Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for February, 2008

McCain Lies. Sun Rises In East.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 29, 2008

Howie over at Down With Tyranny! has the goods:

McCain must have stopped paying whatever little Dutch boy he had on his payroll plugging the dike because has it ever burst! Today ABC News is reporting that he was lying again when he tried rebutting the NY Times expose about his comfy relationship with lobbyists.

After the story broke, the McCain campaign distributed a lengthy document stating that the senator’s commerce committee staff “met with public broadcasting activists from the Pittsburgh area” who opposed a controversial license swap involving Iseman’s client, Paxson Communications, before it sent two letters to the Federal Communication Commission urging the commissioners to vote on the issue.

“It never happened,” said Jerold Starr, who led the grassroots opposition to the deal as the co-chairman of the Save Pittsburgh Public Television Campaign. “Moreover, we had no idea that McCain had any interest in our local matter.”

Starr’s co-chair on the campaign, Linda Wambaugh, said that she and Starr handled all the lobbying for campaign.

“We were it. Anything would have come through us,” said Wambaugh. “There was absolutely no contact whatsoever– no meetings, no phone calls, no correspondence.”

The McCain response document also claimed that both Paxson’s lobbyists and the public broadcasting activists “expressed to staff members their frustration that the proceeding had been before the FCC for over two years. Both parties asked the staff to contact the FCC regarding the proceeding.”

That’s a bold-faced lie,” said Starr, who wrote about his experience leading the campaign in his 2000 book “Air Wars.” “The longer it took, the better our chances were. It meant that the FCC was paying serious attention to our complaint.”

Geez, is there anything that comes out of McCain’s mouth that isn’t a lie?

Posted in 2008, corruption, cronies, hypocrites, John McCain, liars, McCain lobbyist scandal | 3 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on February 29, 2008

Alexander doesn’t care that there’s an extra day in February.


Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 2 Comments »

Ohio Primary Shaping Up as Record-Breaking

Posted by MEC on February 28, 2008

In Ohio, as in states that have already held their primaries, it looks like turnout for the Democratic primary will break records, while Republican turnout will be lower than in recent presidential years.

Excluding caucuses, some 22 million Democratic votes have been cast in the primaries held to date. For Republicans, the number is 14.1 million.


One reason Republicans cite now is the fact that the Democratic contest is highly competitive while the Republican race is all but over. But GOP turnout has been down since the beginning of the year — even when the Republican race was wide open.

The Republicans are putting a good face on it, citing polls that show John McCain favored over the Democratic nominees. But the only poll that matters is the election. And it’s seriously looking like the Democrats can inspire much higher turnout than the Republicans.

Let’s just hope the voting machines — and the increasing control of all aspects of the voting system by the voting-machine manufacturers — don’t become a factor in the election results.

Posted in 2008 | 2 Comments »

America, Third World nation

Posted by Charles II on February 28, 2008

Nicole Elliott (Mizuho Bank), FXStreet:

Nobel prize winning Bangladeshi micro-bank Grameen has opened for business in New York. Founded by Muhammad Yunus with $27.00 in 1976 it now has over $6.5B in loans outstanding to 7M people; he considers his timing excellent because of the sub-prime crisis. It is estimated that 28M adults in the US do not have a bank account and that another 45M have little access to mainstream financial services. Payday lending and loan sharks among others, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation estimates that those on the fringes of the system produce $1,400B in annual income.

Thank heaven that the poor of this country at last have the access to capital they would have had 30 years ago if only they had the good fortune to be born in Bangladesh.

Posted in Good Things, WTF? | 1 Comment »

Dick Gregory at Black State of the Union

Posted by Charles II on February 28, 2008

Thanks to NatTheDem at The Unapologetic Mexican, one of the great humorists of the 1960s. 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

At the original link, you can hear Dick Gregory’s take on the Clintons. It’s not gentle and you can tell his opinion is widely held.

Posted in Just for fun, racism | 2 Comments »

US dollar panic?

Posted by Charles II on February 28, 2008

The Euro/Dollar hit $1.52 and the Dollar/Yen is close to breaching 105. These are huge moves, unanticipated by many financial analysts. While these moves are basically healthy, a disorderly fall in the dollar will cause major financial disruption.

It’s more likely than not that there will be a bounce back. But these moves are so fast that there’s the potential for a crash.

Posted in economy | 4 Comments »

Dueling Headlines

Posted by MEC on February 28, 2008

Economy slows to near crawl

Bush: US is not headed into recession

Posted in economy, madness of King George | 1 Comment »

Sound And Fury, Signifying Self-Destructive Kabuki

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 28, 2008


Smilin Snarlin’ Tim Pawlenty’s high-handed imperial effort to pander to the people picking McCain’s running mate thump his mighty chest on taxes and spending rings pretty hollow when one remembers that he’s the guy who tried using property tax and fee increases (from state college tuition hikes to calling a proposed 75-cent-per-pack increase in state cigarette tax a “fee”) to make up for the loss of income caused by the big state income tax cuts he rammed through when he was House Majority Leader in the Minnesota Legislature. He did the same chest-thump bit when LRT was passed, yet lately he’s been more than happy to claim to be a friend of light rail, especially when it benefits his friends like the Northstar line will benefit Pawlenty benefactor Bruce Lambrecht. (By the way: the Hiawatha line has done wonders for what was once a depressed part of Minneapolis. Pawlenty fought that tooth and nail, but he still showed up at the ribbon-cutting.)

It also rings pretty hollow when you consider that the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, not exactly a tax-happy organization, strongly endorsed the gas-tax hike last month, and it’s backed similar gas-tax hikes since at least 2005. Fixing our roads won’t be cheap, but they know that bad infrastructure is bad for business.

I suspect that Pawlenty’s preoccupation with pandering his way onto the McCain ticket has left him less able and/or willing to focus on, or even care much about, what’s happening in his home state. Here’s why:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, abuse of power, GOP bullying, Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, Silly Republicans, Tim Pawlenty, tutu-less Democrats, wrong way to go about it | 2 Comments »

Happy Birthday, Paul Krugman!

Posted by MEC on February 28, 2008

May you have many years of enraging the [ever diminishing] Hard Right.


Posted in Paul Krugman | 1 Comment »

Shout The Lie, Whisper The Retraction

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 28, 2008

Remember the stories about those evil Iraqi insurgents using women with Down’s Syndrome as suicide bombers?

Gueeeessss whaaaaat: They were bullshit. From Wednesday last week:

The U.S. military said Wednesday that two women used as suicide bombers in attacks earlier this month had undergone psychiatric treatment but there is no indication they had Down syndrome as Iraqi and U.S. officials initially had claimed.

Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a military spokesman, said the women used in the Feb. 1 pet market bombings had been identified as residents from the northeastern outskirts of Baghdad who were in their late 20s or early 30s.


On Wednesday, Smith backed away from the claim about Down syndrome while responding to a question concerning the psychiatric histories of the two bombers.

“Both had recently received psychiatric treatment for depression and/or schizophrenia. From what we know now there’s no indication that they had Down syndrome,” Smith said, citing records obtained by the military.

Smith also said one of the women was married but that neither had criminal backgrounds. He said it was not clear how they were linked to al-Qaida in Iraq, which the military has said was behind the bombing.

But of course it’s too late now — the story was pushed hard on all the TV news shows, and only a small fraction of the people who saw the story will ever hear about the retraction.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, Iraq war, liars, mythmaking | 4 Comments »