Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 14th, 2008

The Only Campaign Ad the Democrats Need

Posted by MEC on March 14, 2008

Four More Years?

(Statistics from ThinkProgress, chart by SuperFrenchie)

Posted in 2008, BushCo malfeasance, John McCain | 3 Comments »

The Benefits Of Taking On McCain

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 14, 2008


Steve Benen notices the same thing I did:

I’m increasingly of the opinion that this prolonged Democratic primary process is going to seriously undermine the party’s chances of winning in November, but I’ll concede that there are some clear advantages — most notably, we can watch two Democratic heavyweights go after the Republican candidate at the same time, while the GOP has two moving targets.

This benefit disappears, of course, when the Dems go after each other, which is all the more reason for them to target McCain. It might even help them make the case to superdelegates: “Look at how effectively I’m going after John McCain now. If you’d like to see more of this in the fall, I’m your candidate.”

Frankly, I’m almost indifferent to which issue(s) Dems pick to go after McCain — I’m more interested that they go after McCain — but taxes is as good as any. The Arizona senator is clearly vulnerable on the issue — he’s flip-flopped, he’s offering tax cuts that his campaign admits he can’t pay for, he’s embracing the policies of a wildly unpopular president, and he’s advocating more irresponsible cuts that most Americans realize won’t help them anyway. Indeed, gone are the days that a Republican can just shout “tax and spend!” and hope voters will recoil. Americans have heard all the tax-cut rhetoric from McCain’s mentor (George W. Bush), and they realize the policies don’t actually help them in any way.

So, Clinton and Obama, by all means, go after McCain on taxes. And Iraq. And health care. And energy, education, poverty, homeland security, and everything else. Just don’t destroy each other.

The one thing I have to add is that we shouldn’t be so sure that Hillary Clinton isn’t going after John McCain — or that Barack Obama’s attack on McCain’s tax flip-flop wasn’t the first time he’d gone after McCain. The GOP/Media Complex does love them their Republicans, especially ones like McCain.

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain | Comments Off on The Benefits Of Taking On McCain

Feds Stalling Latino Citizenship Applications

Posted by MEC on March 14, 2008

A federal lawsuit has been filed to force the Bush Administration to speed up the processing of hundreds of thousands of naturalization petitions from legal immigrants. The wait time is currently more than 18 months. Could it be the Bush Administration doesn’t want to create hundreds of thousands of new voters who would be likely to vote Democratic?

Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to.

Posted in 2008, BushCo malfeasance, voting rights | Comments Off on Feds Stalling Latino Citizenship Applications

Scott Says It, Part Two

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 14, 2008

Scott Horton with another home run:

… The newspaper accounts, forming the imperfect world in which all of this is analyzed, suggest that Spitzer solicited prostitution on February 13, and there is nothing to support the idea that he was entrapped. What I argued was something different: the feds had built their case against the prostitution ring and were ready to go, but they held back in the hopes that they would bag Spitzer, too. They could have gone with the announcement back in January. But they didn’t. That’s very revealing.

In this case the feds violated some basic rules—as even John Farmer, in doing his best to defend them, acknowledges:

  • They prepared pleadings which were filled with salacious detail that served no purpose other than the public humiliation of “Client 9.”
  • They then tipped the press to the fact that “Client 9” was a New York public official, and then to the fact that he was Eliot Spitzer. Over the next 48 hours, they filled the press with copious additional details surrounding Spitzer, many of them lurid.

All of this made marvelous copy for the tabloids and helped Jon Stewart’s Daily Show to one of its funniest segments in recent weeks. (Today, however, the Times profiled the working girl at the center of the storm. I was disappointed to learn that her name was not “Cinnamon.” Alas, it is just the fake news.) But it also violated basic rules of prosecutorial ethics and can only be explained by a partisan political motive: to take down a prominent political figure of the opposition party. It was entertaining, funny, and bad for our system of justice.


