Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for September, 2008

Corrected: Palin allegedly asked Troopergate figure to wrongfully deny UE claim

Posted by Charles II on September 30, 2008


Murlene Wilkes, faced with this situation, decided to change her testimony according to a report in The Public Record. Now, with the little extra incentive of avoiding perjury charges, she has admitted that she was asked to deny the claim – at the direct request of Sarah and Todd Palin.

This is sourced to Jason Leopold at The Public Record. See also here

If this is substantiated, it’s pretty serious.

[Correction: I originally misread Palin’s urging to refer to Wilkes’ response to the investigation. Thanks to SMP in comments for this correction. Wrongful denial of an unemployment claim is still serious business, but it’s not obstruction of justice.]

Posted in John McCain, rightwing moral cripples, Sarah Palin | 2 Comments »

Hoist by their own petard

Posted by Charles II on September 30, 2008

[Image from a stunning historical website by Erik Rønnebech. I only wish I read Danish]

Via Atrios. The RNC cut ads criticizing the bailout before the vote, implying that they thought the House Republicans would vote in favor even though the Party thought it was against the interests of the country.

But their Little Napoleon, Newt Gingrich, apparently gave marching orders to vote against even as publicly he claimed to support it.

And so, as happens so often with the hopelessly corrupt, one scheme sabotaged the other. They ended up with their presidential candidate tarnished, ads that made no sense, and a failed bailout for which they justly get the blame.

Posted in mortgage crisis, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | Comments Off on Hoist by their own petard

Obama strikes back

Posted by Charles II on September 30, 2008

Hard-hitting Obama ads (viaDeLong)

Obama Runs Constructive Criticism Ad Against McCain

Posted in Just for fun | Comments Off on Obama strikes back

Foggo Dusted. But Prosecutors Allow Sweetheart Plea

Posted by Charles II on September 30, 2008

Another Republican crony has pleaded guilty. Jerry Markon, Washington Post (via t/o):

The CIA’s former top administrator pleaded guilty today to steering agency contracts to a defense contractor and concealing their relationship, making Kyle “Dusty” Foggo the highest-ranking member of a federal intelligence or law enforcement agency to be convicted of a crime, officials said.

Foggo admitted in U.S. District Court in Alexandria that he conspired to defraud the United States in his relationship with Brent R. Wilkes, a California businessman. Prosecutors say Wilkes subsidized meals and vacations for Foggo and his family, and that Foggo helped Wilkes get lucrative contracts, including one in which the CIA was bilked when it paid 60 percent more than it should have for water supplied by a Wilkes-affiliated company to CIA outposts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Foggo, a longtime logistics officer, was the CIA’s executive director from November 2004 until May 2006, holding the agency’s third-ranking position and one in which he directed daily CIA operations….

In a new indictment in May, a federal grand jury in Alexandria accused Foggo of pulling strings to get a high-level CIA job for his mistress, saying that he pressured CIA managers into hiring the woman after she was turned down for a position in the CIA’s general counsel office. Foggo did not plead guilty to those specific counts today.

So far, so good. Unfortunately, they dropped 27/28 of the original counts. He can be out in under four years, probably just in time to join the Jeb! Bush Administration.

Posted in Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, corruption | Comments Off on Foggo Dusted. But Prosecutors Allow Sweetheart Plea

Rosh Hashanah’s call to repentance

Posted by Charles II on September 30, 2008

Ray McGovern, Consortium News, published a piece that touched my heart:

In Judaism’s oral tradition Rosh Hashanah is the day when people are held to account. The wicked are “blotted out of the book of the living,” while the righteous are inscribed in the book of life.

Those in the middle are given 10 days to repent, until the holiday of Yom Kippur — the solemn Day of Atonement.

If that has a familiar ring to it…, we heard it in as many words at Mass last Sunday in the first reading, from Ezekiel 18: “If one turns from wickedness and does what is right and just, that one will live.”…

At Rosh Hashanah the ram’s horn trumpet blows to waken us from our slumber and alert us to the coming judgment. Rabbi Michael Lerner has been a ram’s horn for me. On Sept. 28, he sent a note addressing forgiveness and repentance.

He encourages us to find a private place to say aloud how we’ve hurt others, and then to go to them and ask forgiveness.

“Do not mitigate or ‘explain’ — just acknowledge and sincerely ask for forgiveness,” says Rabbi Lerner. He suggests we ask for “guidance and strength to rectify those hurts…

The piece is about the Iraq War and Joe Biden’s part in it, but the explanation of Rosh Hashanah applies to all of us. It is a promise that our commitment to truth and justice is not cast away: that our dedication to these is the very source of life. It is a warning that those who rely on injustice and falsehood vanish from existence, even in memory. And it is guidance to not merely seek forgiveness with words, but actively repair the wrongs we may have done.

Posted in anti-truth, Good Things, peace, religion | Comments Off on Rosh Hashanah’s call to repentance

Like an Albatross, or Maybe a Noose

Posted by MEC on September 30, 2008

McCain tried to grab the credit for saving the economy — or maybe just grab a few headlines.

