Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July 19th, 2008

This Is Even More Hilarious

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 19, 2008

We all know how the Bushies leaned on al-Maliki to take back what he said in the Der Spiegel interview:

But a spokesman for al-Maliki said his remarks “were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately.”

Except that this doesn’t stand up under any sort of scrutiny:

he’s debunked shit (8+ / 0-)

he said he was “mistranslated” without saying exactly what Maliki said was being mistranslated.  What part was mistranslated?  The part where he thought 16 months was a good timetable?  The line about how he wanted troops out “as soon as possible”?  The part where he said that those with shorter-term goals were more realistic than those with open ended goals?

Basically he would have to walkback the entire friggen’ interview for it to do McCain any good.

And his statement was released by the Pentagon of all people (and I haven’t even gotten to the point that Bush was going to make damn sure Maliki was going to backtrack on his statements)

Oh yeah..and a mistranslation.  I guess that’s going to be the standard line from now on whenever the Iraqi leaders say something Bush doesn’t like.


UPDATE: Oh, yeah — the McCain people know what Maliki’s support of Obama’s withdrawal plan means for them and their candidate (h/t MLDB):

Via e-mail, a prominent Republican strategist who occasionally provides advice to the McCain campaign said, simply, “We’re fucked.”

That’s pretty much it.


Posted in 2008, abuse of power, Iraq war | Comments Off on This Is Even More Hilarious

Obama In Afghanistan And Kuwait

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 19, 2008

Despite John McCain’s apparent best efforts to alert the terrorists to when they can expect to see Obama, the senator from Illinois went ahead with his state visit to the Middle East. First full stop, Afghanistan:

KABUL, Afghanistan – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama met Saturday with officials of a region of Afghanistan that has been a hotbed of Taliban and al-Qaida activity, offering his support for reconstruction and security there and throughout the country, an official said.


The Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants have continued to caused problems in Afghanistan’s east, especially near the border with Pakistan. Nangarhar’s governor, Gul Agha Sherzai, a no-nonsense, bullish former warlord, briefed Obama and other members of the delegation, according to Sherzai’s chief of staff.

“Barack Obama expressed support for Afghanistan and especially for Nangarhar province,” Massoud Ahmad Azizi said. “He said he will support reconstruction, development and security all over the country, especially in Nangarhar. He thanked Sherzai for good leadership and good administration of the province.”


En route to Afghanistan, Obama stopped Friday at Camp Arifjan, the main U.S. military base in Kuwait and a major gateway for U.S. soldiers moving into and out of Iraq.

Lt. Col. Bill Nutter, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Kuwait, said, “He talked to soldiers and constituents and met with senior military leadership.”

During the two-hour visit, Nutter said, the officers gave him an overview of operations. Obama shook hands, answered questions, posed for photos and played a little basketball during the visit.

Sending protective thoughts his way.

Posted in 2008, Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Iraq war | 3 Comments »

This Is Hilarious

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 19, 2008

Team Bush, in the midst of trying to do things like pressure Angela Merkel to keep Obama away from the Brandenburg Gate just because they are stupendously petty people, had a brief slip-up in their spin machinery today, as ABC’s Jake Tapper relates:

The White House this afternoon accidentally sent to its extensive distribution list a Reuters story headlined “Iraqi PM backs Obama troop exit plan – magazine.”

The story relayed how Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told the German magazine Der Spiegel that “he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months … ‘U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes,'” the prime minister said.

Here’s the Reuters story that Tapper references, but to which he does not link.

And here’s some choice bits from Der Spiegel (fear not, they’re in English):

In an interview with SPIEGEL, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Barack Obama “is right when he talks about 16 months.” It is time, he said, for an official timetable.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki supports US presidential candidate Barack Obama’s plan to withdraw US troops from Iraq within 16 months. When asked in and interview with SPIEGEL when he thinks US troops should leave Iraq, Maliki responded “as soon as possible, as far as we are concerned.” He then continued: “US presidential candidate Barack Obama is right when he talks about 16 months.”


“So far the Americans have had trouble agreeing to a concrete timetable for withdrawal, because they feel it would appear tantamount to an admission of defeat,” Maliki told SPIEGEL. “But that isn’t the case at all. If we come to an agreement, it is not evidence of a defeat, but of a victory, of a severe blow we have inflicted on al-Qaida and the militias.”

He also bemoaned the fact that Baghdad has little control over the US troops in Iraq. “It is a fundamental problem for us that it should not be possible, in my country, to prosecute offences or crimes committed by US soldiers against our population,” Maliki said.