The real questions begin when the Department of Justice enters the picture–after the IRS refers the matter to the Public Integrity Section. What is the measure of “normal” in a case like this? I have now looked at a long list of cases in which accusations of highly irregular financial conduct were lodged against Republican elected officials. In each of these cases, the Bush Justice Department reacted by doing nothing. No review of payments and bank records. No questions. No investigators. No warrants for wiretaps. It concluded that there was an insufficient basis to launch an investigation. In two of these cases there were extremely specific, well documented allegations–not something as nebulous as a SAR. So my reaction to arguments that the Public Integrity Section reacted with something akin to “standard operating procedure” is to say: certainly not. It took the SAR as a license to launch a major fishing expedition. And in the end it landed its fish.


In the present case, the media are actually complicit in this problem. They get a good story that helps them sell copy when prosecutors and investigators violate their ethical responsibilities and start talking about things they shouldn’t be talking about. So the media have no motive to blow the whistle on their informants, or even to criticize them. When the New York Times, which has exercised an impressive ownership of this story, runs an op-ed defending the conduct of the prosecutors—without ever having run a word raising questions about the way the case was handled—we’re entitled to call “foul.”

No doubt there are plenty of lawyers, especially former prosecutors, who will disagree with me. That’s the way our system works. Our system offers no incentives for criticizing prosecutors. They are, after all, very powerful people.

Posted in abuse of power, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, Democrats, Eliot Spitzer, GOP/Media Complex, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | 1 Comment »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on March 14, 2008

Cats love windows.



Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging, Lady Lightfoot | 3 Comments »

Scott Says It. I Believe It.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 14, 2008

That settles it.

The key grafs:

In today’s New York Times, a New Jersey Republican politician and former prosecutor, John Farmer (whom the Times inexplicably fails to identify by his political badge—an issue that the Public Editor needs to address), counters concerns that the investigation that brought down Eliot Spitzer was politically motivated. In Farmer’s presentation, concerns about the way the prosecution was brought are being raised by “supporters of Spitzer” as part of a “strategy” in his “defense.”

Farmer’s analysis is feeble and unconvincing, and his premises are false.


The key questions that need to be asked go to the extraordinary allocation of resources and manpower for this operation and the application of level standards. Here again, the Bush Justice Department has one set of standards when Republican officials fall into a prostitution ring, and an entirely different set when the target is a Democrat who is threatening the Republican Party’s power base in Albany. We just need to look over the “D.C. Madam” case, which caught in its snare a high-level official of the Bush Administration and a Republican senator. But the Bush Justice Department’s attitude towards that case couldn’t be more different. It is deferential towards the customers and has shown no interest in bringing charges against any of them. It has also engaged in extraordinary somersaults to keep the names of the Republicans caught up in the case out of the media. The two cases, compared with care, point convincingly to a partisan political double standard.

The Bush Justice Department complains it has no resources to investigate or deal with the case of Jamie Leigh Jones, a woman from Houston who was gang-raped, brutalized and held hostage by American contractors in Iraq. It claims it has no resources to deal with dozens of similar cases involving rape and assault by or against U.S. citizens. It has no resources to deal with hundreds of cases involving massive contract fraud, tallying into the billions of dollars, in Iraq. Its prosecution of white-collar crime across the country has fallen through the floor. But this same Justice Department allocates millions in resources to ensnare a prominent Democratic politician in a sex tryst at the Mayflower Hotel. This evidences an extremely curious set of priorities—priorities which are suspiciously driven by a partisan politics, not a sober and responsible interest in law enforcement.

Posted in abuse of power, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, David Vitter, Democrat-bashing, Democrats, Eliot Spitzer, hypocrites, neocons, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples | Comments Off on Scott Says It. I Believe It.

Oh, My

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 14, 2008

Gerry Ferraro’s current comments on how easy blacks (like Barack Obama) have it in politics compared to women (like her good friend Hillary Clinton) are the exact opposite of what she was saying as recently as December of 2006:

“All evidence is that a white female has an advantage over a black male – for reasons of our cultural heritage,” said the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, the civil rights leader who ran for president in 1984 and 1988. Still, he said, for African-American and female candidates, “It’s easier – emphatically so.”

Ms. Ferraro offered a similar sentiment. “I think it’s more realistic for a woman than it is for an African-American,” said Ms. Ferraro. “There is a certain amount of racism that exists in the United States – whether it’s conscious or not it’s true.”

Oh, my.

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, civil rights, Democrats, Hillary Clinton | 1 Comment »

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