Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 11th, 2008

A Tale Of Three Johns

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 11, 2008

If you Google “David Vitter prostitute“, you get around 30,000 references to the sex scandal that broke last July involving a sitting Republican Senator known for his straight-arrow “family values” image. Senator Vitter has yet to resign.

If you Google Larry Craig prostitute, you get just under 48,000 references to the sex scandal that broke last August involving another sitting Republican Senator known for his straight-arrow “family values” image. Senator Craig has yet to resign.

But if you Google “Eliot Spitzer prostitute“, you get over 261,000 references to the sex scandal involving a sitting Democratic governor with a straight-arrow image, and that scandal isn’t even 48 hours old yet.

Clearly, Spitzer could be free and clear right now if he’d only been a Republican. It’s really the ultimate Get Out Of Jail Free card. Just ask Don Siegelman.

Posted in abuse of power, BushCo malfeasance, David Vitter, Democrat-bashing, Democrats, distractions, DoJ, Don Siegelman, Flying Monkey Right, Fox Noise, GOP bullying, GOP/Media Complex, Larry Craig, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | 8 Comments »

For Shame

Posted by MEC on March 11, 2008

Geraldine Ferraro, who of all people should know better, has said that Senator Obama has only gotten as far as he had in the presidential race because he’s black.

As my daddy used to say, “Enough is too much.”

Ms. Ferraro is a fundraiser for Senator Clinton. Senator Clinton has “disagreed” with her statement. Merely expressing disagreement is not enough, particularly since Ms. Ferraro’s statement is entirely consistent with Senator Clinton’s earlier, outrageous statement that she would rather have Bushevik John McCain taking a “3:00 a.m. phone call” than her fellow Democrat.

Senator Clinton, you must recognize that you don’t own the Democratic nomination. There really is a chance you won’t get it. And if Barack Obama wins the nomination, the Republicans will repeat all the foolish things you’ve said against him. Do you really want to be responsible for putting another Republican in the White House, especially an untrustworthy warmonger like John McCain?

Don’t just make the obligatory public repudiation of the things your supporters are saying. Make it clear to them that these attacks on Senator Obama’s fitness for the office must not continue.

Posted in 2008 | 5 Comments »

The watch is ended

Posted by Charles II on March 11, 2008

(Via Johnny Wendell and Daily Kos), Josh Berthume of Texas Blue notes that Admiral William Fallon has resigned (also diaried by ValleyForger here).

To quote AP:

Fallon was the subject of an article published last week in Esquire magazine that portrayed him as opposed to President Bush’s Iran policy. It described Fallon as a lone voice against taking military action to stop the Iranian nuclear program.

Actually, he said something to the effect that there wouldn’t be an attack on Iran on his watch. That watch is now over.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, Iran | 2 Comments »

A very peculiar rally

Posted by Charles II on March 11, 2008

The official news is that stock market rally was triggered by the announcement by the Federal Reserve that it would effectively socialize the costs of the mortgage crisis by swapping Treasuries for AAA securities, very few of which  not meet investment grade standards, by the way.

But I am not sure that events bear out this simplistic interpretation.

It’s true that the Fed made the announcement early this morning (at 7AM Eastern, I think) and markets immediately surged. However, Japan and Hong Kong closed higher last night. Nikkei Net Interactive said the rebound [on the Nikkei], which many saw as driven mostly by short-covering, was weak” (emphasis added). The European markets show a spike upward near noon their time. That rally was gradual. The DAX (Germany) and FTSE (UK) spiked upward in early morning, then the rally decayed.

So, a worldwide rally was already well underway when the Fed acted. Perhaps news leaked, allowing financial institutions to profit ahead of the move, or the Fed chose the timing knowing that the shorts would be under maximal pressure. Or maybe they got lucky.

In any event, this was a very, very large rally– about 3.5%–  for the US market. And, because so many traders rely on technical indicators, it will probably feed on itself… for a while.

Nothing, however, has fundamentally changed. The Fed has given a few billion to the banks– not $200B, one must hasten to add, but a fraction of that. Nowhere near enough to solve the crisis.

Posted in economy | 2 Comments »

Tuesday Afternoon News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 11, 2008

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This morning’s Rasmussen Reports’ national daily tracking poll shows Barack Obama opening up a 48% to 41% lead over Hillary Clinton. This is well outside the poll’s 3% margin of error. Yesterday, Gallup showed Obama opening up a lead as well, 49% to 44%. The MoE for this poll is 3% as well.

