plan is different from the earlier effort to find a compromise position the Republicans would support. Or they’ll say the Democrats are just grandstanding, because any bill setting a timeline for withdrawal won’t pass.

But it’s the Republicans who want to look like they’re for withdrawal without, you know, actually doing anything about it.

Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, suggested Tuesday that Congress pass legislation that would restrict the mission of U.S. troops but allow Bush to determine the timeframe for doing so.

That legislation would be meaningless posturing. Allowing Bush to determine the timeframe means allowing him to set a deadline of “never”.

So give ’em hell, Harry. Make the Republicans go on record as opposing the will of the American people.

Posted in Congress, Harry Reid, Iraq war | 4 Comments »

The Senator, The Guy, And The Cops With Tasers

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 18, 2007

Now that everyone’s had their Ten Minutes Hate or however long they’ve been hating on John Kerry for failing to be a mindreader last night and stopping the cops from using a taser on a guy who crashed his Q&A session, I thought I’d share this with you.

“I was at the Kerry speech today, sitting 2 rows away from all the action. I’ll let you know how it really went down.

The forum was going to be over at 2 pm, and Kerry spoke for so long that the Q and A portion had to be shortened. He only got through about 7 of the 50 people who were waiting to ask questions. While the final question was being read, some douchebag ran down the aisle, grabbed the mic from the other side of the room, interrupted the kid who was talking, and started yelling at Kerry, demanding that his questions be heard. He started ranting about how Kerry talks in circles or something, and everyone was getting annoyed. The cops are all over him in no time and try to escort him out, but he starts yelling and resisting. Kerry insists that they let him stay and even agrees to answer his question.

After the interrupted guy’s question was answered, Kerry keeps his promise and lets the angry guy talk. This is the point where people started taking their cameras and phones out. All the videos floating around youtube start around here. You can see in the videos that his questioning gets kind of inappropriate, so somebody cut his mic. Instead of shutting up, he starts yelling and making an even bigger scene. He struggled all the way up the aisle, and started violently trying to free himself. They threatened to taze him and he wouldnt stop fighting, so he got tazed. They only had to arrest him because he was causing a disruption and wouldn’t leave peacefully. He wasn’t being silenced for asking tough questions, trust me.

It’s a shame that they had to taze the guy, but he had a chance to calm down and didn’t take it. He probably didn’t pose a physical threat to anybody in the room, but someone can’t just hijack the floor of a forum like that and expect not to get kicked out. This wasn’t some poor guy who was brutalized for trying to ask some tough questions. He’s just an obnoxious guy who had a fit when there wasn’t time for his questions and refused to be calm even when he was given the chance to speak. He was looking for trouble, and everyone applauded when he was forced to leave.

Nothing pisses me off more than hearing stories about power tripping cops abusing their power, unnecessarily tazing or arresting people, etc. It’s a huge problem and I’m glad it’s being discussed. Just don’t mistake this for one of those cases”

UPDATE: Will Bunch has more on Andrew Meyer, the guy in question.  Turns out he’s known for this sort of thing.

UPDATE #2:  So does the Naples News:

GAINESVILLE — Hordes of Internet and TV viewers have seen police Tasering a college student who was either passionately questioning Sen. John Kerry or staging his most popular video stunt yet.

At a University of Florida forum Monday, Andrew Meyer loudly peppered Kerry with questions about impeaching President Bush, why he didn’t challenge the 2004 election results and whether he and Bush were members of the secret society Skull and Bones at Yale University.

Police tried to escort him out after he went over his time, and shocked the student after he resisted and yelled, “Don’t Tase me, bro!”

“What did I do?” he screamed as he was led from the room.

An officer, however, alleged in a police report that Meyer’s “demeanor completely changed once the cameras were not in sight” and that he was “laughing” and “lighthearted” on the way to jail.

Posted in Democrat-bashing, John Kerry | 13 Comments »

The Gaslight’s Not Working Any More, Petraeus Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 18, 2007

Glenn Greenwald says it so I don’t have to:

Here is a review of what we learned last week from the right-wing noise machine and their enabling media puppets: Americans trust Gen. Petraeus and do not want his credibility questioned. The week was a big win for President Bush and his Iraq policy. The MoveOn newspaper ad, like 9/11, was Going to Change Everything — it was a devastating event for Democrats, a transformative moment that would embolden Republicans and revitalize support for the war.

A new CBS poll, comparing the views of Americans Before Petraues (B.P.) and After Petraeus (A.P.), demonstrates that all of that was completely wrong:

Most Americans continue to want troops to start coming home from Iraq, and most say the plan President Bush announced last week for troop reductions doesn’t go far enough, according to a CBS News poll released Monday. . . . Sixty-eight percent of Americans say that U.S. troop levels in Iraq should either be reduced or that all troops should be removed – similar numbers to those before Mr. Bush’s speech.

