Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 1st, 2008

Watch an electron

Posted by Charles II on March 1, 2008

Here

Posted in science and medicine | 4 Comments »

The massacre at Tlatelolco

Posted by Charles II on March 1, 2008

Reed Johnson, LAT.

Short version: Soldiers surround students engaged in peaceful protest in the heart of Mexico City, then open fire with machine guns and rifles. The US Government is involved at least to the level of collusion, but perhaps even more deeply. An unknown number of people are killed and wounded. Some simply disappear after being taken into police custody. Years of repression begin, during which time kidnappings and murder by officials are common.

We must not forget.

Posted in Mexico | 2 Comments »

There Is Justice In This World After All

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 1, 2008

Howie over at Down With Tyranny! has the following good news:

Remember convicted Republican toilet trawler Rep. Bob Allen (R-FL)? Right after Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig was arrested for soliciting sex from a young male policeman in a Minneapolis Airport men’s room, Rep. Allen, who had written legislation against such activity, tried the same stunt. He was also arrested– denied everything, of course– and was then convicted and forced to resign from his House seat. Yesterday Republicans were confident their cookie-cutter candidate would hold the seat in the overwhelmingly red district. He didn’t. At the same time upstate New Yorkers were voting in a Democrat in a district that hadn’t elected one in over 40 years [PW notes: Actually, until Darrel Aubertine won Tuesday, the Dems hadn’t held the seat since 1880], Floridians were also expressing their contempt for what the GOP has come to symbolize. A flood of typically Republican negative campaign ads and all the regular smears– over $250,000 worth– failed to do any more for Campbell than it had done for Barclay in New York.

Tony Sasso and Florida Democrats scored an upset Tuesday, winning the special election for Bob Allen’s Florida House seat in a heavily Republican district.

The former Cocoa Beach commissioner edged Republican Sean Campbell of Merritt Island, who spent more money and received significant financial backing from his party.

Sasso led by 412 votes with all but a dozen provisional ballots left to be counted, local elections officials said. He won with 48 percent of the vote to Campbell’s 46 percent.

There is justice in this world, but you have to work for it.

Posted in 2008, big money, Democrats, Good Things | 2 Comments »

Wars and rumors of wars

Posted by Charles II on March 1, 2008

Via Johnny Wendell of KTLK, a report from Haaretz:

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait on Saturday called on their citizens living in Lebanon to leave the country as soon as possible, a Lebanese television report said.


Future Television, privately owned by Saad Hariri who heads the majority anti-Syrian bloc in parliament, said Saudi Arabia had advised its nationals to leave Lebanon “as soon as possible.”


Also, AP on Haaretz:

A U.S. deployment of warships off Lebanon sharpened tensions in the crisis-ridden nation as the Shiite militant group Hezbollah said it won’t be intimidated, and the U.S.-backed government that the ships may be intended to bolster distanced itself from the move.


The planned deployment of three ships, announced Thursday, appeared to be aimed at making an American show of strength at a time of increasing international frustration at the volatile political deadlock in Lebanon between the pro-Western government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and the opposition, led by Hezbollah.


My assessment is that this is in the category of hissy kabuki. Let’s recall the brilliant outcome the last time US warships deployed off the coast of Lebanon. 243 Marines gave their lives in one of the most pointless deployments of the Cold War.

But of course the pop in oil prices could have been a sign that some people take it seriously. Maybe I should too, but at this point I’m just too d–ned cynical.

Posted in hissy kabuki, israel, Lebanon, Syria | Comments Off on Wars and rumors of wars

For your listening enjoyment

Posted by Charles II on March 1, 2008

Dave Neiwert, commenting on Tim Russert’s quest against Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s pastor, suggested that the next target for Russert’s inquiry should be John McCain’s pastor. It turns out this is easy to do, since its pastor is Dan Yeary and his sermons are online.

Based on my brief experience with the podcasts, I think one can conclude that the mission of the church is treatment of sleep disorders, but judge for yourself:

Generosity: Giving your life for good

Generosity: God’s goal for his children

Home: where hectic and holy happen

Dedicated to what?

Honoring God with family fiances [sic]

.

.

.

Setting the table

Looking for titles that might have something controversial in them:

Wise Up! The behavior that angers God,

Wise up to discipline,

Wise Up! God’s design for marriage,

Wise Up! God’s design for the family,

Wise Up! Control your anger,

Guest Speaker Steve Arterburn Founder and Chairman of New Life Ministries, and

Wise Up! And look out

There are more. But you can look them up yourself.

Posted in John McCain | Comments Off on For your listening enjoyment

The Pawlenty Poverty

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 1, 2008

mn2020-deficit.jpg

MN2020 speaks, you listen:

Governor Pawlenty has shown a fondness for solving the state’s budget problems by cutting aid to local governments. However, the state’s ability to solve its budget problems on the backs of local governments and local property taxpayers is reaching its limits. As demonstrated in a recent Minnesota 2020 report, the average homestead property tax in Minnesota has shot up by over 70 percent over the last six years. Even after adjusting for inflation, the increase is nearly 30 percent. Over the same period, real per capita local government revenue has declined by nine percent. Minnesotans are not likely to sit still for more property tax increases combined with more cuts to infrastructure and local services.

Another favored approach for balancing the state budget is to shift the cost of state services on to local governments. For example, since 2004 the state has shifted responsibility for incarcerating short-term felony offenders to counties and mandated that counties pay ten percent of medical assistance costs for nursing homes stays in excess of 90 days for people under age 65. State cost shifting has the same net effect as aid cuts: higher property taxes and less revenue to pay for other local services.

Another option for balancing the state budget is to shift a portion of state aid payments to school districts into the next fiscal biennium. This accounting maneuver leads to additional school costs in the form of short-term borrowing, but it also provides the state with a one-time shot of revenue within the current biennium.

The problem with aid shifts and other accounting gimmicks is that they do not solve the state’s budget predicament, but simply shift the problem into the future. The trouble with this approach is that the future already looks even worse than the present.

Based on the February forecast, the official state structural budget deficit for the upcoming 2010-11 biennium is $1.1 billion, which is 3.0 percent of state general fund spending. However, the official forecast of the structural deficit is built upon the fiction that-while state revenues increase with inflation-state spending does not.

If we adjust the spending forecast for inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, the structural deficit doubles from $1.1 billion to $2.1 billion, which is 5.7 percent of state general fund spending.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, Minnesota, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, Tim Pawlenty | 4 Comments »

Transforming The Debate

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 1, 2008

Digby has a good piece on the necessity to transform the debate and undo the four decades of increasing right-wing control and framing of it.

The thing is that it has to be a collaborative effort between politicans and sane-media sources.  Republicans knew the value of getting every one of their memebership on board with using Gingrich’s and Norquist’s talking points — that’s why Jeffrey Feldman pushes framing so much on our side.

In addition, we need more sane media.  Not just another blog, but a TV network or a really strong radio network.  We need to reach people where they’re most likely to hear us:  At work, in their cars/buses/trains while commuting, or in the evening during the supper hour.

Posted in beat the press, big money, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, capitalism as cancer, Democrats, getting a clue, GOP/Media Complex, real journalism, Republicans | 1 Comment »

 
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