Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for May 12th, 2008

McCain Offers an Imaginary Solution to a Real Problem

Posted by MEC on May 12, 2008

John McCain’s polishing his “maverick” credentials by breaking from the official Republican position to declare that global warming is real.

And he’s revealing his true colors as just another deluded corporatist by proposing a “free market” solution to the problem.

Which is the same as saying he’s going to do nothing about the problem. A “free market” is what we’ve had all along, and how much incentive have businesses had to change their energy-consuming, polluting ways? So far, as close to none as makes no difference. “Free market solution” is an oxymoron. McCain is just pulling the typical Republican trick of pretending to do something about a serious problem while enabling business as usual.

We don’t need business as usual. We need a real commitment to changing the habits that got us into this mess. We need someone who can see beyond the economic issues and the corporate interests.

John McCain is not that person.

Posted in global warming, John McCain, wrong way to go about it | 3 Comments »

U.S. State Dept. Encourages Iraqi Corruption

Posted by MEC on May 12, 2008

Oh, here’s a surprise. The U.S. State Department has been encouraging corruption in the Iraqi government by actively impeding oversight and covering up the evidence.

The State Department’s policies “not only contradicted the anti-corruption mission but indirectly contributed to and has allowed corruption to fester at the highest levels of the Iraqi government,” [Arthur Brennan, former head of the Office of Accountability and Transparency in Baghdad] told the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.


Brennan charges the State Department never responded to his team’s report, which was retroactively classified because agency officials said it could hurt bilateral relations with Iraq. Other recommendations by the group also were kept secret, including a negative assessment of Iraq’s Joint Anti-Corruption Committee, Brennan said.

The reason the article gives for this collusion in corruption is that the State Dept. didn’t want to harm U.S. relations with the Iraqi government by openly criticizing it. But I wonder whether Certain People in the U.S. government have profited as much as the corrupt Iraqi officials. Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to.

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, corruption, Iraq war | Comments Off on U.S. State Dept. Encourages Iraqi Corruption

The Fourth’s Emendment

Posted by Charles II on May 12, 2008

Richard Schmitt, LA Times (via t/o):

The number of Americans being secretly wiretapped or having their financial and other records reviewed by the government has continued to increase as officials aggressively use powers approved after the Sept. 11 attacks. But the number of terrorism prosecutions ending up in court – one measure of the effectiveness of such sleuthing – has continued to decline, in some cases precipitously….

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BushCo malfeasance, FBI, NSA eavesdropping, terrorism | 6 Comments »

War du jour: India

Posted by Charles II on May 12, 2008

One thing can be said about the Bush years: they have surfaced every conflict known to mankind out into open warfare. When the era comes to a close, mankind may well lapse into an exhausted peace. The latest, from Manjeet Kripalani of Business Week:

The assault on the Essar [iron ore processing] facility was the work of Naxalites—Maoist insurgents who seek the violent overthrow of the state and who despise India’s landowning and business classes. The Naxalites have been slowly but steadily spreading through the countryside for decades. Few outside India have heard of these rebels, named after the Bengal village of Naxalbari, where their movement started in 1967. Not many Indians have thought much about the Naxalites, either. The Naxalites mostly operate in the remote forests of eastern and central India, still a comfortable remove from the bustle of Mumbai and the thriving outsourcing centers of Gurgaon, New Delhi, and Bangalore.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in terrorism | Tagged: | Comments Off on War du jour: India

Good News for Democrats?

Posted by MEC on May 12, 2008

Bob Barr is running for president as a Libertarian.

I just can’t see many Democrats deciding they have enough in common with Barr to vote for him instead of the Democratic candidate. Barr’s solid record as a theocratic conservative, however, would appeal to a lot of Republicans for whom McCain is “too liberal”.

Unless the snooze media are likely to ignore Barr — and he’s been a fixture on the news-talk show circuit for a while, which makes it likelier that they’ll boost his campaign — McCain’s campaign staff won’t be cheering this announcement.

Posted in 2008 | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Sorghum For Ethanol?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 12, 2008

Sorghum uses half the water of corn ethanol (at least in the growing), and the stalks, after the sap’s been pressed from them, can themselves be used in celluosic ethanol (or fed to livestock). But a) it must be converted within a day of harvesting, or the sugar is lost, which means that b) even in the South the distilleries can only run from March to October at most (when the plant can be grown). That’s not stopping people from looking into it as a fuel.

Posted in energy, environment | 1 Comment »