Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for January 14th, 2008

Safety last

Posted by Charles II on January 14, 2008

It happened in the first attack on the World Trade Center.

It happened in the second attack on the World Trade Center.

It happened during Katrina.

It has happened countless times, and will now apparently happen countless times again: first responders such as police and firemen will be unable to talk to one another because their communications equipment is not interoperable.

Corey Boles, Dow Jones:

With the collapse of telecommunications venture Frontline Wireless, analysts are questioning whether a plan for a national wireless broadband network for police and firefighters is still viable.

Frontline, backed by former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt, was to compete against giants AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Wireless in a major FCC auction of airwaves set to begin later this month.

Frontline announced last week it was no longer in business. The company had advocated an unusual partnership between the wireless industry and local police, firefighters and emergency responders.

If successful in bidding for the communications airwaves, Frontline said it planned to piece together other sections of communications spectrum to create an advanced wireless broadband network for use by fire, police and emergency service workers.

The aim was to solve the problems that disasters like Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, so glaringly revealed: the inability of the nation’s various law enforcement and public safety workers to communicate effectively in times of crisis.

I don’t think it’s political. Reed Hundt is Democratic juice, but Frontline also had GHWB Republican Janice Obuchowski in a top slot. Money is tight, and big, rich companies like ATT, Vodafone, and Verizon can use their balance sheets to squeeze out competition.

Maybe the big companies will use the spectrum for the public good. But I’m guessing that if they do, we’ll pay in blood for it.

As if we hadn’t paid enough.

Posted in capitalism as cancer, New Orleans, World Trade Center | 7 Comments »

Oh, I Get It — Drew Emmer Wants To Waste Our Tax Money!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 14, 2008

That, and make such a mockery of the state’s oversight bodies by abusing them with so many frivolous, time-and-money-wasting complaints, such as his weird-ass vendetta against Matt Entenza, that we get rid of them.  (The oversight bodies, not the frivolous complaints.)

Hey, that’s how the GOP got rid of the independent counsel:  They abused it in the 1990s against Bill Clinton, then got the Dems to go along with dumping it just in time for the Corrupt-O-Matic machine known as the Bush Junta to take over.

Posted in 'starving the beast', Minnesota, mythmaking, phony scandals | Comments Off on Oh, I Get It — Drew Emmer Wants To Waste Our Tax Money!

This Is Mildly Amusing

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 14, 2008

Murdoch-paid wingnut falsely claims that George Soros funded Lancet study on Iraq war deaths, implying that this invalidates the study somehow. Tim Lambert and Company rip said wingnut hack several new rectal openings.

As Boris says in the comments section:

What is it about Soros that makes wingnuts go crazy? Whatever it is, I hope they bottle it so I can spray it on my lawn.

UPDATE: Ah, I see that this is part of a full-court press by the wingnuts to try and push the smear.

Posted in Iraq war, media, Media machine, mediawhores, mythmaking, neo-Nazis, rightwing moral cripples, Rupert Murdoch | Comments Off on This Is Mildly Amusing

I Was Trying To Remember What It Was About BET’s Robert Johnson That Ticked Me Off

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 14, 2008

And thanks to Atrios, now I remember:

The last time Congress voted to phase-out the estate tax (aka the Paris Hilton Tax) in 2001, Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, enthusiastically called for repeal. He took out full-page ads in national newspapers, granted interviews, even gave speeches claiming that a repeal “will help close the wealth gap…between African-American families and white families.”But Johnson’s argument is seriously misguided. Roughly 38 million blacks live in the United States. Of those, an estimated 59 — yes, 59 — will pay estate taxes this year, and that number will drop to just 33 in 2009, according to American Progress economist John Irons (using estimates derived from The State Of The Estate Tax As Of 2006). The truth is the wealth gap between whites and blacks will only exacerbate when there are fewer tax credits and services offered to the rest of us who start out with zero inheritance.

So now that the Senate is again planning to vote to repeal most or all of estate tax, where is Bob Johnson and his cohort of black millionaires? Hopefully they realized that the only people who will benefit from repeal is themselves.

Memo to self: Please remember not to trust a word that comes out of this man’s mouth about anyone, especially when he talks about guys like Barack Obama. Including the “ands” and “thes”.

Oh, and Mr. Johnson?  Seeing a philandering backstabber who made his money from  exploitation videos making an oblique jab at another guy’s long-ago brush with controlled substances is very much a “tend to the two-by-four in your own eye before critiquing the dust speck in somebody else’s” sort of thing.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, 2008, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, hypocrites | 3 Comments »

Oh, Wad Some Pow’r The Giftee Gie Us, To See Oursels As Others See Us!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 14, 2008

And, for Americans, here it is:

Letter to America

Looks fun and informative.

Speaking of Bobby Burns and providing a reality check for American exceptionalism as the cloak and justification for all sorts of nasty things:  This is an oldie but goodie.

Posted in blogs and blogging, speaking truth to power, world news | Comments Off on Oh, Wad Some Pow’r The Giftee Gie Us, To See Oursels As Others See Us!

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