Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 18th, 2008

John McCain Gaffes It Again

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 18, 2008

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John McCain, Mister Stray Talk Excess, once again showed today that his mastery of world affairs could easily be bested by a moderately-diligent sixth-grader (h/t Penman):

McCain said it was “common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.”

Uh, John? Iran’s population is majority Shia Muslim. Al-Qaeda is made up of hardcore Sunni Muslims, with the leadership coming from Wahabi Sunni stronghold Saudi Arabia. (To learn more about the differences between Shia and Sunni, go here.) I mean, gee, even Joe Lieberman knows that, which is why he rushed to your aid:

A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate’s ear. McCain then said: “I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda.”

But Short Ride Joe can’t be around you 24/7 (I imagine both Cindy and Hadassah would be jealous), which is why you also made that gaffe yesterday and again today.

Posted in Iran, Iran Contra, Iraq war, Islam, Joe Lieberman, John McCain, neocons, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Silly Republicans | 8 Comments »

Cooper Union Address

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 18, 2008

brady.jpg

That’s what Obama’s speech reminded me of today.

Compare and contrast.

Posted in Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, Good Things, race in America | 3 Comments »

The Bush Administration Supports the Troops Again

Posted by MEC on March 18, 2008

Since the 2004 election, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been actively opposing efforts to enable U.S. soldiers to register to vote at VA facilities.

The VA has asserted that since their facilities are solely medical facilities, it would be inappropriate to permit nonmedical activities, including voter registration.

As usual, the Bush Administration is lying.

Across the country, VA facilities have been rented to social agencies working with the homeless, house libraries, parks, playgrounds and even a minor league baseball stadium, he said. Moreover, Rafferty said the “Rolling Thunder” veterans group in New Jersey, which has lead many protests in Washington, regularly meets at VA facilities.

And the VA doesn’t oppose voter registration in its facilities if it’s done by Republicans:

…before the 2004 presidential election, California’s Republican Party paid workers $15 for each new voter registered, and actually registered “dozens of people” at the Menlo Park homeless center.

So the objection, it seems, is to voter registrations that don’t result in more Republican voters. One would suspect they fear that our brave men and women in uniform have become disenchanted with being cannon fodder in an illegal war Bush’s policies and the Republicans who support those policies.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, liars, supporting the troops, veterans | 1 Comment »

Leaving Vista For Windows XP

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 18, 2008

The NYT’s tech writer, J.D. Biersdorfer, got the following question recently:

Q. I recently bought a small laptop for travel but it only came with Windows Vista, which I find troublesome. I love the laptop for its size and would like to keep it, but can I remove Vista and install Windows XP instead?

Biersdorfer advises the querent to wait until Vista’s first service pack comes out this month before giving up on it. But I think that Biersdorfer’s ignoring a key part of the information his querent gave him — namely, that the laptop was purchased as a travel laptop, which to my mind indicates that this is intended for use as a secondary computer, and as such was probably purchased on the cheap, likely for under $1000. And Vista has no business being on a sub-$1000 laptop. The machine and its user will both be much happier with XP.

Posted in computers and software | 1 Comment »

If Most Big Economies Worldwide Are In Or Nearing Recessions…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 18, 2008

…then why are commodity prices sky-high?

That’s the question Jeffrey Frankel posits while guest blogging at RGE Monitor:

The popular explanation since 2004 has been rapid growth in the world economy. The strongest growth has of course been coming from China and other recently minted manufacturing powerhouses in Asia, but the expansion has been unusually broad-based – including up to last year the United States and even a reinvigorated Europe. So growth has pushed up demand for farm products, energy and other industrial inputs, right?

This reigning explanation now looks suspect. Since last summer the US economy has slowed down noticeably, and is probably entering a recession. Despite talk of decoupling, it is clear that other countries are also slowing down at least to some extent. In its most recent forecast, the IMF World Economic Outlook revised downward the growth rate for virtually every region, including China. The overall global growth rate for 2008 has been marked down by 1.1% (from 5.2 % in July 2007, just before the sub-prime mortgage crisis hit, to 4.1 % as of January 29, 2008). And prospects continue to deteriorate. Yet commodity prices have found their second wind over precisely this period! (Up some 25% or more since August 2007, by a number of indices. So much for the growth explanation.

I suspect that the state of the dollar, weakened by the huge amount of debt, both public and private, our country has taken on under King George W. Bush, is the reason. The weak dollar is why OPEC’s profits, which are figured in dollars, aren’t as big as they seem — and it’s why there’s a big push to move OPEC to the euro instead. Propping up US debt is endangering other countries’ currency as well — and they’re not in a mind to prop us up any more, hence the efforts to “decouple” from our economy. Bush and his buddies were hoping the other countries would wait until after the Bush Gang left town with the spoils from their bust-out, but that’s not happening.

One thing is certain: The brief boost the market got from its archenemy Spitzer’s downfall is soon going to be a distant memory.

Posted in banking, big money, bust-outs, corruption, credit cards, economy, Eliot Spitzer, faith-based flim-flams, gravy train, greed, income inequality | 3 Comments »

 
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