Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for December 27th, 2007

Lady Hee Haw

Posted by Charles II on December 27, 2007

Ben Fenton and Jimmy Burns, FT:

Margaret Thatcher’s role on the UK domestic stage grew into a starring role in 1977, but in Texas hers was more of a bit-part in a Whitehall farce after she became stuck in a toilet.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Just for fun | 2 Comments »

Benazir Bhutto Killed

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 27, 2007

She didn’t survive the suicide attack:

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) – Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide attack that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, aides said.

“The surgeons confirmed that she has been martyred,” Bhutto’s lawyer Babar Awan said.

A party security adviser said Bhutto was shot in neck and chest as she got into her vehicle to leave the rally in Rawalpindi near the capital Islamabad. A gunman then blew himself up.

“At 6:16 p.m. she expired,” said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital where she was taken after the attack.

Her supporters at the hospital began chanting “Dog, Musharraf, dog,” referring to Pakistan’s president Pervez Musharraf.

Well, Musharraf got his wish. He might live to regret it.

UPDATE: This happened at the same time as an attack on Musharraf’s other major rival for power, Nawaz al-Sharif (h/t Dakine01):

Also Thursday, a rooftop sniper opened fire on supporters of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif at a different pre-election rally in Rawalpindi, leaving four dead and at least five injured.

Hours before, Bhutto had asked Sharif to join hands with her to prevent poll-rigging in the upcoming election.


Addendum by Charles. In comments, I quoted the NYT as making outrageous statements about Bhutto. In fact, those came from a t/o version of the NYT article. On examining the NYT website, there was not a trace of the such an article. It does appear in the IHT.

Now, the NYT owns the IHT. But in t/o, it is explicitly labeled as NYT, while on the IHT, it is not. Did the article appear on the NYT website and was then scrubbed? Inquiries will be made.

Posted in obituary, Pakistan, Sad things | 6 Comments »

Dean Baker Speaks.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 27, 2007

You listen:

Denmark Suffers From Too Many Jobs

That’s the word from the NYT. According to the article people are fleeing Denmark because of its 63 percent top marginal tax rate. The net rate of departure is supposedly 1000 people per year, approximately 0.002 percent of the population. The article tells us that this net rate actually masks a more rapid rate of departure of high-skilled people, who are being replaced by less-educated workers.

The article presents little evidence that the economy is suffering from this exodus. Denmark currently has a 3.6 percent unemployment rate. Its economy is projected to grow by 3.5 percent in 2007.


In terms of sustainability, Denmark has a budget surplus of more than 2 percent of GDP (equivalent to $280 billion a year in the U.S.) and a debt to GDP ratio of around 26 percent. Its current account surplus is also in excess of 2 percent of GDP.

In short, if Denmark is suffering because a relatively small number of highly educated workers find the tax rate too high, there is not much evidence in the data.

Foolish mortal! Everyone knows that low tax rates, especially on the rich, are the keys to prosperity! Just look at the economic powerhouses of Alabama and Mississippi! Uh, on second thought, don’t look at them.

Posted in 'starving the beast', budget, capitalism as cancer, economy, income inequality, infrastructure, media, Media machine, mediawhores | 1 Comment »

Yet another reason not to threaten unless you mean it, Iran edition

Posted by Charles II on December 27, 2007

The US has been threatening Iran for so long that at last they did something about it. Luke Harding, The Guardian:

Russia is to supply Iran with a new and lethal anti-aircraft system capable of shooting down American or Israeli fighter jets in the event of any strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.Iran yesterday confirmed that Russia had agreed to deliver the S-300 air defence system, a move that is likely to irk the Bush administration and gives further proof of Russia and Iran’s deepening strategic partnership….

“It’s a formidable system. It really gives a new dimension to Iran’s anti-aircraft defences,” said one Russian defence expert, who declined to be named.

“It’s purely a defensive system. But it’s very effective. It’s much better than the US system. It has good radar. It can shoot down low-flying cruise missiles, though with some difficulty.”

The S-300 is capable of shooting down aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missile warheads at ranges of nearly 100 miles, and at altitudes of up to 90,000 feet.

Any bets they’ve already installed the system and are just shipping the key?

Posted in Iran, Russia | 1 Comment »

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