Maliki was careful not to make an outright endorsement of Obama, but he was not exactly thrilled with McCain and his “hundred years” nonsense.

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, Iraq war | 4 Comments »

India and Pakistan headed toward cold/covert war

Posted by Charles II on July 19, 2008

J. Sri Raman, Truthout:

The Kabul blast of July 7, which targeted India’s embassy and took a heavy toll of human lives, may trigger yet another secret South Asian war…..India’s National Security Adviser M. K. Narayanan did not stop with blaming Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for the blast. He went on to issue an ill-veiled warning: “We should pay them back in their own coin.”

The outrageously irresponsible observation has gone almost unnoticed, but a significant indication of what it may signal has been forthcoming….

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

I Heart David Horsey

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 19, 2008

Just go and view.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on I Heart David Horsey

Charles Babington, Coverup Artist

Posted by MEC on July 19, 2008

I first became aware of Charles Babington when I read a Washington Post article, soon after George W. Bush took the White House, that quoted Richard Perle saying encouraging things about Bush’s foreign policy skills (Charles Babington, “Leaders Urge Bush to Face Foreign Policy Issues.” Washington Post, 20 March 2001, no longer online). Babington portrayed Perle as a conservative (but nonpartisan) objective observer of the new Bush Administration — in reality, he’d been an adviser to the Bush campaign. When I wrote Babington to ask him why he’d chosen a Bush partisan to cite in the article, he claimed complete ignorance of Perle’s role.

Babington has not learned to choose his sources more carefully or fact-check himself. Which is another way of saying he’s still shilling for the Republicans as a reporter for the Associated Press:

John McCain was in his favorite campaign setting, a town hall meeting, when he spotted a promising target. “I’d love to recognize you first, sir,” the Republican presidential candidate said to a man in a Vietnam War veteran’s hat.

Instead of a softball opening question from a fellow vet, however, McCain got a lengthy harangue, as the man insisted the senator had opposed better medical benefits for veterans.

McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war, politely said the man was mistaken. He finally broke it off, saying, “I’ll be glad to examine what your version of my record is.”

Babington’s account, using a loaded verb to portray the questioner as aggressive and McCain as forbearing, gives the impression that the man in the Vietnam War veteran’s hat was wrong. Babington’s covering up McCain’s lies about his record on veterans issues and the support he isn’t getting from veterans’ organizations.

Babington even tries to portray McCain’s “town halls” as somehow more democratic and courageous than Obama’s campaign appearances. But I don’t remember any reports of people being barred from entering an Obama event because they don’t agree with him on an issue (as described in Babington’s own article) or arrested for exercising First Amendment rights.

Straight Talk Express? So-called journalists like Babington make McCain’s campaign the Stenography Express.

Posted in beat the press | 55 Comments »

This Is Most Excellent

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 19, 2008

One of the biggest problems and expenses for the expansion of renewable energy is that the places generating it often are located far from the places that need it. In the cases of wind and solar power, this means needing to beef up our electric-power transmission networks.

However, a way has been found in Germany to allow biogases like biomethane to be delivered via natural gas pipelines, simply by removing the carbon dioxide content.

The biggest problem with biogases right now is the same as with ethanol: Its main raw materials are currently food crops such as corn. (Though at least biogas production doesn’t deplete aquifers the way ethanol production does — and it provides three times the energy.) The Germans recognize this and are working to transition from food crops to other materials for their biogas feedstock:

Small-scale biogas plants that use liquid manure as a raw material have also been given a boost by a revised renewable energy law that cleared its last parliamentary hurdle on July 4, 2008. Biogas plants of 150 KW that use liquid manure will get EU €0.04 per kilowatt-hour (kW/h), making them more attractive. By setting a generous tariff for manure, the government is hoping to encourage the biogas industry to switch away from corn and wheat amid concerns of rising food prices.

“Research is just beginning to look at the many types of plants that could be used to produce biogas,” said Horbelt. “We are confident there will be many alternatives to using crops such as corn.”

With the price of natural gas in Europe set to double in the next year according to some economists, Europeans will be hoping the biogas boom lasts.

Another reason this is good news for the Germans: It reduces their dependence on natural gas, of which Russia is the biggest European supplier. They have even less reason to like Putin than we do.

Posted in climate change, economy, energy, environment, Good Things, Russia, saving the earth, sustainability | Comments Off on This Is Most Excellent

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