Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for October 24th, 2008

Help Darcy Burner/updated

Posted by Charles II on October 24, 2008

As sucky as the press has been, it only seems to get suckier.

Now Professor Harry Lewis, who designed the degree requirements at Harvard’s Computer Science department and as Dean signed Burner’s degree, has come out and stated: “The way Darcy is describing herself is accurate.” He has even gone to the lengths of cutting an ad endorsing her. If the press wants to paint her as dishonest, it seems to have thrown the slops bucket into the wind.

The rub seems to come down to the fact that the Computer Science Department was the department administering the degree. That might means that that department provides the faculty adviser and reviewers for the senior thesis and sets the requirements for the core introductory courses. A student might skip the introductory courses in the other department and take advanced courses. Whether the degree should be considered truly a degree in economics would be determined by, for example, examining the title of the senior thesis. A thesis titled “Application of Information Science to Economic Modeling,” that would definitely count as an Economics degree, since one can’t write such a thesis without understanding how economic models are structured. Another way would be to ::ahem:: ask a department professor who knew the situation whether Burner is accurately characterizing her degree.

The failure of the Seattle media to consider that there might be more to the story than just which department’s name is on the degree and its refusal to listen to either Harry Lewis or its readership, suggests that there is more to this story than the normal desire of newspapers to create news stories, no matter how faux the basis. Matt Stoller says this:

Buried in the contours of the massive shift in politics we’re seeing with the collapse of the conservative movement is a burgeoning fight between center-right establishment, both locally and nationally, and populist progressives….

Burner isn’t just opposing the DC establishment in terms of issues like FISA and by putting forward plans like a Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq, she’s also fighting through this local set of kingmakers. In 2007, she began a stint as a co-chair of The Committee for a Two-Newspaper Town, a citizens lobby (partially funded by labor) to prevent the Seattle Times from putting its competitor out of business. …

a citizens committee emerged to fight Blethen, citing a compelling public interest to gain standing in the case and seeking to keep both papers open. The committee successful intervened in the case and Blethen cited them as a reason to settle with the PI.

The net payout from the Seattle Times to the Heart company as part of the settlement to keep the Joint Operating Agreement going was $24 million. That’s $24 million that Burner, as one citizen activist among many, helped cost Blethen and the Seattle Times….

Backing candidates who rely on us and not the establishment network makes us stronger, and them weaker. It’s not that we’re giving to Burner or Grayson or Franken or anyone else, it’s that we’re freeing them from having to kowtow to people like Steny Hoyer, Frank Blethen, Michael Bloomberg, and their servants like reporter Emily Heffter.

Maybe Darcy Burner is more important to changing the corrupt way things are done in this country than I thought. I’m going to give her a donation, and hope our readers will as well.

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Media machine | 6 Comments »

And In Things That Surprise Absolutely No One, Part 2

Posted by MEC on October 24, 2008

Talking Points Memo reports that the McCain campaign was spreading the story (now revealed as a hoax) about the young woman allegedly being attacked by a big nasty evil black man for being a McCain supporter.

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain’s Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, “You’re with the McCain campaign? I’m going to teach you a lesson.”

Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the “B” stood for Barack. According to Verrilli, the spokesperson also told KDKA that Sarah Palin had called the victim of the alleged attack, who has since admitted the story was a hoax.


The McCain spokesperson’s claims — which came in the midst of extraordinary and heated conversations late yesterday between the McCain campaign, local TV stations, and the Obama camp, as the early version of the story rocketed around the political world — is significant because it reveals a McCain official pushing a version of the story that was far more explosive than the available or confirmed facts permitted at the time.

Recall that McCain’s been saying that Obama “will say anything to get elected”.

Will John McCain fire the man who irresponsibly and maliciously spread this false story?

(H/T Daily Kos)

Posted in Republicans as cancer, The smear industry, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Doing Well By Doing Good

Posted by MEC on October 24, 2008

Polk County, Iowa Democrats are holding a clothing drive, with the collected clothing to be donated to Disabled American Veterans.

Outside Sarah Palin’s campaign appearance in Des Moines.

It will help people in need, and make the point about Governor Palin’s self-indulgent extravagance.

We don’t get mad, we get creative.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Doing Well By Doing Good

And In Things That Surprise Absolutely No One

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 24, 2008

You know about Ashley Todd? Remember, she’s that twentysomething female McCain campaign worker in the Pittsburgh area who claimed that Wednesday night, as she stood at an ATM, she’d been mugged and then “mutilated” by an Obama supporter who cut a “B” into her skin?

The one whose story Ethan Eilon, a committee executive of the local College Republicans, talked up very loudly?

The one whose story Drudge had prominently displayed on his website?

Guess what? She admitted she made it all up — yes, even to cutting her own face with a blade. Seems that her story fell apart rather quickly under police questioning — especially when surveillance video in the area of the alleged mugging didn’t show her anywhere near the ATM. (Of course, cutting the “B” backwards into her own skin, probably while looking into a mirror, didn’t exactly give an aura of believeability to her tale.)

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, WTF? | 6 Comments »

Just Wondering

Posted by MEC on October 24, 2008

Did you think the Republicans couldn’t go any lower than calling Obama a socialist who pals around with terrorists?

Yesterday on MSNBC, Republican “strategist” (read: asshat) Brad Blakeman criticized Barack Obama for using his campaign jet to visit his seriously ill grandmother.

In response to a question about Sarah Palin’s $150,000 spending spree at Republican donors’ expense, Blakeman spewed,

“Forget about the energy that is wasted, what about the hundreds of thousands of dollars to take a private trip when this guy should be humping his bags on a commercial plane or taking a smaller plane. Taking a 767 of campaign money from people who could least afford it is more of an outrage in my opinion.”

There’s no point in applying logic to those people, so I won’t point out that, considering all the reports of violence directed at Obama’s supporters and perceived allies, the Secret Service would certainly discourage Obama from flying commercial; and that using a “smaller plane” is impractical considering the distance to Hawaii and the urgency of the trip.

I just wonder whether anyone from the McCain campaign has expressed concern for Mrs. Dunham or repudiated this assault on family values.

Posted in rightwing moral cripples | Comments Off on Just Wondering

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on October 24, 2008

Alexander says, “No vote caging!”

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 3 Comments »

US disasternomics spreads

Posted by Charles II on October 24, 2008

The Nikkei has crashed, down nearly 10% at this writing. The yen has spiked to 95, a 13 year high. I think we can count on bad things happening in the US markets, although with markets one never knows.

Posted in Japan, stock market | Comments Off on US disasternomics spreads

Friday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 24, 2008

Hear Barack Obama in Spanish.

Black voter turnout is strong in early voting in the South.

Goldwater’s granddaughters are for Obama, and think their grandpa would be too.

— “An internal document circulating among House Republicans warns of an impending congressional bloodbath, listing 58 Republican-held House seats being at risk, and 11 already considered as good as gone. As many as 34 GOP-held seats are in serious jeopardy of swinging to Democrats, the assessment shows.” Among those written off as lost: Michele Bachmann’s, Marilyn Musgrave’s (the Fundies are, of course, ticked off that the NRCC isn’t spending any more dough on Bachmann and Musgrave), and (drum roll) Tom Feeney’s. You may remember Feeney from his time as GOP Speaker of the Florida House back in 2000, where he did everything he could to help steal the White House for Bush. It will be a pleasure to see him go down in flames.

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, Good Things, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | 3 Comments »

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