Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 24th, 2009

The Presidential Press Conference

Posted by MEC on March 24, 2009

Press corpse to President: “Concern trolls R us.”

I’ve yet to hear a question that doesn’t sound like, “Mr. President, how soon are you going to fail?”

Best moment: asked why it took him two days to express outrage over the AIG bonuses, President Obama replied, “It took me a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.”

Posted in beat the press | 7 Comments »

Give Another Cheer for Obama’s EPA

Posted by MEC on March 24, 2009

EPA halts hundreds of mountaintop mining permits

In letters sent Monday to the Corps’ office in Huntington, W.Va., the EPA said that Central Appalachia Mining and Highland Mining Co. have not done enough to avoid and minimize damage to water quality and stream channels.

In the case of the Highland Mining’s plans, which would fill in approximately 13,174 feet of stream in Logan County, W.Va., the agency said it believes the project “will result in substantial and unacceptable impacts to aquatic resources of national importance.”

Posted in environment, Obama Administration | 2 Comments »

Poll Vaulting

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 24, 2009

There seems to be a concerted right-wing push to spam an internet poll by Zogby that allegedly shows Obama’s approve/disapprove at 50% each — which as Nate Silver points out is an incredible outlier. (He also points out that Zogby’s track record with internet polling is abysmal.)

Meanwhile, check out how CBS chose to parse their own poll on Obama. Bear in mind that in this poll, Obama’s overall approval rating went up slightly (two points, fro 62% to 64%), and his approval rating on the economy went up significantly (five points, from 56% to 61%). But that’s not what CBS’ headline focused on:

Poll: Mixed Reviews For Obama On AIG

One has to go to an online source, the Huffington Post, to find an honest take on CBS’s own poll.

Posted in economy, GOP/Media Complex, media, Media machine, mediawhores, polls, President Obama | Comments Off on Poll Vaulting

GOP To Dick Cheney: Go Away, Please

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 24, 2009

Because it’s pretty damned hard to make the case that the Republican Party is no longer the party of Bush-Cheney when the nastier half of that pairing keeps flapping his gums in public, doing his best Rush Limbaugh impersonation as he all but accuses President Obama of treason:

Another House Republican lawmaker who requested anonymity said he wasn’t surprised that Cheney has strongly criticized Obama early in his term, but argued that it’s not helping the GOP cause.

The legislator said Cheney, whose approval ratings were lower than President Bush’s during the last Congress, didn’t think through the political implications of going after Obama.

Cheney did “House Republicans no favors,” the lawmaker said, adding, “I could never understand him anyway.”


Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), who is running for governor, suggested that past leaders should not be seeking the spotlight at a time when the party is rebuilding and redefining itself, after “hitting bottom” in the devastating losses last November.

“Interpret it however you want to, but what I’m saying is: We should focus on the people that will lead us tomorrow, not the people who led us yesterday,” Wamp said. “With all due respect to former Vice President Cheney, he represents what’s behind us, not what’s ahead of us.”

To the delight of some Democrats, Cheney, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele have attracted headlines in recent weeks.

Asked about Cheney’s criticisms of Obama, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs last week said, “I guess Rush Limbaugh was busy so they trotted out the next most popular member of the Republican cabal.”


Posted in 111th Congress, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, Congress, Dick Cheney, eedjits, evil, President Obama, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | 6 Comments »

Haiti Update

Posted by Charles II on March 24, 2009


* 15,000 people met a delegation led by Ban-ki Moon and Bill Clinton
* 5,000 protestors are still in front of National Palace
* Haiti was major cocaine transshipment point with the military running the trade
* Aristide refused to sell electric company and phone company
* He also invested the profits from these companies into literacy and subsidized meals and vitamin supplements for the very poor
* Literacy was almost halved, malnutrition was almost unheard of
* The coup has reversed that
* None of the $4B in aid goes to the Haitian government. Instead, it goes to NGOs, where 80% is consumed by administrative costs
* The Provisional Election Council refuses to recognize Lavalas
* thousands of Lavalas supporters were murdered, disappeared or imprisoned by the UN in 2006
* Hillary Clinton may have told Rene Preval that he can ignore Lavalas

Posted in Haiti | 3 Comments »

This Is Just Unbelievably Cool

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 24, 2009


Gentlefolk, I give to you the Aquaduct bicycle water purification and transport system:

The Aquaduct vehicle seeks to address the two main challenges with water in the developing world: sanitation and transportation. Water-related diseases kill thousands of people each day. Moreover, water sources in developing areas can be miles from home, requiring women to walk these distances daily carrying heavy water vessels.

The Aquaduct is designed to enable a person to sanitize and transport water simultaneously, potentially lessening the physical strain of the task and freeing up more time for work, education, or family.

As the rider pedals, a pump attached to the pedal crank draws water from a large holding tank, through a filter, to a smaller, clean tank. A clutch engages and disengages the drive belt from the pedal crank, enabling the rider to filter the water while traveling or while stationary. The clean tank is removable and closed for contamination-free home storage and use.

In its current state, the Aquaduct is a prototype aimed squarely at demonstrating a concept and raising awareness around the issues of clean water in developing countries. The Aquaduct team plans to continue the concept’s development into an economically and technologically viable solution that addresses challenges such as cost, suitable purification technologies, and the logistics of addressing an issue that [affects?] billions.

This is going to be much cheaper than even a small truck or lorry and can go places the biggest trucks can’t. Put in a small electric-assist motor, one that’s chargeable by the rider, and then you’ve got something that’s very useful indeed.

(h/t TobyWollin.)

Posted in bicycling, environment, Good Causes, Good Things | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

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