People become more liberal with age. Yeah, it’s easy to think that you did it your way when you’re a teen or even a twentysomething and living in your parents’ basement, but when you get older and as the brain fully matures (something that doesn’t happen until around age 25), you develop more of a conscience and an open awareness of how we’re all in this together.

Home schooling families Threatened By Court Ruling. Well, only if you think having decent credentials and textbooks, particularly for biology, is threatening. These two sentences in particular give the game away:

“I have sincerely held religious beliefs,” said Phillip Long. “Public schools conflict with that. I have to go with what my conscience requires me.”

Long said he doesn’t believe in evolution, among other topics, that are taught at public schools.

Posted in Barack Obama, education, faith-based flim-flams, family values, Fundies, Good Things, Hillary Clinton, judicial rulings, theocrats | 1 Comment »

While the FBI Goes After Eliot Spitzer…

Posted by MEC on March 11, 2008

…The very Honorable Henry Waxman is calling for a federal investigation of Blackwater.

In letters sent today, Waxman asked the Internal Revenue Service and the Labor Department to investigate whether Blackwater defrauded the government of tax revenue and violated labor laws. Waxman also asked the Small Business Administration to determine whether Blackwater violated federal regulations by claiming it was eligible for small business preferences.
“The implications of Blackwater’s actions are significant,” wrote Waxman, D-Calif., in a memorandum to his colleagues on the panel. “Committee staff have estimated that Blackwater has avoided paying or withholding up to $50 million in federal taxes by treating its guards as independent contractors rather than employees.”

Also, Waxman wrote, Blackwater’s claim as a small business has earned it more than $144 million in contracts, despite being one of the largest private military contractors and receiving nearly $1.25 billion in federal business since 2000.

[…]

Waxman raised the issue last year, after he obtained a March letter from the IRS that warned that the company’s classification of a security guard as an independent contractor was “without merit.” The IRS’ finding had been the result of an inquiry filed by a Blackwater guard.

Seriously, which case does more harm to the country? One politician who can’t keep it in his pants? Or a government contractor that’s defrauding the government of millions of dollars?

So, which one do you expect to be all over the snooze media for days? And which case to you expect the DoJ to pursue with bulldog tenacity?

Before you answer, consider that Eliot Spitzer is a Democrat and Blackwater founder Erik Prince is the brother of Betsy DeVos, Bush Pioneer and former head of the Michigan Republican Party.

Posted in Blackwater, Busheviks, Henry Waxman | 1 Comment »

They Had A Target Before They Had A Crime

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 11, 2008

This is interesting:

Official: Cash triggered Spitzer probe

by AMY WESTFELDT, Associated Press Writer 40 minutes ago

NEW YORK – Gov. Eliot Spitzer‘s role in a prostitution scandal grew out of a public corruption inquiry triggered by his movement of large amounts of cash from several bank accounts to one that operated by a call-girl ring, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.

Spitzer was the initial target of the investigation and was tracked using court-ordered wiretaps that appear to have recorded him arranging for a prostitute to meet him at a Washington hotel in mid-February, the official said.


The official spoke to The Associated Press condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.


The case started when banks noticed the frequent transfers from several accounts and filed suspicious activity reports with the Internal Revenue Service, the official said. The accounts were traced back to Spitzer, prompting public corruption investigators to open an inquiry.

Posted in abuse of power | Comments Off on They Had A Target Before They Had A Crime

Was It Worth It?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 11, 2008

Reuters’ Dean Yates asks that question:

Five years after U.S. and British forces swept into Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein, many Iraqis are asking if the violence and upheaval that turned their lives upside down was worth it.

The human cost is staggering — anywhere between 90,000 and 1 million Iraqi civilians killed, according to various estimates; nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers dead; while 4 million Iraqis are displaced.

On the bright side, Iraqis are rid of one of the 20th century’s most ruthless dictators. They held free elections and have a new constitution.

Well, except that Saddam in his quarter-century in power didn’t kill nearly as many people as Bush has in five years, and that the ‘free’ elections are a joke if you’re female, and that Iraq doesn’t have a central government to speak of. But hey.

Posted in Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, colonial wars, Iraq war | 1 Comment »

 
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