Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July 11th, 2008


Posted by MEC on July 11, 2008

The inimitable Macdaffy has identified John McCain’s “tell”:

If you’re watching John McCain speak in public, he has a “tell”: He blinks more than a quasar when he’s lying. Try it out for yourself. Say “bink” every time he blinks…. Just be thankful it isn’t a drinking game.

There’s another way to tell McCain is lying: watch his lips. If they’re moving, he’s lying.


Posted in John McCain, liars | 3 Comments »

Things Found En Route To Looking Up Other Things

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 11, 2008

From ZDNet:

American researchers say they’ve developed a system of concentrating solar energy. It could be twice as efficient at turning sunlight into electricity. And it uses special paints. They could even be put onto windows. And the coatings add minimal cost while doubling efficiency.

Here’s how the AP describes the process: “The glass coatings absorb incoming light and then re-emit the energy into the glass, which conducts it to solar cells. The coatings can vary from bright colors to chemicals that are mostly transparent.”

The dyes or paints used in concentrating the solar power are organic compounds. Here’s link to the original publication in Science.

Significantly this work was funded by US federal grants. This research and development was done at MIT, not one of the myriad solar start-ups getting large sums of VC money.

This, my friends, is why it matters who becomes president.

If John McCain had had his druthers, the grants that made this breakthrough possible would never have been made. John McCain voted against many pro-renewable-energy bills, including extending the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit, the single most important aid the Federal government offers to the renewable-energy industry. There’d be a lot fewer wind farms if not for this credit, but now, because of McCain and other Republicans, this credit is probably going to go away, which stands to cripple the renewable-energy industry just as it’s poised to really do some good in lowering the amount of greenhouse gases we emit. (The legislation that would have extended the tax credit would have also ended the free-money give-away to Big Oil, which reaps over $14 billion each year from the US taxpayers in “incentive” money even though Bush said back in April of 2005 that oil companies don’t need cash incentives if oil stays over $50 a barrel.)

McCain also vehemently opposes public passenger rail systems of all sorts, from Amtrak to Phoenix’s new and already well received LRT transit system, which just opened despite McCain’s hard-fought opposition. Obama, by contrast, not only backs public train transit, he’s co-sponsored legislation supporting it.

We don’t have much time left in which to act. Obama has shown that he’s willing to take some steps in the right direction. McCain, if anything, is running around with his fingers in his ears shouting “la la la I can’t hear you”.

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, energy, environment, John McCain, saving the earth, sustainability | 2 Comments »

Good guyz, bad guyz

Posted by Charles II on July 11, 2008

People you should never give a dime to, because they voted for telecomm immunity and unchecked wiretapping (via Avedon):

Baucus, Max
Bayh, Evan
Carper, Thomas
Casey, Robert
Conrad, Kent
Inouye, Daniel
Johnson, Tim
Kohl, Herb
Landrieu, Mary
Lieberman, Joseph
Lincoln, Blanche Lambert
Mikulski, Barbara
Nelson, Ben
Nelson, Bill
Obama, Barack
Pryor, Mark
Rockefeller, John
Salazar, Ken
Webb, James
Whitehouse, Sheldon

People you should give money to, because they led this fight.

Posted in NSA eavesdropping | 4 Comments »

How Ohio was stolen

Posted by Charles II on July 11, 2008

Richard Hayes Philips deserves great praise for showing how a careful, methodical examination can prove or disprove ideas about how ballots came to be spoiled. While his is just a first pass at what a Truth and Reconciliation Commission should do, we should be grateful for talented people who devote so much effort to doing what their %$#!ing elected officials should have done. They are acting like citizens and free people.

Here’s one issue that Hayes examined (via t/o):

Shortly after the election I noticed what appeared to be impossibly low turnout in numerous precincts in Cleveland. In two precincts – Cleveland 6B and 6C, which voted at the same polling place, the Martin Luther King Library – the official voter turnout was 22.31 percent and 7.85 percent, respectively. I found it difficult to believe that fewer than one in 12 registered voters showed up at the polls in any precinct in a hotly contested presidential election in the foremost battleground state.

The initial explanation of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, related by the Columbus Free Press, was that there were high numbers of Hispanic voters who could not speak or read English, and there were no Spanish-speaking poll workers to help them; consequently, many voters put their punch cards in backwards.

The explanation does not withstand scrutiny. In order for the official turnout of 7.85 percent (52 of 662 registered voters) in Precinct 6C to be true and correct, the overwhelming majority of voters must have guessed wrong, analogous to scoring well below 50 percent on a true-false test …

Actually, the explanation cannot be true, because, according to the official results, there were only three more ballots cast than votes counted for president in the three precincts at this polling place. We know from examining the ballots from other polling places that if a ballot is put in backwards the punches will not go through, because the perforated rectangles on the punch card will not be aligned with the holes in the plastic mask or shield through which the voter must punch the ballot. The result is a punch card ballot filled with “dimpled chads” instead of clean punches. In other words, no more than three voters put their punch cards in backwards at Martin Luther King Library.

