Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for November 13th, 2008

A cherry on top

Posted by Charles II on November 13, 2008

Arthur H. Rothstein of the AP reports that prosecutors have added a racketeering charge to the accusation against congressman Rick Renzi (R-AZ)that he and a business partner benefited from a swap of federal mining land that Renzi arranged.

Posted in Republicans acting badly | 5 Comments »

The ACORN saga goes on

Posted by Charles II on November 13, 2008

I have defended ACORN against charges that it submitted bogus registrations, because everything I have seen suggests that the organization was being wrongfully faulted. So, imagine my surprise on reading about a charge that I would have found much more serious if I had known about it, a charge that the Republicans, strangely never made: the withholding of information from the Board.

The story is tangled. Chief organizer Wade Rathke is not accused of direct wrongdoing. His brother Dale is alleged to have embezzled $1 million from the organization eight years ago and, as I understand it, agreed to make restitution. He stepped down in June of this year. Supposedly both Rathkes are no longer with ACORN. A whistleblower allegedly reported the embezzlement in 2001. The Board is just learning of it now. Two Board members who wanted to raise the issue, Karen Inman and Marcel Reid, have been removed… by the president of ACORN.

That in itself sounds irregular. The purpose of a Board is generally to appoint and remove the chief executive officer, not the other way around.

The Catholic Church suspended its relationship with ACORN in June over the embezzlement issue.

Wade Rathke blogged on the ACORN site today.

This is way too confused to make sense of at this stage. But if the Republicans had brought forward these charges, rather than the nonsense charges they made in the course of trying to discredit the election system, they might have made some headway.

Posted in The smear industry | 2 Comments »

Repeal churches’s tax exemption

Posted by Charles II on November 13, 2008

Understand: I say that knowing it would cost me, personally, extra. But enough of the pulpit being used for what are essentially political goals. The tax exemption is a privilege, not an inherent right of churches, and when the largest church in America abuses its privilege so thoroughly, it’s time to reconsider whether any church should continue to enjoy it.

Patricia Zapor, Catholic News Service:

Fears about laws and changes in regulations on abortion that might advance under a new Democratic-run Congress and White House are the central focus of a statement approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 12 during their annual fall meeting in Baltimore.

The majority of the 830-word, untitled statement focuses on concerns about the possible passage of the Freedom of Choice Act, calling it “an evil law that would further divide our country” and adding that the church “should be intent on opposing evil.”

One of the “evil” things about The Freedom of Choice Act is that it exposes a lie that the Catholic Church, among others, has promulgated, stating as fact that: These decisions have protected the health and lives of women in the United States. Prior to the Roe v. Wade decision, an estimated 1,200,000 women each year were forced to resort to illegal abortions…

In other words, legalization has not greatly increased incidence of abortions, just as legalization of alcohol did not greatly increase the incidence of drinking (in both cases, there was probably a modest increase, but there was also a decrease in harm done by illegalization).

In other words, if you are genuinely pro-life and would like to reduce the incidence of abortion, you recognize that trying to illegalize is it the wrong way to go. I count myself as genuinely pro-life, which is why I would never consider joining the Catholic Church as it exists today.

One final point. The article says,

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in abortion, theocrats | 22 Comments »

One Is Chance. Twice Is Coincidence.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 13, 2008

Three times is conspiracy. And/or stupidity.

You all know by now about Ashley Todd, the College Republican in the Pittsburgh area who decided to pretend she was beaten up by a Big Ol’ Scary Black Obama Supporter.

What you may not know is that she isn’t the first — or even the second — College Republican in this decade to falsely claim being attacked for political reasons.

Here’s Francisco Nava’s tale, courtesy of Sadly, No!:

Francisco Nava ‘09 has admitted to fabricating an alleged assault on him that he said occurred Friday evening and also to sending threatening emails to himself, other members of the Anscombe Society and prominent conservative politics professor Robert George, Princeton Township Police said today.

“He fabricated the story,” Det. Sgt. Ernie Silagyi said.

Nava was released to Public Safety and charges “have not been filed pending further investigation,” according to a statement from Township Police.

And here’s Justin Zatkoff, also courtesy of Sadly, No!:

While at a party that began last Saturday night, police said Zatkoff picked a fight with some of his friends, and got punched in the eye. Police interviewed Zatkoff at a hospital the next day and he didn’t recall what happened.

People who were at the party told police Zatkoff had too much to drink, said Ann Arbor police Lt. Mike Logghe.

“We interviewed the guy who punched him,” said Logghe. “He admitted to punching him. He said he was a friend of his from high school.”

So far, no charges have been filed in the case, Logghe said.

Zatkoff is the executive director of the Michigan Federation of College Republicans. He is a student at Oakland University, and the Oakland University Chapter Chairman of the College Republicans.

Zatkoff was in the news yet again lately:

Flashforward to last month — Zatkoff, now chair of the Michigan Federation of College Republicans, was fired from his position within the Republican National Committee’s “Victory ’08” Campaign.

According to the Michigan Review, Zatkoff was fired after he stole 300,000 pieces of campaign literature from Michigan campaign headquarters.


Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Well, at least they won’t have to pay a windfall profits tax

Posted by Charles II on November 13, 2008

Carola Hoyos, Ed Crooks, and Javier Blas, FT:

A lack of investment in new sources of oil risks a supply crunch worse than the problems that pushed prices to $147 a barrel this summer, the developed world’s energy watchdog said on Wednesday.

The International Energy Agency warned that cuts and delays in investment that were prompted by the fall in oil prices and the credit crunch had put the world “on a bad path”. …

Developing countries are expected to be the only source of growth in oil demand until 2030, with China contributing 43 per cent and India and the Middle East each about 20 per cent. The remainder will come from other emerging economies in Asia.

But meeting the demand growth is secondary to the big challenge of compen­sating for the fast-declining production from the world’s older fields, the IEA said. It suggested the oil price was too low to guarantee the necessary investment and noted that high-cost ventures, such as Canada’s tar sands, were producing oil at a cost of about $80 a barrel – more than $20 higher than the prevailing oil price.

Posted in economy, Oil | Comments Off on Well, at least they won’t have to pay a windfall profits tax

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