In fact, it is even worse than that, since the percentage of Americans who believe we should either maintain or increase our current troops levels in Iraq was higher B.P. (30%) than it is A.P. (27%). Conversely, the percentage of Americans who want a troop reduction or complete withdrawal increased after the Petraeus Week (from 65% to 68%).

Posted in beat the press, Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, General Petraeus, GOP/Media Complex, half-vast rightwing conspiracy, hypocrites, Iraq war, mythmaking | 1 Comment »

Economic progress in Latin America

Posted by Charles II on September 18, 2007

From Gary Duffy, the BBC:

The Economist magazine recently identified what it described as a new lower middle class “emerging almost overnight” in Brazil and Latin America – millions of people who are “the main beneficiaries of the region’s hard-won economic stability”. …

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in international, world news | 4 Comments »

Peace at a heavy price in Anbar

Posted by Charles II on September 18, 2007

Via Greg Palast, a different view of the assassinated sheikh in Anbar here. Palast says,

Here’s what you need to know that NPR won’t tell you.

1. Sheik Abu Risha wasn’t a sheik.
2. He wasn’t killed by Al Qaeda.
3. The new alliance with former insurgents in Anbar is as fake as the sheik – and a murderous deceit.

This miraculous military change, where the enemy just evaporates, has one explanation: the sheiks ARE al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. …[T]here’s something deeply, horribly wrong with dealing with these killers. They still kill. With new US protection, weapons and cash, they have turned on the Shia of Anbar. Fifteen thousand Shia families from a single district were forced at gunpoint to leave Anbar. Those moving too slowly were shot. Kids and moms too.

The film is worth watching.

Update: Stormcrow suggests reading the analysis at Small Wars Journal, which provides much more detail to Palast’s gross oversimplification. Here’s a skim (but also watch the film, which shows how American money is used):
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Iraq war | 2 Comments »

The Perils Of Princess Rachel

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 18, 2007

Poor widdle bay-bee:

The federal Office of Special Counsel is investigating allegations that Rachel Paulose, U.S. attorney for Minnesota, mishandled classified information, decided to fire the subordinate who called it to her attention, retaliated against others in the office who crossed her, and made racist remarks about one employee.

Paulose did not return phone calls seeking her comment. Black Ink will publish any response that she makes.

The investigation has been under way since June. The Office of Special Counsel, which handles complaints about retaliation against whistleblowers and prohibited personnel practices by political appointees such as Paulose (that’s her at right), appears to be taking the allegations seriously. Investigators from two of its regional offices have been to Minnesota to interview witnesses and may be back for more. I could not find out when the OSC, an independent executive branch agency that is not part of the Justice Department, might complete the investigation.

The allegations also undermine the claim, which was put out for public consumption in April, that four top supervisory officials in the office had voluntarily stepped down to lower positions because of differences with Paulose over management style. The highest ranking of those four, former First Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marti, resigned after learning that Paulose was about to dump him. Marti, who remains in the office as an assistant U.S. attorney, also declined to discuss the matter.

While the allegations are unproven, the ongoing investigation reaffirms that a dysfunctional climate in the top federal law enforcement agency in Minnesota continues.

Somewhere, Tom Heffelfinger is laughing his ass off. Or shaking his head sadly. Or both.

Posted in abuse of power, Department of Injustice, DoJ, eedjits, Rachel Paulose, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Thomas Heffelfinger, US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | Comments Off on The Perils Of Princess Rachel

More Like This, Please

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 18, 2007

This was above the fold on the front page of the NYT today:

Democrats Use Confirmation to Press Bush

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 — Two Senate Democrats warned Monday that the Judiciary Committee would delay confirmation of President Bush‘s choice for attorney general unless the White House turned over documents that the panel was seeking for several investigations.

Mr. Bush announced the selection of Michael B. Mukasey, a retired federal judge from New York who has presided over several high-profile terrorism trials, during a morning Rose Garden ceremony. He urged the Senate to confirm Mr. Mukasey promptly as the nation’s 81st attorney general, succeeding Alberto R. Gonzales, who resigned last month under withering attacks from Democrats on Capitol Hill.


But two Democrats who will have a powerful say over whether Mr. Mukasey gets confirmed — Senators Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Charles E. Schumer of New York — vowed on Monday to use the nomination to extract information from a reluctant White House.

“All I want is the material we need to ask some questions about the former attorney general’s conduct, on torture and warrantless wiretapping, so we can legitimately ask, ‘Here’s what was done in the past, what will you do?”‘ Mr. Leahy, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said.

Of course, the Times piece sticks to the old rule of “when a Dem accuses a Rep of wrongdoing, it’s always ‘partisan’ even if there’s ample evidence to back up the Dem’s claim”. But I’m glad the Democrats are ignoring the GOP/Media Complex and fighting back anyway.

Posted in Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Constitution, Constitutional crisis, Democrats, Democrats with spines, Patrick Leahy | Comments Off on More Like This, Please

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