Even the AP recognizes how badly he screwed up. The defeat of the bailout bill might have been seen for what it was, resistance by members of both parties to supporting a bill that their constituents overwhelmingly oppose. McCain’s grandstanding, however, makes the failure his failure, not just because he associated himself with the House Republicans but because he claimed ownership of the bailout.

McCain bragged that he was an action-oriented Teddy Roosevelt Republican who did not sit on the sidelines at a moment of crisis. The implication: that he played a critical role in building bipartisan support for the unprecedented bailout.

Within hours, however, the measure died in the House mainly at the hands of McCain’s own Republicans.

The implications of this political debacle are all bad for McCain:

* He can’t wield influence in Congress, so he’d be a weak president.

* Since he claimed responsibility for the bill, he’s responsible for throwing the markets into a panic.

* He can’t deliver on his promises.

Then there’s the damage he did to what remains of his reputation as a “Straight Shooter”:

* He said he was suspending his campaign, but he didn’t close his offices, pull his ads, cancel his speech the next day, or tell his surrogates to keep quiet.

* He said he wouldn’t debate as long as there was no solution to the credit crisis, and then he did.

* He and his surrogates bragged that he didn’t “phone it in”, but that’s literally what he did over the weekend, sitting in “one of his homes” (thank you, Rachel Maddow, for that reminder!) or his campaign (!) headquarters and making phone calls over the weekend.

* He made what amounted to a self-congratulatory victory announcement about the bill’s passage before the vote began, and then the bill didn’t pass.

* He blamed the bill’s failure on Obama, and in the very next sentence said this was no time to be placing blame.

There’s an old saying: When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

It seems like all McCain has is a shovel, and everything’s looking like a hole.

Posted in John McCain, wrong way to go about it | Comments Off on Like an Albatross, or Maybe a Noose

Sow The Evil Wind, Reap The Evil Whirlwind

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 30, 2008

Gee, now he tells us:

A new dynamic has emerged in the West Bank: Jewish settlers block roads, burn tires or set fire to Palestinian fields when troops try to dismantle unauthorized settlements.

Activists call the tactic “price tag.” They hope the havoc will deter Israeli security forces from removing any of the dozens of squatter camps, or outposts, dotting West Bank hills.

Coupled with recent settler reprisal raids on Palestinian villages and a pipe bomb attack that wounded a prominent settler critic, the outpost battle has revived debate about the dangers posed by ultra-nationalists.

Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Sunday that an “evil wind of extremism” is threatening Israel’s democracy. Without naming any specific group, he complained that extremists are undermining “the ability of those in charge in Israel to make decisions.”

Despite Sunday’s forceful words, Olmert and his predecessors failed to live up to a 2003 promise to the U.S. to take down dozens of outposts. Critics of the government also say Israeli police and military often ignore settler violence.

“The radical extremists in the right-wing camp understand that the government is just too afraid to confront them,” said Yariv Oppenheimer, leader of the settlement watchdog group Peace Now.

Now that he’s on his way out the door and powerless to do anything about it, Ehud Olmert’s suddenly
talking about
the evil wind that he and other hardliners made their careers from nurturing. Charming.

Posted in abuse of power, Gaza, israel, rightwing moral cripples | 2 Comments »

Maybe Not the Best Talking Point

Posted by MEC on September 29, 2008

As Charles posted, Republicans are saying that the bailout bill failed because Nancy Pelosi gave a “partisan” speech.

This may not be the best talking point of all time. Instead of convincing people that the Democrats are to blame for the rejection, it may convince people that the Republicans are a bunch of finger-pointing whiners.

I just saw Dan Abrams respond to a Republican spokesman who tried out that line. Paraphrasing: “So, the Republicans put their feelings above the good of the country?”

Karen Tumulty of Time had the same reaction:

Oh, please. So the House Republicans say that they were willing to let the credit markets slide into the abyss because Nancy Pelosi hurt their feelings?

And here’s Barney Frank, providing the sound bites for the evening news.

(YouTube source page)

Posted in Republicans acting badly | 4 Comments »

Nancy Pelosi: Not a good enough Republican/updated

Posted by Charles II on September 29, 2008

This is the speech by Nancy Pelosi on the financial bailout that the Republicans are complaining forced them to vote against what they deeply believed was vital for the country.

What a bunch of whiners.

Update: Newt Gingrich blames Bush for the defeat of the bailout.

Posted in abuse of power, mortgage crisis, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples | 6 Comments »

The wiretapping program/Updated

Posted by Charles II on September 29, 2008

Murray Waas on Glenn Greenwald’s radio program. Yes, Bush dispatched Gonzales to Ashcroft’s hospital room, Gonzales fabricated notes of a meeting with Congressmen to cover up the continuation of the wiretapping, and Bush may have ordered him to fabricate those notes.

Waas in print.

Via Avedon.

Posted in NSA eavesdropping | Comments Off on The wiretapping program/Updated

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