A more likely explanation would be that a great number of voters in these overwhelmingly Democratic precincts were stopped by challengers at the polls.

There’s the hypothesis. It may or may not be correct. It needs to be checked by talking to people who were registered and attempted to vote.

Why are no elected officials, no academics, no civil rights groups–no journalists— doing that?

Posted in Good Causes, voting rights | Comments Off on How Ohio was stolen

Good News, In Many Ways

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 11, 2008

In addition to adding a solar roof to some of the 2010-model runs of their popular Prius hybrid model (a move I suspect was inspired by the SEV guys), Toyota is going to start building Priuses in the US, Toyota’s biggest market. Why? Because they have to:

Toyota shocked many industry watchers last week when it announced a 21 percent June sales slump, part of a half-year decline of 6.8 percent. Imploding demand for SUVs and trucks knocked Tundra sales down 47 percent from June 2007. And a shortage of Priuses meant that despite the car’s increasing popularity, sales fell by 2.6 percent for the month.
Yesterday’s changes are meant to bring Toyota’s production more in line with the current buying climate.

The Prius shortages stem from parts-supply issues. Building the Prius in the country that buys most of them will solve a lot of problems for Toyota, not least of which is the rising costs of even barge shipping of large big-ticket items like cars. (Peak Oil affects even oceangoing container ships.)

Of course, Toyota is notoriously anti-union, which is why the proposed plant will be in a right-to-starve state, Mississippi. But this is a golden opportunity for the UAW or some other union to try and change that.

See, Toyota needs to build the Prius in the US. It’s what’s keeping Toyota afloat, and the US is its biggest market. Plus, if it doesn’t get that factory up and running soon, it risks seeing potential Prius buyers snapped up by the Chevy Volt, which GM is about to unleash — and which, if you drive less than 40 miles per day, doesn’t need to visit a gas station at all but can subsist happily on overnight electric recharges, giving it a leg up on the gas-dependent Prius. And the Volt will probably sell for around $40,000, which while more than the Prius is less than what other all-electric or nearly-all-electric cars cost or will cost.

UAW, are you listening? You’ve got Toyota over a barrel here — literally.

Posted in automobiles, Good Things, solar, unions | 3 Comments »

Bush Insults The G-8

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 11, 2008

Not content with disrespecting Stephen Harper and Silvio Berlusconi, Bush decided to make this week’s insult trifecta his acting like a dork in front of the entire leadership of the Group of Eight:

The American leader, who has been condemned throughout his presidency for failing to tackle climate change, ended a private meeting with the words: “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.”

He then punched the air while grinning widely, as the rest of those present including Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy looked on in shock.

Yupper, he really restored honor and dignity to the White House, eh?

Posted in Bush, Republicans acting badly, WTF? | 7 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on July 11, 2008

“Is it Caturday yet?”

“Every day is Caturday.”

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging, Lady Lightfoot | 4 Comments »

A graduate of the Dale Carnegie School

Posted by Charles II on July 11, 2008

Andrew Grice, London Independent:

President George Bush signed off with a defiant farewell over his refusal to accept global climate change targets at his last G8 summit.

As he prepared to fly out from Japan, he told his fellow leaders: “Goodbye from the world’s biggest polluter.”

President Bush made the private joke in the summit’s closing session, senior sources said yesterday. His remarks were taken as a two-fingered salute from the President from Texas who is wedded to the oil industry.

Posted in Bush, eedjits, environment, evil | 1 Comment »

If One Wants To Make A 9/11-Related Statement…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 11, 2008

…this is one of the better ways to do it — using fuel cells supplied with clean energy to run the new World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower, in New York City (h/t Renewable Energy World):

NEW YORK CITY: Fuel Cells to Supply Rebuilt Trade Center— The redeveloped World Trade Center will contain one of the largest fuel cell installations in the world under a $10.6 million agreement between the Power Authority and UTC Power, a Connecticut manufacturer. The fuel cells, totaling 4.8 megawatts of generating capacity, will provide heat and power as an on-site supplement to the renewable power and other clean energy supplied to the rebuilt World Trade Center from off-site sources. Along with design measures to minimize energy use, the “green” power arrangements will make the Freedom Tower, and three other towers that will be part of the Trade Center, a model for environmentally friendly energy and energy efficiency. Fuel cells generate electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen in a chemical reaction. With few moving parts, they are a quiet, reliable and safe source of power. UTC Power was the successful bidder in a Request for Proposals issued by NYPA last October for four fuel cells. The first fuel cell is scheduled for delivery to the Freedom Tower in January 2009, with financial help from NYPA’s energy services program.

More about this here.

Posted in energy, environment, Good Things, World Trade Center | Comments Off on If One Wants To Make A 9/11-Related Statement…

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